Waste not, want more

No variations on a theme.

Salsa strikes again!

The great salsa battle of 2010 still haunts me. 3 batches, three significant errors. In fact the errors got worse each time. First there was the small let’s-take-this-slow batch. It tasted good. And once my hands stopped feeling like invisible flames were dancing on them (about a day and a half, after trying water, milk, and oil), I was pretty happy with the result. Too bad I eat salsa like it’s the fountain of youth. It was not long until I was buying tomatoes by the flat again.

The pictures below are from batch two. They reflect what happens when you double all ingredients EXCEPT frigging TOMATOES. It turns out onion salsa is not bad, but also not for the weary.

The last attempt brought me to my knees. They were meant to be the Christmas gift batch. Ahem. I saved my error for the last step, where I did not tighten the jars adequately for fear of buckling the lids, which I’d done the first two times. Well, I will kiss buckled lids next time, because the other end of the spectrum is unpleasant. As soon as I put the jars into the water bath they sucked in 2 centimeters of water like a dog in a toilet bowl.

But don’t I put the jars in one at a time, you ask? Oh yes. I believe I may have even done a visual inspection. But somehow it didn’t occur to me I should stop putting jars in the water and tighten them. I have no idea what I was thinking.  I just kept plunking them in. Then processed them with the water inside. Thinking they probably wouldn’t keep well, since the vinegar was a tad watered down, I froze them and stewed for two months. Eventually I defrosted them one by one, drained them, added vinegar and sugar and ate them quickly, a jar within a few days. It was ego-defeating, less yummy, and workable exclusively for home use.

Magical canning book

They look innocent enough


Apparently I was cold AND had a sore neck but still optimistic

Finished Product - onions are good, right?

Fast-forward to 2011. I was hoping I’d really maxed out on possible errors for a while. A trip to the Okanagan, the magical fruit bowl of BC, had me stumbling upon good deals for peaches and roma tomatoes. In the case of the romas, cheap = free, grown by my aunt and my mom. Needless to say, I knew I had to take advantage of the flavour of these home-grown beauties.

Peaches being peaches, I did that first. Somehow, I managed to avoid any mishaps! This savoury-sweet salsa has made the “feed to others” list. It’s a miracle! Or is it? Can miracles be down-graded because of subsequent disappointment? A double batch of salsa requiring multiple pots, additional labourers and a huge chunk out of my paper-writing time (not unlike this post) was foiled again. The culprit this time? Adding two tablespoons of sugar instead of two tablespoons of salt! I’m all for salt control, really I am, I don’t use much. But completely saltless salsa is pretty dang … saltless. Seriously. Careless recipe reading strikes again. Thankfully, the salsa is quite edible…once you shake some, you guessed it, salt into it. But putting salting instructions on your salsa certainly takes the fun out of giving it away…

3 hospital food tomato salsas and a tiny peach salsa

Do I give up on this recipe or implement better quality control?

September 11, 2011 - Posted by | Consumption, Doing it the hard way, Irritated | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Don’t give up!! Salsa is delicious, even if it requires pre-salting before use. I commend you for your perseverance!

    Comment by Dana | September 13, 2011 | Reply

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