Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's that time of year!

Harvests are coming in like gangbusters, the markets are overflowing with fresh, ripe, gorgeous fruit and vegetables. This is my time of year. I've always loved fall; at one time probably partly because my birthday is in fall, now in-spite of it ;) Incidentally, I found my first real Grey hair a couple weeks ago. It seems a bit odd to me but I've befriended it. I kinda like seeing it sparkle when I blow-dry my hair. But I digress.

The box of tomatoes we bought this morning.
Harvest time means doing our best to preserve some of that summer goodness, to be enjoyed later. Last year was very successful, almost too successful because this year we decided to make even more salsa and hot pepper jelly! It was pretty hard to ration ourselves as the stocks started to dry up, so naturally we want to do more.

To do more, we need a LOT of produce.
So far, that means we've decided on 4 batches of salsa (2 extra spicy chipotle, 2 tomato peach) and 2 batches of red pepper jelly. Oh, and then today we saw the blueberries and will probably do more blueberry jam. We usually do a few types of jam but I don't really eat it so it doesn't make sense to do a lot. I DO eat the blueberry though.

I am sure we will put up some beets, chili peppers and maybe turnips in a week or two.

Prepared ingredients for
the tomato-peach salsa.

This is only 2 batches of salsa.
Not bad for a night's work!

Now, a recipe. This is adapted from Bernardin's website.

Tomato Chipotle Salsa Ingredients
9 cups (2250 ml) chopped seeded tomatoes, about 5 lb (2.3 kg)
6 cups (1500 ml) chopped, seeded red peppers, about 2.5 lb (1.2 kg)
1 to 2 cans (each 215 g) whole chipotle peppers
1 pkg (115 g) BERNARDIN Salsa Mix
2 tbsp (30 ml) brown sugar
1 cup (250 ml) red wine vinegar
1/2 medium onion
*Notes: I also add about 4 dried hot peppers (grind them up) and use red peppers that are considered mild-hot called 'crimson reds'. I have a high tolerance for heat and I find the salsa mellows in heat after canning. I only use one can of chipotles in adobo (including seeds!) though, I don't want my salsa to taste only of the chipotles.
  • Wash, seed and coarsely chop tomatoes and peppers. Measure 9 cups (2250 ml) tomatoes and 6 cups (1500 ml) peppers. Place in a sieve to drain off excess liquid.
  • Press chipotle peppers and sauce through a sieve to remove seeds or chop whole peppers.
  • In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine chipotle puree, BERNARDIN Salsa Mix, brown sugar and red wine vinegar. Add tomatoes and peppers; mix well. Stirring frequently, bring to a full rolling boil.
  • Ladle salsa into a hot, sterilized jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top rim (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Center SNAP Lid on jar; apply screw band securely & firmly until resistance is met -- fingertip tight. Do not overtighten. Place jar in canner; repeat for remaining salsa.
  • Cover canner; bring water to a boil. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars 20 minutes.* Remove jars without tilting. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours. After cooling check jar seals. Sealed lids curve downward. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place.
  • Makes about 6 x 500 ml jars.


HorseOfCourse said...

My comment has disappeared?!!
It both looks and sounds delicious.
I would like to try, but I cannot get hold of neither the salsa mix nor the chipotle I believe.

Once Upon an Equine said...

Those tomatoes are real beauties. They look delicious. Fall is my favorite time of the year too.

RuckusButt said...

HoC - Chipotle (smoked jalapeno peppers) are a beautiful thing and I'm sorry you can't get them where you are. They typically come in small cans packed in a tomato type sauce (called 'adobo'). The salsa mix is really just to make things a bit easier - it is mostly dried herbs and garlic though it might also have some thickening agents (I will check!). I imagine you could reproduce that at home :)

Once Upon - They were delicious! I can hardly believe we managed to make use of the whole box. The peppers were a little more challenging, but we managed.

RuckusButt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chelsi said...

Yum! My DB would just love that hot salsa! The tomatoes are really pretty, I'd love to have a few with just some salt and pepper. Yum!