Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Salsa Recipe and General Stuff

Since several people have asked about my salsa from the previous post, I thought I'd just post the recipe here and on my recipe blog. Hope everyone that makes it enjoys it.


14 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion
¾ cup chopped bell pepper
¾ cup chopped jalapenos or other hot peppers
3 cloves minc
ed garlic
2 cups white vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp. canning and pickling salt
1-2 small cans tom
ato paste, to your taste

*NOTE* You can adjust the amounts of the hot peppers, garlic and onion, more or less to your taste. I usually add a little more salt to mine, too. Taste for salt and sugar, then adjust if necessary before you jar it and seal it.

Combine all ingredients in a 5 quart or larger Dutch oven or other large pot. Bring to a boil then turn down and simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Add 1 can of tomato paste and stir to distribute evenly. If not thick enough for your taste, add remaining can of tomato paste and combine thoroughly. Taste for salt and sugar and add more if necessary. Bring back to a boil, then place in clean pint canning jars and top with new lids and seal. Immediately turn jars bottom side up on the lids as you seal them. Leave for 10 minutes then turn jars right side up. It's not necessary to process salsa in a hot water bath canner, but you may if you wish. Process pints for 10 minutes. It's not recommended that you put this in quart jars. Yields 8-10 pints.

**I learned the trick of turning all my jars upside down that are not processed in a canner from a County Extension Cookbook I have. If there is any bacteria on the lids the hot product kills it when you turn it upside down.
Now, I'd tell you all about the exciting things happening in my life right now, but there ain't any, folks. Of course, there's exciting-meaning FUN, you know, the good exciting, and then there's EXCITING, meaning to cause alarm or unusual attention. I'm glad to report there's been none of the alarming kind of excitement around here lately, but neither has there been too much of the fun kind of excitement, either. That's fine with me. I'll take boring over the bad kind of excitement any ol' day. Of course I don't always get to choose how and when the excitement happens around here, so I try to take it day by day. Not that I have any choice in that, either.

Summer is still hot and humid and miserable here in Arkansas. Meow in Australia is still having frost in the mornings toward the end of her winter. I'd sure like to swap her about 30 degrees of our heat for 30 degrees of cool on this end. Fall and winter can't get here soon enough for me. The words "fat girl", "hot" and "sweaty" should never, EVER, be used in the same sentence. If by some cosmic design they do come in conjunction together, they shall very soon thereafter be followed by such terms as, "uncomfortable","stifling", "the heat of a thousand fiery suns", "irritable", "murderous", and it goes downhill from there. Can I get an "Amen, Sister!!?"

Having exhausted that subject, moving on....I've been seeing on several of the Mommy blogs I frequent that some of you are excited (there's that word again!) about school starting back soon in some regions. Some purport to be excited about buying new school supplies and such as that, but I suspect there might be just a little hysterical giddiness about the little darlin's getting back in the routine of, a-hem, BEING AT SCHOOL AT LEAST 7 OR 8 HOURS OF THE DAY. Not that we don't love them or anything like that, but time apart can be good for a relationship, right? Work with me here, people. Even some of the homeschooling Moms have been talking about the specialness (like that word? I just made it up) of having new pencils and crayons and blank paper. A new start for a new school year. All kidding aside, I remember those days fondly from my school days, and then from Jessica's childhood.

As I read some of those accounts of new school supplies and new teachers, new schools and new beginnings, it occurred to me that this is a new beginning for me, too. For the first time in 13 years I won't be going school supply shopping this month. It almost passed without me even noticing it until I read those blogs. In less than 2 weeks Jessica will start to college and for the first time in over a decade I won't be stretching and bending at Walmart, looking for 7 different colored pronged, pocketed folders and binders. No new pens and red markers, no new pencils and calculators. No dealing with the principal and teachers for various reasons. From now on, my little girl will have to fight her own battles with her teachers and professors. Buy her own college supplies. She'll have to learn to make her money stretch or do without some luxuries like, you know, food, clothes, shampoo, soap.....silly stuff like that. I have an intuition that a lot of growing up is about to commence very shortly for Miss Jessica Rose Jennings, along with a lot of other college freshmen all around this world. It's gonna be hard not to see her as often when she starts college, but I did most of my wailing and gnashing of teeth over her growing up and away when she graduated high school in May. She "moved out" last month to share an apartment in the city 6 miles up the road where she'll go to college. She's spent almost as many days and nights here at home since she "moved out" as she stayed in her apartment. Which is fine, because I do miss her and get hungry to see her when I haven't seen her for an hour or so. I'm really not that bad, but I do miss her and want to talk to her or see every few days or so. I think when she first moved out and I called her every other day or so if she didn't call me or come home in the meantime, that she thought I was checking up on her and trying to be controlling, but I honestly wasn't and I'm not. I just need to hear my kid's voice or see her every so often for my own peace of mind. The Mama in me is always on duty. Any of my family will tell you that I am NOT a worrier for the most part. If you tell me something so I can help you worry about it-- Sorry, you're out of luck. And I'm not really worried about Jessica, I just miss her. There's a difference. I hope she learns that soon.

