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Guest Post by Gina of Home Joys

Summer is truly here when the garden produces enough ingredients for a batch of homemade salsa. What can be better than chopping fresh vegetables, stirring a huge colorful pot full, and relishing the wonderful aroma that fills the kitchen?

Here is how I make homemade salsa:

First, peel the tomatoes.

The easiest way to peel tomatoes is to drop them in boiling water for about a minute. The peeling slides off easily. Paste tomatoes are the best for salsa but I just used what I had, which was about five different kinds of tomatoes including a pink variety.

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After peeling and coring, chop the tomatoes until you have a gallon.

Chop three peppers. (Green, red or yellow – color doesn’t matter.)

Dice two onions.

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Chop about ¼ cup of cilantro. I had no cilantro but lots of parsley, so I substituted parsley for cilantro. Different flavor but about the same appearance.

Crush two garlic cloves or use 1 tsp garlic powder.

For heat, you can chop up jalapeno or another type of hot pepper. I had a bad experience with hot peppers years ago. (Wear gloves and DO NOT touch your face while chopping hot peppers.) Now, when making salsa, I just use dried crushed red pepper. Much simpler and safer!

Mix all the veggies in a large pot and add salt, vinegar, and sugar. (Detailed recipe follows.) Bring to boil and simmer all ingredients for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Removing the lid of the pot while it simmers will result in a thicker salsa. Stir occasionally.

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To thicken even more, I mixed ¼ cup of clear jell with ½ cup cold water, and added to the salsa while cooking.

Ladle into jars. Cap with lids and rings. Boiling water can for 10 minutes.

Enjoy the beautiful results, share as gifts, and open up a jar of summertime next winter!

I attempted to figure out my costs.

My tomato and pepper plants were gifts from my dear mother-in-law, so my expenses were almost nothing! Your cost will depend upon the price of your vegetables.

If you are growing tomatoes, peppers, and onions, your salsa expenses will be very minimal. But purchasing veggies at a farmer’s market could be a very economical choice as well. Even in the grocery store, these vegetables will be in season and at their best price and flavor.

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Homemade Salsa

  • 1 gallon skinned, chopped tomatoes
  • 3 sweet pepper, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 12 jalapeno peppers or other hot pepper to your heat level
  • OR dried crushed red pepper to taste ( 3 T. was right for our family)
  • 2 T salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup of clear jell dissolved in ½ cup water (optional)

Place all ingredients in large pot. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Seal in jars and boiling water can for 10 minutes.

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Gina is a blessed wife and mother of four young children. She shares her “from scratch” cooking and gardening adventures at Home Joys.