You will need these basic canning tools:
(available at your local hardware store or on the internet)
- A water bath canner (this is just a big pot with a shelf you can raise)
- jar lifter
- jar funnel
- canning jars
- lids (cannot be reused) + lid rims (can be reused)
The recipe is from my mother in law and it is awesome! This is a situation where great ingredients make a big difference. I've definitely supplemented with store bought tomatoes in a pinch, but fresh garden and farmers market produce will make a MUCH tastier salsa. I also like to use at least 3 or 4 types of peppers including a couple of medium spice varieties to give some complexity to the spice - but take care not to get carried away.
You can choose whether you want a chunkier or finer salsa. I tend to use the magic handi-slicer on everything but the tomatoes - the type of chopper you'd see in a late night infomercial - it works wonders since there is a good bit of chopping involved. Don't forget that gloves or wearing plastic bags on your hands will prevent your skin from getting burned from the peppers.\
- Chop and heat the ingredients (I tend to cook it less than an hour before canning.)
- Start your hot water bath canner and another large pot for sterilizing jars
- Clean & sterilize your jars, wither in the dishwasher or in a water bath and fill them when they are hot!
- Ladle hot salsa into jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace (room from top of jar).
- Remove air bubbles by gently running a wooden spoon around the inside edge of the jar.
- Wipe rims with a clean damp cloth.
- Center lids on jars.
- Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.
- Process the jars in boiling water canner for 25-30 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
- Remove with the jar lifter and place on a flat surface to let them cool. DO NOT TOUCH or fuss with the lids - you'll want to hear the lids popping. After 24 hours, check the lids - they should not move up and down when pressed in the center. If they did not seal, you can reprocess them or open up a bag of chips.
Your salsa will last up to a year - and is great to have on hand for guests and to spice up beans, soups or other dishes. Mostly, it's a sheer delight to taste summer all year long.
Here are a few home canning resources:
Nation Center For Home Food Preservation
Step by Step Directions to Home Canning
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