Green Tomato Salsa…What’s Cookin’ Wednesday…July 10, 2013

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I don’t know what the weather has been like outside of South Carolina this summer. I have been so caught up in our crazy weather that I really haven’t paid much attention to anywhere else. It is in the 80’s, and we have had rain somewhere in the state every day since June 1. It is like Seattle this summer. Really weird, and REALLY BAD for a garden. I watered my garden one time, when I planted back in May. This was my garden last year:

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And this is this year:

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I am doing pretty well with my pepper harvest this year, but the tomatoes are sad. The tomatoes only get so far, then they are literally rotting on the vine. My husband suggested that I quit hoping for a miracle, and to just pull them green and make the best of it. So batch #1 is now Green Tomato Salsa. I looked up some ideas on my iPad, and then I improvised.

My husband went through the green tomatoes, and I went through the peppers. I chopped up 10 jalapenos, and 10 green chilies, and put them in my 8 quart pot. I added 2 chopped onions, and 8 cloves of garlic. Then I filled up the pot with chopped green tomatoes, and a few red tomatoes. I added about 2 cups of water, and put my pot on to boil. I let it come to a boil, and added about a tablespoon each of cumin and salt, and half a bottle of lime juice. I kept poking the tomatoes down to make sure they got nice and soft. After about 20 minutes, I added one bunch of chopped cilantro, and used my immersion blender to blend it all up. I tasted for seasoning, and added a little more cumin and some garlic salt.

It’s awesome! I am on a low carb diet, so I couldn’t eat it with chips like my son and husband did, but I put some on top of some leftover pork tenderloin, and melted some cheese on top, and it was fabulous! It would also be good on eggs, or enchiladas, or chicken, or nachos…it was a great use for all of my green tomatoes, and all I had to buy was lime juice. Everything else came from my garden!

I ended up with 8 pints, 7 were left after lunch. I went ahead and processed my jars, just so they didn’t go to waste.

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Green Tomato Salsa
(All amounts are approximate)
10 jalapenos
10 green chilies
2 onions
8 cloves of garlic
10 green tomatoes
4 red tomatoes
2 cups water
1 T. Cumin
1 T. Salt
8 oz. lime juice
Bunch cilantro

Cook all ingredients except cilantro about 20 minutes, or until soft. Add cilantro, puree with an immersion blender, and adjust seasoning to taste. Add to sterilized jars, leaving a 1/2 inch headroom, seal and process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes. Check for seal after 24 hours!

Note: if the salsa tastes too acidic, you can add a tablespoon or so of sugar.

Preserves Gone Wrong

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I have never canned anything before this summer. Cooking, yes…canning…no. My mother didn’t can, and neither did either of my grandmothers, so that is a skill set I never acquired. This summer was the first really good garden I have ever had, so the only way to deal with the harvest was to either give most of it away, or learn how to can. My fabulous mother-in-law gave me some lessons about the basics, I bought some supplies, and I was on my way.

The very first thing I tried was salsa, and it turned out great. I made pepper relish, peach preserves, more salsa, candied jalapenos, fig preserves, more salsa…and surprisingly enough, everything turned out great, and I never had a can not seal. I was feeling pretty cocky. Then I decided to make my mom some tomato preserves, which she loves and are hard to find. They didn’t set up. I mean, not even a little. It was thinner than my salsa. Ack! And there were 12 half pints and 1 pint! I looked online, and some people suggested to use it as syrup (tomato syrup? Yuck!), but after waiting and watching it for two weeks, I admitted defeat and I decided to reprocess it.

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That is my tomato preserves with some candied jalapenos.

I reprocessed the jam last night, and it has set up so well now that you can hold a jar upside down, and it doesn’t budge! Woo hoo! This is what I did:

1. Unseal all of your jars and dump the preserves in your widest pot that will hold it all.

2. Get your water boiling to process the jars like you normally do.

3. Sanitize your jars, and get some new lids.

4. Bring the preserves to a boil, and whisk in 2 T. powdered pectin. Keep in mind I had about 14 cups of preserves. You may have to adjust the quantities. Check after a few minutes of boiling.

5. Use the plate test. Put a plate in the freezer when you start, then when you are ready to test the preserves, place about a teaspoon of preserves on the cold plate. Wait a minute, then tilt the plate. If the preserves have a skin on them, and hold still on the plate, they are ready.

5. Mine still wasn’t thickening, so I started grasping at straws. I added 1 cup of sugar, and 1/2 cup of lemon juice, and boiled it a little longer, until it looked thickened. This time it worked!

6. Refill your jars, put on your lids, process, and say a little prayer!

I hope it works for you!

Kary

*Sometimes I link up at these parties…

Monday: Skip to my Lou, Between Naps on the Porch, Jam Hands, Home Stories A-Z, How to Nest for Less, Today’s Creative Blog, Thrifty Décor Chick, Not Just a Housewife, Boogieboard Cottage,Time Warp Wife, Chef In Training, The Ivy Cottage Blog, Holly’s Stamping Addiction, Serendipity and Spice, Homestead Revival

Tuesday: Bowl Full of Lemons, Organize & Decorate Everything, Primitive and Proper, homework, Tilly’s Nest

Wednesday: House of Hepworths, Shabby Creek Cottage, Ivy and Elephants, Someday Crafts, the 36th Avenue

Thursday: The Coloradolady, Common Ground,Five Days Five Ways , My Romantic Home

Friday: Tatertots & Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity Now, Whipperberry

Saturday: Positively Splendid

Sunday: Alderberry Hill, Flour Me With Love, Stone Gable, This Gal Cooks