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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Can-Do Attitude

One of my most favorite homesteady (yes, it is a word.  I made it up!) activities is preserving foods.  Home canning!  And when I don't sustain an injury, it is wonderful.  But we will talk about that later.

This weekend I mysteriously came into possession of a lot of green tomatoes.  A lot.

So I went in search of recipes.  See, canning is a very specialized process.  You can't just throw things into a jar, can them and assume that all will be well.  That is just courting botulism!  You have to take into account acidity, and density, and a whole bunch of other science ideas that are beyond my desire to understand.  So I always (well, usually) go to the experts.  A wonderful resource is the National Center for Home Food Preservation (guess what they do!)  They have wonderful recipes and solid advice.

Recipes in hand, the husband and I made Green Tomato Relish, and Green Tomato Salsa.  Here is a brief tour in pictures:

The tomatoes

Peppers, Onions and Garlic

Combining Ingredients

Filling the jars

Sterilizing the lids and getting ready to boil

That was the relish.  I don't have pictures from the husband's 7 1/2 pints of salsa, nor my 15 pints of chunky salsa from today.  But you get the idea.

And here is the final product:

30 jars of green tomato goodness.  Yum!

No Pain, No Gain
As I alluded to above, canning isn't always pain-free.  Early this year, I sustained a 3rd degree burn when I dripped about a tablespoon of boiling water into my sock as I was removing jars from the canner.  Today, I almost did it again, and now have a mild scald on my pinkie toe.  Both times I was wearing sneakers.  Next time, I think I will wear my wellies.  Maybe then I will be protected.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the only injury today.  I am having a week, let me tell you.

For my salsa, I had to chop up jalapenos.  Now, I normally avoid dealing with hot peppers.  I can eat them in some food, but I never, ever cut them.  But I needed them, so I thought, "what the hell."

And found out.  The hell is that I now have capsacian burns under several of my finger nails, and I can't seem to get the oils off my fingers.  I have used soap and water, alcohol, milk, and olive oil.  All recommended by experts.  All I can think is that my nails sucked the oils in.  Sheesh.  I hope I don't need to scratch my face!

On the bright side, the salsa looks great and all the jars sealed.


  1. Gorgeous photos. Your salsa looks delish:) I will have some pics of canning up soon too.

    I ADORE the new layout!!! Ok don't touch anything, I'm trying to remember what we did when my lovely hubby did that and then, you guessed it, got the oils somewhere you don't want them. He tried everything, I think the hand sanitizer worked for a bit.

  2. Swimming in the pool seems to have done the trick, but I was afraid to touch anything or anyone all afternoon. Especially the kiddos!

    And thank you, I much prefer this layout.


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