You may have noticed that I have some new buttons in my sidebar. If you haven't already, please click on the button and meet Miss Emma Grace and read about her. I was touched by her story and I think you will be, too. If you're a praying person, I know her Mom appreciates your prayers for Emma Grace and her family.

Amy Wilhoite is a young married lady who is struggling valiantly with leukemia. I've mentioned her several times on my blog and she and her family also would be most appreciative for your prayers.

It's almost 2 am and I still have to proofread this and publish it, assuming Demon Blogger is cooperative, so I'll close this by wishing everyone a great rest of the week. May God bless you and meet all your needs, my friends and family.


Tammy said...

tell you something so you can help me worry about it...lmbo...I loved that...I am one of those that wants help worrying and I like to return the favor...may be why I currently have an ulcer...YIKES!!!

Faith said...

Thanks for the recipe. i do want to try it!!!
We can all worry with you, no prob!!!

Barb said...

A brand new box of crayons was just the best thing about going back to school in the fall. That, and the one pair of new shoes a year I got and bobbie socks that were still so new I didn't need rubber bands to hold them up yet.

A defining moment in my life was the first trip to the college bookstore when Krissy started college. Oh my. How on this ever lovin' earth eight books can cost $400 is one of those things my brain is never going to process.

It's so exciting when they start college. A huge transition. Lots of adjustments on everyone's part.

Salsa sounds wonderful. You're canning up a storm! Where on earth are you putting it all? xoxoxo

Sue said...

Hi Diane,
Loved your trick about turning the jars upside down. I'll have to remember that if I ever get back in canning mode.
Speaking as a Mom whose "kids" are 35 and 37, the Mom/missing them thing never goes away. You just add in grandkids to miss as well!

kim said...

Hi Diane, been missing you and glad you are back. Boy, do you never rest woman? Sounds like between canning and running away on us to the beach no less you are one busy gal. Hope you take a minute or two to settle back in!

I am passionate about salsa. I think I've tried every ready made variety out there and asked for as many recipes over the years. This might be my very first attempt at canning if I can get time to do it. sounds so yummy.

Moving back to the beach trip. YOU go girl! Worth every ounce of effort I am sure. I dearly remember as a 15 year old laying in a lounge chair several hundred yards out in water up to my shins just loving the sounds and picking up shells, and uhh. . .getting the worst sunburn ever but hey, it was so worth it. I am so spolied(material-ly) and love when you remind me of it with your simple joy for life and each thing it offers you. I am so glad you took this opportunity when it came!

I've been to Emma Graces site. What heartbreak and yet what hope. It's a God thing for sure. We've had some real prasies around blogville of late.

I'll be thinking of Jessica as she sets off on this whole new adventure ~ college~ wow! I'm with Barb as to the cost of those text books, unbeleivable for sure.

Thanks also for the reminder to keep the gulf coast disaster in our prayers. I've only ever driven through that part of the country once but it was such a beautiful place. Can't imagine.

Best get back to doing what I sat down for, work, real work. hehe.

have a great week. Kim

Brenda said...

I just popped over here to tell you about Amy's button, but I see you've found it. We weren't the only ones who thought of it! I'll be back later on to catch up with your posts.

Andre said...

Salsa, college, and prayer requests. Could you be any more random?! :)

(1) The recipe sounds de-lish! I make pretty mean salsa and guacamole also. I have this strange affinity with Mexican and Italian sauces. Buying them canned is almost like an insult to me.

