Yesterday we canned salsa. It has been three years since the the last time I canned salsa. This year, I had the help of Nick and Karen, which was much appreciated. Clare helped out by taking Spencer and Meg to the zoo with Alisa and Tao, so they were out of our hair. I want to mention that Clare is a supermom, for carrying Meg in the Baby Bjorn and Spencer on her shoulders around the zoo for two hours. I don’t think it would have gotten done without both of those key points.
I harvested about 40 tomatoes and about 10 hot peppers. Nick bought an additional 5 or 10 large tomatoes (5 pounds) from the Boulder farmer’s market. We put in 5 anaheim peppers and a couple banana peppers, with the seeds removed. We also put in two large green bell peppers, and three medium onions. We put in one bulb of minced garlic. Then we added some salt, cumin, and coriander. It now occurs to me that we forgot the vinegar! Whoops. We also added one large can of tomato paste to thicken it up a little bit. Even though we let the chopped tomatoes drain in a colander before putting them in, it was still a little bit runny.
We started preparing the salsa around 10:30, just after Clare left with the kids, and got the first batch into the canner around 1 p.m., just around the time that Clare got back from the zoo Then we took a lunch break, and got the second batch in around 3 I think. We processed the jars for 45 minutes (the closest recipe in the blue book said 35 minutes, plus 10 minutes more for our altitude).
Today I inspected the jars after waiting the necessary 12-24 hours for the jars to properly seal and cool. There is one thing I would do differently. We did two batches – 7 pints and then 6 pints. With the first batch, the salsa separated a little bit, with some kind of very runny, watery juice at the bottom of the jars. I think this is because we didn’t cook the salsa long enough. The second batch, which had a longer cooking time did not have this problem. I also filled a few of the jars a bit too full. One of the jars had a bit of salsa on the outside of the jar, but all of the jars seemed to seal. I pressed on all of the lids, and none of them indented. I then took the rings off and checked that each lid was on firmly.