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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Salsa, Salsa, and More Salsa

Today is still kind of chilly and everyone here is ready for Spring/Summer to move right in. Think Spring! Today, I'm going through some older photos that I didn't get a chance to blog about and here is something to get us in the mood for the summer - a summer salsa garden!

We built a raised garden bed last summer in order to grow a salsa garden. The Husband went out of control with the number of pepper and tomato plants that he bought. They took over our deck all summer, as there was not enough room in the garden itself. The Neighborhood Groundhogs were quite a hassle but eventually we were able to keep them out and get some roma tomatoes and peppers growing, among many other plants.

We also went to the farmer's market and bought additional romas and a few days in the late summer/early fall, we spent an afternoon making salsas. We love fresh salsa so we made a large batch of that and we also wanted to try a canned salsa for the first time.

For the fresh salsa, it's pretty simple, just a lot of chopping!

Homemade Fresh Salsa Recipe

Dice up your roma tomatoes (these are best as they have less juice than regular tomatoes) and mix with chopped onions, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Adjust amounts to your taste preferences.

Blend some of the tomato mixture along with however many hot peppers you want and then add the hot mixture back into the batch of salsa. Adjust seasoning and hotness to your taste level.

We made several levels of hotness - Mild, Medium, Hot, and Chris. The Chris salsa is the hottest. (Chris is one of The Husband's best friends).

For the first canned salsa recipe I tried, it was quite time intensive, and it was an "easy" recipe which included using some canned tomato paste as well. You have to peel the tomatoes which takes a ton of time, and then chop them on top of it. I didn't care for the recipe flavor much so I will be trying another one next year, but the canning worked out great and the boys and family members loved it. I used it all up many months later as a sauce for enchilada pie so it did not go to waste at all, it was pretty good.. I just didn't like the vinegar/sugar ratio that I had in it.

Making your own salsa is fun and there are tons of recipes out there. You don't have to wait until tomato season to do it, either - there are roma tomatoes around most of the year, I think. It's nice to wait until the August/September time frame, though, and if you don't grow your own tomatoes, they will surely be plentiful in the stores and farmer's markets in your area! We are moving this summer so alas, the raised garden bed will be left for the next home owners. Maybe they will grow something fun, also!

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