This year I am extra proud of myself and the tomatoes, that is because I sowed the seed, planted, cared for them and now I am reaping the rewards of my labor from beginning to end.
We had a nice wet spring but soon the Alabama weather, that you cannot really predict, went all dry as the turn of the first days of Summer appeared, no rain.
That means one thing, all tiny, medium and giant tomatoes get out of the growing stage and get into the ripening stage, early.
I am now doing "as I go canning sessions" so that I will have some tomatoes, or tomato products, put away for the winter and the coming year.
A couple days ago I did the first session, small but I still got three pints and one half pint of salsa. This is what I did and how I made the salsa, because I don`t need a recipe its so simple to make this by taste.
Green bell pepper
Ground red pepper
I washed the tomatoes and scored them, scaled in hot water and removed the peel. Sliced the peeled tomato in half and removed the core.
Cleaned and peeled the green pepper and the onion, chopped in various sizes.
In a large stainless steel cooking pot, I put the tomatoes, onions and bell pepper and about two cups of water. Remember those tomatoes are full if juices.
I was out of fresh garlic so I used garlic powder, sprinkle a little over the top. Using your hand pour enough into your palm to make what looks like a tablespoon of canning salt and sugar, add to the mixture. Using a large spoon add one of white vinegar.
Let cook over medium heat for around ten minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Taste. adjust to your liking for the sweet or salty, a little at a time.
Add the ground red pepper and remember a little goes a long way and you won`t feel the heat till after a minute or so.
As for today I will make just plain jars of tomatoes, seems I use a lot of tomatoes in my way of cooking. I do intend to invest in a sauce maker for spaghetti and pizza sauces.
How about you, Do you can your own tomatoes and tomato products?
By Andria Perry
Photos by Andria Perry