Time to Celebrate this Summer Harvest

Connecting with my inner country girl!

Connecting with my inner country girl!

I grew up in the seventies. A time when convenience foods were King. Television would advertise to busy housewives how to save time by getting packaged macaroni with cheese or instant spaghetti. My mother like most women at the time "believed the hype", especially when the pressure of maintaining a job and a family became the norm.

On the other hand, my grandmother Ida, who grew in rural Louisiana made everything from scratch. When my mother had a near fatal car accident my grandmother lived with us for a year while my mother recovered. During this time we had the pleasure of homemade chicken with dumplings, teacakes and biscuits even as my grandmother was watching her calories.

In 1988, my grandmother died and with her passing many of her recipes died with her. My mother is a good but not PASSIONATE cook like my grandmother. Besides, she thought great cooks were born not created so she never insisted her children learn her family recipes. 

 Fast track to today where I am learning how to preserve food. I found out UC Davis offered basic canning classes monthly. The classes are only $20.00 and during the four hours I could connect to my inner cook screaming to come out. They also feed us a light snack and lunch. 

What does a canning class have to do with diabetes? Plenty! Preserving you own food gives you a chance to control what you are putting into your body. While fresh fruits and vegetables are always ideal minimally processed canned food can get you through a rough winter. 

I am going to share a Chili Salsa recipe courtesy of UCCE Master Food Preservers of Northern San Joaquin Valley by way of Salsa Recipes for Canning. Enjoy.

Chile Salsa II

2.5 cups or 1.5 lbs peeled, cored, chopped tomatoes

1.5 cups  seeded chopped peppers (mixture of mild and hot recommended)

1 cup chopped onions

1/4 cup vinegar (5%)

3/4 teaspoon  salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Caution: Wear plastic of rubber gloves when handling peppers and avoid touching your face.

Wash and rise canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's direction. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and heat. Stir frequently until mixture boils. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes occasionally stirring. Ladle hot mixture into clean, hot jars leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles and adjust head space if need. Wipe rims of jars with a damp clean paper town. Apply two piece metal canning lids. 

Immerse salsa in boiling canner with  1 to 2 inches of water above the top of the jars. 

Salt and pepper can be adjusted for taste and BOTTLE lemon juice can be substituted for vinegar, but always, FOLLOW THE RECIPE.