Saving Up Sunshine (salsa recipe)

I was looking at Ascher this morning with his sweet, round and rosy, just-woke-up cheeks and knowing that my camera couldn’t possibly capture the light and how perfect he looked at that moment.  I was committing him at that moment to memory and the book Frederick came to mind.  In it a little mouse gets in trouble with his family for looking at and listening to things when they are all busy getting ready for winter.  They ask him what he’s doing and he says something like, “I’m saving up sunshine for days that are gray”.  They don’t understand, but when winter comes they are glad for the stories and memories of color and warm, summery sounds that he can share with them.  I feel that way about fall changing to winter sometimes.

It is feeling like fall has started setting in here.  It’s getting cooler.  I’m wearing sweatshirts in the mornings and drinking my hot tea again.  It’s getting dark earlier in the evening.  I’m hoping more of the tomatoes get their act together and ripen so I can put them in jars.  As fall approaches I’m getting sadly aware of the gray, colorlessness of winter.    Of course there’s plenty of lovely exciting holidays in the fall and winter, but all the bright decorations don’t quite match up to the glory of beautiful bright growing things.  It bit me earlier today and some browsing around a spring bulb website was very therapeutic.  :)  Hoping Ben will let me stuff some flowerbeds full of bulbs, since they are some of the brightest, earliest colors.  If I’ve been drowning you in pictures of produce it’s just because I’m saving up sunshine, both in photos and jars, to smile at during the gray winter.

These gorgeous peppers…

plus these yummy tomatoes….

= 14 pints of salsa for all your salsa needs! :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Salsa recipe!  If you like your salsa super-chunky then chop everything.  If you like it super-smooth then grind everything.  I like to grind some of my ingredients(I use my food processor) to get all the flavors in every bite of salsa.  Heat is up to you!  It’s flexible!

Sunshine Salsa – makes about 6 pints

10 cups chopped and/or ground tomatoes, according to how chunky you like your salsa.

5 cups chopped and/or ground peppers, hots and sweets as you prefer.  I used three medium sweet peppers and the rest were hot.

2 big onions.  I chopped one and ground the other.

2 cups apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons dry cilantro.  You could also use fresh, I just had dry on hand.

Put everything in a big pot and bring it to a simmer.  At this point I always taste it to see if I need more hot peppers for heat or more tomatoes for mildness.  I’ve found that salsa tends to lose a bit of heat in the canning process so keep that in mind.

Bring the salsa all the way up to a boil before you jar it.  The longer you cook it(at a simmer is less spattery) the thicker it will get.  I used canning type tomatoes, so my mix was already pretty thick.  If you use slicing types your mix might be soupier to start out.  Ultimately it is up to you how thick you want it.

Ladle your salsa into hot, clean jars, remove air bubbles, wipe the rims and adjust the two piece lids.  Process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.  Enjoy!

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