Thursday, September 9, 2010


Sleep, what's that. I was up several times in the night with the grand kids and checking on the salsa that was cooking down into a thick succulent treat. With little ones there just isn't enough hours in the day to get everything done.
This batch of salsa I decided should have some corn in it. Though basic salsa recipe stays the same, I don't often measure the ingredients accurately as I tweak it according to the ingredients available. Once in a while I pressure can a batch because I decide to use kidney beans in it and I add cilantro, corn, tomatoes, green peppers, and jalapeno peppers, onions, along with salt and vinegar. I do think the corn adds a colorful appetizing addition, don't you. I finished the four boxes of peaches. I do them a bit different than the traditional method also. When you can as much as I do, you're always looking for shortcuts. Mine is peeling the peaches right into the jars. Placing them in salt water just allows the sweet juices to drip away into the water and I'm not giving up my yummy peach juice. I also don't use a sugar syrup. I just pour sugar on top the peaches in the jar and the boiling water I pour over the top melts it along with the boiling water bath that process the jar. It frees up a spot on the stove and avoids a sticky mess. The amount of sugar depends on the sweetness of the peaches that year.

This method does require a cooler water bath to start with so the jars don't break because of the dramatic change in temperature.

My sisters have a steamer and after using them this past weekend to make jam, I think I'll get one too. I had one years ago and didn't really like it but I see improvements have been made on the old model. They said it speeds up the process greatly. I'm all for that. Today, I processed the salsa and made applesauce. No way would I do much of it if I didn't have my Victorio Strainer. It takes the bulk of the work out of the process. First I slice the apples in half, quarter them if they are large , and place them in boiling water to soften. Then into the strainer that with a crank of the handle
separates the skin and core from the pulp. I reserved some for the kid's after school snack. I can my applesauce with a little sugar and cinnamon making it a special treat. Part of the apples I peeled and cored and placed in quart sized Ziplock bags to freeze for pies. Part I sliced and put on trays in the food dryer. The cores and peels I covered with water and I'm boiling it down. I'll strain the mass and make apple jelly. Waste not want not you know. I've made jelly out of the water I boiled the apples in to make applesauce if I have put a large number of apples into the water. There ends up being lots of juice in the pot. The apples are of course washed.
Got a great canning tip? Please send it my way as I'm always looking for a new and improved way to do things.

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