As a child, the idea of making and canning your own preserves was an ordinary one. My grandmother canned her own jams and jellies frequently. My favourite was the wild strawberry jam made from the tiny little strawberries that grew on the hill at the back of her property. It was equally good on toast and on vanilla ice cream.
My mother canned things, too. Most memorable was the summer that gave us a bumper-crop of plums from the trees in the backyard and she filled jar after jar with plum jam, plum jelly, and plum chutney. She gave jars away to everyone she knew that Christmas, and still had more than we could ever use left over afterwards.
Yesterday morning, after the zucchini bread was in the oven, I was in the mood to make some preserves of my own. I started with a lovely raspberry-blueberry jam using raspberries from our garden coupled with wild blueberries for a more interesting flavour. But jams are easy, and old hat for me, and I wanted to do something new that I had never done before.
I wanted to make my own salsa.
I must admit, I cheated a bit. I bought a packet of salsa spices already mixed and followed the recipe that came with it. 4.5 cups of tomatoes, seeded and diced, plus some onion, green peppers, red peppers, and fresh cilantro, all from the garden. Simmered all together with 3/4 cup of cider vinegar then processed for 20 minutes in a water bath, it certainly smells delicious.
It looks lovely cooling on the counter, too.
I think we’re having tacos tonight. We have to try the salsa, after all!