Over the weekend we had an adventure in preserving food. Early Saturday morning we made a trip to Farmer’s Market to pick up our 50 pounds of tomatoes ($30), 25 pounds of apples ($15), an assortment of peppers ($9) and onions ($10). A lot of food for $64.00.
We got home around 8 am; surveyed the boxes and decided the only sensible thing to do was go crawl back in bed a take a nap. We had both been up since 4:00 am.
An hour later we stood in front of the boxes again. This time there was no putting it off. David began cleaning the tomatoes. I put on gloves and began deseeding peppers.
Just the colors made me happy! The next step was loading up the pressure cooker.
The final touch was to add a layer of chopped garlic to the top. Put on the lip and cooked the whole thing in the pressure cooker for 5 minutes (after it started hissing). Pulled the kettle off the heat and did a quick release. Means I did a quick cool by putting it under cold running water until the button popped up. Opened the lid and let the mixture cool off – took about 15 minutes.
Drained all the water into a separate bowl and put the veggies in a large bowl. BTW the I froze the liquid to use as a soup base this winter. Let it cool a few minutes more then put a couple of cups of the veggies into the food processor. Pulsed about 25 times so that the sauce was fairly chunky.
Repeated several times. Once the whole thing was chopped I mixed it together, tasted and added salt and lemon juice. And kept adding — until it tasted right.
We put it in jars, and put the lids on loosely. Once they were more or less secure , the went into the hot water bath. Which means we submerged them in water; brought the water to a boil and boiled the jars for 20 more minutes.
You get the idea. We made 3 pressure cookers full of veggies which was a lot of very time consuming, labor intensive work. At the end of 4 hours the kitchen looked like a war zone but here is what we had to show for our efforts!
26 jars of the best salsa ever!! We were tired and very happy.
The next day we made applesauce. Took us about 3 hours and netted 20 jars of applesauce. You are just going to have to trust me on this – I was too tired to take pictures.
Lot of work? Yes!
Worth every bit of it? You Betcha!!!