Steve’s tomatoes came in and I was pretty sure we had a bounty. I am not so well-schooled in this homestead stuff, but I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to make and can salsa…it would fit nicely with our locavore efforts, it would be an excuse to drink beer and eat chips in the afternoon, and it would give me blog fodder.
I poked around, and Ann’s friend, Martha, emailed me a salsa recipe that seemed easy enough. It had some canning instructions, clearly meant for someone who actually knew how to can. My mom taught me how to hem a skirt, how to make a salad, how to write a thank you note, and how to enjoy each day. She skipped the canning instructions. My lone experience was with my Grandma Isabell, when I was nine, when we made strawberry jam as a consolation prize for the fact that my mother gave birth to a baby boy, rather than a baby sister for me.
So I Googled more instructions and realized we needed to cobble together something from our stock pot. The sealing process either required lots of equipment I don’t have, or ingenuity, which I thought we could muster.
I bought jars and peppers and limes. I held off on buying labels, but I did brainstorm names for our kick ass salsa. I felt ready.
Steve picked the bounty. The bounty turned out to be eight.
I suspected we might not have 12 pints. I opened my first beer and we started chopping garlic and tasting peppers.
I think we made a few mistakes. We used the food processor, and perhaps we made the salsa too smooth. We worried about the juice, so we drained some of it. Maybe a little too much.
We kept tasting, we kept the beer flowing and we finally got our batch. It tasted great, though we thought there might only be enough for six pints.
Our bounty resulted in two and a half pints. Which made the actual boiling of the jars a little easier, and slightly confusing. It was like the clown car of canning. Bouncing cans of salsa in a pot of boiling water is a little distressing. Time for another beer, I think.
The seal seems solid and we know what to do differently next time, including borrowing real canning equipment.
And we will enjoy our two pints (we finished off the half pint by dinner). We still believe eight tomatoes makes a bounty, at least with a lowercase b. And for sure, it makes for an entertaining afternoon.