If you’ve read this blog more than a few times you probably know that I love to cook. As a descendant of a long line of good cooks, I come by this trait honestly. In my family, we show you that we care by feeding you.
When I was a kid, my mom was hard core ~ baking cookies from scratch, every night dinner was something different and definitely not from a box. By the time my parents finally gave in and bought a microwave, it was rarely used.
So, you can see that I inherited my culinary skills. The one thing I never attempted was canning or preserving food. I remember my mom canning jam in the summer ~ usually on what seemed like a sweltering hot day. My memory is of her slaving over a stove for what seemed like an eternity. As a kid I never fully appreciated the time nor the love that she put into each and every jar. As a family, we would often travel to the blueberry farm to pick the berries that would later become jam. Sometimes they would be strawberries or blackberries that were grown by members of my family who lived in Northern Michigan. I now know that canning fresh produce is a lost art ~ but at the time I just took for granted that we had homemade jam at my house while all of my friends had the stuff you buy in the store. You can probably imagine my reaction when our good friends suggested that we get together and can Salsa with the peppers we grow in our garden every year. I seriously thought they were insane ~ it sure didn’t seem like a fun way to spend a perfectly good Saturday to me at all. It took a little coaxing, but I finally gave in. After all, we end up with more hot peppers than we could ever consume, and I hate to see them go to waste. This seemed like the best way to make them last.
A few weeks ago, we all got together for our 2nd annual Salsa making party. These are some pictures of the fun we had, and the result of our efforts. Each of us has our own role, which seems to work out really well. The process took about four hours from start to finish, and that is with four people chopping, peeling, stirring and pouring. I think back to the days when my mom made that jam by herself, and now I realize how much work she put into it!
It is fully worth the work, though. We ended up with 18 jars of Salsa, which we can enjoy throughout the year. It is really good stuff, too. Slightly on the hot side, but fresh and wonderful!
If you’ve never canned before, give it a shot. Get together with some friends (preferably some who know what they’re doing) and let the fun begin!