(2) Sigh! Our Jessica is off to college. I trust that it'll be a great ride for her; even if she doesn't get to use her Blue's Clue lunch box. Congrats, College Mom...

(3) Thank you for remember Emma and Amy in prayer. I'll be sure to the same!

Stay blessed!

Big Mama said...

Thanks for the salsa recipe, you know I wanted it! My idea of a perfect meal is good chips with a great bowl of salsa. I could live on it!

You're so right about back to school time, the idea of a little time apart is heavenly. I loved your thoughts on Jessica starting college. It's a whole new adventure!

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

Thanks for the recipe - I was wondering how you made it, and we have tomatoes ripening back at home. We eat so much salsa, so this is great. Can't wait to try it next week. xoxoxo

Yellow Mama said...

It is weird for me. My eldest will be getting married in October. Other daughter will be a Junior in H.S., and youngest will be in 2nd grade. School starts next week and I haven't done a thing...you know...waiting on the old paycheck thing.

I'm a N.M. born girl living in Texas and so salsa and hot sauce is a standard. Everything is good with hot sauce! I'll have to try your recipe one day when I get in the cooking mode.

PEA said...

I've copied the Salsa recipe and it will be duly put in my Blogger Friends' Recipes notebook:-) It does sound so delish!! I sympathize with you about the heat...I'm always hot no matter what the temps are so when it reaches anywhere near 80F I'm ready to melt...can't even imagine handling the +100F some of you have been having!! My boys are 25 and 28 so it's been a few years since they finished university...I do remember though when they finished High School and I no longer had to buy all their supplies...I liked that! lol As for when they moved out, well that's another story...I would go in their old bedroom which was empty cuz they brought everything with them, sit in a corner on the floor, and just bawl my eyes out. It's so hard to let go!! I do worry about them but I have faith that I raised them right and that they'll do fine on their own..so far so good:-)

Dick said...

Are you able to call Jessica at her home without it being a toll call? It is a hard but also a good time. You really do want them to grow up and be successful and yet you don't want to give them up. You do have a lot of good memories & it sounds like she is making sure she stays in contact with Mom, so you are luck in that regard.

Mandy said...

Wow, college! It has only been two years since my college days ended, so I still vividly remember it, especially my first year. I think it's safe to say that some growing up will occur.

I am so glad I no longer have to buy books (until Aaron and I both pursue grad school that is), but I'm afraid I will have to endure the school supply shopping every year now until I retire. As a teacher, I hit those sails big time!

My parents moved out here almost two years ago. Since then, I have spend almost twice as much time sleeping on their couch as any place I have rented. I also talk to my mom every day.

I am starting a recipe book for my new married life, and your recipe will fit perfectly into my appetizers section!

You say nothing exciting is going on in your life, but it sounds to me like it sure is!!!

Diane said...

Yep, that's probably why you have an ulcer, my friend. :-)

You're welcome. Let me know if you make it. :-)

We always got one new pair of canvas tennis shoes at the beginning of the school year. By the end of spring I usually had to cut out the toes so I could keep wearing them to finish out the school year. ;-)

Yes, I think J is going to have a rude awakening, and soon. :-)

Remember all the purging? I have room in a couple of closets for boxes of canned stuff now. Not that I have a lot of it left. Between Jessica and the rest of my family and friends, my pickles, jam and salsa doesn't usually last long unless I deliberately hide some of it for later. ;-)

I'm already finding out that missing them is a constant thing. Grandkids? When God sees fit, but I hope it's after J finishes college. We'll see......

Hi, nice to know I was missed. ;-)
I LOVE the ocean and it really was a gift. So far I've only been twice, so it's very rare for me.
College? Ay yi yi...LOL ;-)

Thanks, and I think you got an email from Barb about the buttons...?

