Wow, what happened to the summer?!? Can you believe it’s the middle of August already? With the temps reaching record highs over most of the country I’m sure there have been thirsty gardens everywhere. Between my sad tomatoes and my lettuce bolting and dying, this year has certainly been a learning experience. However, there is one member of my garden family that has produced leaps and bounds over previous years.
Hot, sweet, bell, it didn’t matter they did wonderful! Leaving me scratching my head wondering what to do with these mounds of green and red gems. Different chilis, require different preserving methods. Some are best dried or smoked, some frozen or canned.
Lets start with old faithful Jose Jalapeno (not on a stick;). I found a fantastic salsa recipe that is easy enough for a beginner and will last all year long. It’s adapted from a recipe found in the Ball Blue Book of canning. (For those of you unfamiliar with home preserving it is important to familiarize yourself with a few techniques. Find the basics here.)
This recipe makes about 3 pint jars, however, my three jalapeño plants produced enough peppers to double the recipe, and make it twice!
Hot Jalapeno Salsa
3 cups tomatoes peeled, seeded, and chopped
3 cups jalapeño chopped (I removed the seeds and membrane from about half of the peppers and it is still quite spicy)
1 1/2 Tbs minced garlic
1 cup vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp rosemary
2 Tbs fresh cilantro chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
WARNING! When preparing the peppers, WEAR GLOVES AND DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE!!!
Note- some of my jalapeños had turned red on the vine. I don’t know if that makes them hotter or takes away some of the heat, in my opinion they add nice color to the salsa so I left them in.
Combine ingredients in large pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes till all flavors are melded together.
The basic water canning necessities are a large stock pot, wide mouth funnel, magnet (on a stick;) for removing lids from boiling water, and tongs for placing and removing jars from water bath.
Fill hot jars with finished salsa. Wipe rims clean with damp cloth and assemble 2 piece lids.
Place in a “Granny bath” with one inch of water covering jars. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes.
Carefully remove and leave undisturbed till cool. Check lids for seal and for the tops to be concave.
They can be stored in a cool dry place for up to a year and must be refrigerated after opening:)