This was my assignment for the day. A few gallons of ripe and green tomatoes, various other ingredients, pots, jars, and a canner. This, by the way, is the 8 x 12 shed that serves as my kitchen. For nearly four years. That soon will change.
I made two kinds of salsa today. On the left is my salsa roja. Recipe: Take a bunch of ripe tomatoes, scald, skin, core and chop 'em, cook them up while adding onions, hot peppers, grill-roasted sweet green peppers, cilantro, cumin, salt, and garlic to taste. Tasting is essential; I have to live with this stuff every time I open a jar. On the right is green tomato relish, which I consider to be more of a salsa, but I got the recipe from Farmgirl Fare, and she calls it relish. The voices in my head told me to add a pinch of cinnamon to the final product, and I think it may turn out well.
The final product: eleven jars of salsa, seven red, four green. Not enough to keep a family of salsa lovers for the entire year, but at least I got something for my tomato growing efforts. I was disappointed that the plentiful harvest of golf-ball sized Glacier tomatoes turned out to be totally worthless for salsa, along with anything else. Thin fleshed, with a huge cavity filled with pulp and seeds, they have a thin unbalanced acid taste. I was hoping this short season tomato would be a good provider, but I ended up composting most of them.
Although it was a lot of work, I enjoyed the art of creating canned goods. And with salsa, it really is an art; no formula recipe can account for the variable taste of tomatoes or hotness of peppers. I don't think I can reproduce any batch of salsa I've ever created.
My long time of chopping and preparing was accompanied by two new CD's that arrived yesterday: Chris Thile's How To Grow A Woman From The Ground, which is...interesting, needs more listening time to grow on me but I'm sure it will, and the Swedish group Vasen's Trio. Vasen is pure Nordic roots music, which means traditional songs and original compositions played on traditional instruments (Nordic fiddle, nyckelharpa and guitar/bozoki). Haunting. Deep. Dark. The Hermit heard some of it this morning, and he described it as "seafaring music". It is rhythmically and modally more adventurous than even Celtic music. And I'm really grooving on it. Hardly the association one would have with making salsa, but then I'm hardly predictable. :)