Random is my mantra, just like my thoughts. ;-)
I'm picky about my salsa and guacamole, too. I make my own guacamole...Mmmmm, good.
Yes, college. Thanks, Andre. :-)
Keep praying. :-)

BTW, I left a LONG comment on your blog and it said it published. I even went back and read over it, but now it's gone. Did you delete it for some reason, or did Demon Blogger get it? No prob. if you did delete it, but if I offended you in some way I'd like to know so I won't do it again.
Take care, my friend. :-)

Big Mama,
You're welcome, hope you make it and enjoy it. College? *Sigh......*

You're welcome, hope it turns out for you and you like it. Safe journey home, my friend. :-)

Yellow Mama,
You have all ages spread out, don't you? And I know EXACTLY what you mean about the paycheck. ;-)
I love hot stuff! Most of my family and friends are wimps so I don't make it hot enough for me usually. I just add cayenne pepper to mine if I want to spice it up. :-)

All I can do is trust in God to watch over Jessica. As you say, so far, so good. :-)

Yes, I can call her on her cell phone. Not free, but not too bad money-wise. Now it's not so bad, it's when she's in school that I'll really miss seeing her nearly every day. She'll be home when she runs low on food money, though. :-)

Diane said...

You must have been commenting as I was typing! :-)

Teachers do need school supplies, don't they? ;-)

I think Jessica will miss being at home more than she thinks she will right now. She's got a boyfriend that's pretty distracting right now, but with them both in different schools in different towns she'll have more time on her hands when school starts. I'm hoping she wants to see or talk to me every day after she realizes I'm not trying to check up on her. We'll see....
Glad you like the recipe, and you can reduce the amounts to manageable amounts so you don't have to can it. It's great, really. :-)

Andre said...

Hi Lady Di,

I'm sorry I missed your comment. What post was it on?

I assure you: I didn't delete it. I NEVER delete other people's post, even if their viewpoints don't correspond with mine. I value insight from everybody...you most of all!

Dag! I'm sorry I missed whatever it was you had to say. I'm sure I would've been blessed. If you rewrite it (or, if you prefer, to give me the Reader's Digest version), I would love to hear from you!

Stay blessed...

Brenda said...

Diane, this is my first year of not buying school supplies, too. School started here last week, and
my office building is right next door to the other high school in town. My window faces the school driveway. Kinda makes me sad. Then I remember that my cell phone bill is $400 for last month, thanks to my daughter, and it's probably a good thing I can't reach out and touch her right now.

RennyBA said...

Your posts are always so good to read - thanks for staying up so late and for you Salsa recepie! A great rest of your week too:-)

Chappyswife said...

God bless you, too. I understand about being a little, ahem, heavy in the heat! I am so ready for fall!

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Hi Diane
Thanks for the rcipe and all the ones on oyur other site , yummy
sending big hugs to my friend
Take care , I am thinking about you , hope your well
Your friend

lori said...

My 18 year old daughter love salsa. I have made homemade salsa before but this sounds like a very good recipe.
I'm enjoying your blog.

Diane said...

Hey, Andre,
It was on your church post. I just left another comment about it on your latest post. Hope it helps you, my friend. :-)

Mercy sakes, I'd pass out if I got a phone bill like that!! I don't blame you for feeling that way. Sorry, friend.

Hi, hope you're enjoying your summer there in Norway. Winter is not too far off for you, is it?
Have a great weekend!

You'll never hear me say I like hot weather! Give me some cold weather any ol' day. Come on, fall, is right!

Green Eyes,
I'm doing pretty good except for the knees, mostly. Fair, I guess, otherwise. :-)

I think of you often, hope you're doing well, too.


Glad you are enjoying my blog. Welcome, and come back anytime. :-)

Autumn said...

The salsa looks yummy. It sounds like your having a good summer.

Diane said...

Thanks, and I think I'm making more salsa tonight. :-)

Mountain Mama said...

I tagged you on my blog today, check out my "Another Meme On The Scene" post.

Thanks so much for sharing your salsa recipe. I have been hoping you would. It makes my mouth water just looking at it. Mmmmmmmm.

Diane said...

I'll check out the tag. You're welcome for the salsa recipe. I'm making more in just a little while....

Meow said...

Mmmmm, Diane, that salsa recipe sounds great ... I might just have to make some.
Thanks for mentioning me on your post ... the frost seems to have eased now, and we have mild windy days (although it is still and overcast today !!).
Hoping you have a great weekend.
Take care, Meow

Jan said...

Diane, the salsa sounds yummy. speaking of back to school supplies, I found colored pencils for ten cents a box at Office Depot, so exciting, since there are 10 teachers in our family I had to spread the word!