Every year I love to have a garden and experiment with growing different things. Last year I grew just a “salsa garden” with garlic, peppers, onions and of course tomatoes! I ended up canning my own homemade salsa to give away as gifts. It felt so nice to be able to say I grew almost everything in my salsa myself (I did add cilantro, lemon pepper and vinegar from the store). I also made my own label for my canned salsa jars. My salsa garden conveniently was located at our My Own Labels office where we share a garden plot every year. To make my label, I had a coworker take a photo of me in my garden. Then I went to a website called, www.picnik.com, which allowed me to upload my picture and add in the text for free. I also included a small oval label on the jar that says, “Return Jar to Sally” so that people would remember to return their jar after they’ve enjoyed my salsa.
I’ve been experimenting with different recipes to find the perfect salsa for years and still don’t think I’ve found it yet. But I’m getting close! Maybe this will be my year for perfect salsa! I’ve found recipes online and tweaked them (hence the lemon pepper). Here is the recipe based on my latest salsa batch. I doubled this recipe and added one bunch off ch0pped cilantro leaves and lemon pepper to taste during second cooking.
Easy Salsa Recipe
Yield: 10 pints.
• 24 cups chopped tomatoes (I blanched them the day before to remove the peels and drained the juice. Refrigerating them ahead of time makes for easier chopping.)
• 2 cups white vinegar
• 2 cups diced jalapenos (seeds and all)
• 2 cups diced bell peppers
• 2 cups diced onions
• 2 small cans tomato sauce
• 3-6 garlic cloves
• 1 tbsp canning salt
Bring tomatoes and vinegar to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for one hour, stirring often. Add all other ingredients and cook another 1-2 hours or more for desired consistency. Put in hot jars and process in a boiling water bath.
NOTE: An optional way of thickening the product is to simmer in a crockpot with the lid off until desired thickness. This helps prevent scorching.
More homemade gift ideas from Sally:
Blackberry Pepper Jam Friend Cards Jailhouse Brew