Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fresh Salsa

I made 5 pints of fresh salsa this week-end and it was delicious.  I couldn't stop eating it while I was trying to get it into the jars.  I didn't water bath this batch.  I keep a jar for myself and gave the others to family.  I modified a recipe that I found on the net.  If you have tomatoes and fresh peppers and onions that you want to use, I urge you to try it.  It's great if you're having company or if your children are salsa lovers.  For this batch I used:  
  • 15 - 20 tomatoes, chopped (I used a mix of yellow, purple and red tomatoes) 
  • 2 large red onions finely diced 
  • 15-20 chiles, remove the veins & seeds, finely chopped
  • 5 chiles with the seeds if you like spicy
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
*I didn't include the salt or lime juice
  1. In a large bowl, stir together tomatoes, onion, chili peppers, cilantro, salt, and lime juice. Chill for one hour in the refrigerator before serving.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

New Fencing and Canning the Garden Harvest


My fence is finally up!  I took this picture from the deck this morning.  We ended up building the fence board by board rather than panels because the ground is uneven, which made for more work, but I'm loving it.  It makes a great backdrop for the garden and for future flower beds.

My garden thrived this season for the most part.  Didn't produce as many cukes as I wanted, but all and all it was a good year. 

This is my second batch of pickled peppers.  My daughter called yesterday, and asked for a quart size jar.  She said she knocked out the jelly jar in one setting.  I was able to make 2 quarts, 2 pints and 3 jelly jars from the batch I picked yesterday.  I gave away 2 gallon baggies full to the guys who helped build my garden fence. 

I'm drying chili peppers in this bowl.  Initially, I put them in the oven at 170 degrees for the day to get them started.  The oven drying technique calls for a temperature of 150 degrees or less, but my oven doesn't go that low.  I'll let them sit for a few more days and than I'll throw them in the chopper to make dry pepper flakes.  I put them on everything!

I plucked this batch of tomatoes from the garden for fresh salsa.  I love that I have a variety of colors.  There's nothing better than colorful and flavorful foods.  I'll be canning the salsa for Christmas gifts again this year.  I made baskets last year with salsa, chips and homemade cookies for family and friends.  It was a big hit, homemade and cheap.  Can't get any better than that.   

This was my attempt at making Spicy Dill refrigerator pickles from my cukes.  I have a few yellow cukes in there, but they were yummy!  Unfortunately, my vines didn't produce many.  I called numerous farmer's markets in the area, and they didn't have much luck with the cuke crop either.  Walmart has a pretty good deal on their pickling cukes, so I may resort to store brought cucumbers to make more. 

Well I'm off to blanch tomatoes for the salsa.  Need to go to the garden and pick a few jalapenos for the salsa.  We like it hot in my household.  I wonder if this heat is a contributor to my hot flashes!  How did your garden do this season?  Have you brought out the canner yet?  Leave me a comment and I'll stop and visit your garden endeavors. 

Ladybugs, Clowns and Bounce Houses, I'm Exhausted!

Good morning, it's been awhile since I've posted.  I've spent the last month or two planning my grandchildren's birthday party, my granddaughter's Christening, building a 250 foot privacy fence, and canning.  More on my garden, fence & canning endeavors in later posts.  I decided to take a break from blogging to accomplish all of the above.  It is good to be back on the scene, and hope that everyone had a great gardening season.  I wanted to share the last few months of what's been happening at my home. 

I'll start with the grandchildren's party and Christening.  We decided to do a carnival theme and combine both the kids party since their birthdays are only 30 days apart.  Pictured is my granddaughter's birthday cakes.  My daughter just had to have ladybugs incorporated into the carnival theme, which took some thought.  We decorated one of the ride on cars with ladybugs, had the ladybug cakes made, and I put together ladybug crackers.  I thought the cakes turned out adorable.   

Pictured is my grandson enjoying one of the carnival cupcakes pictured below.  We did 24 cupcakes in various colors.  I think the adults eat them, lol.  I actually had people fighting over the purple cupcakes. 

We had Bubbles B the clown do facepainting and balloon hats.  We rented popcorn and sno-cone machines, a Bounce House and put together all kinds of games.  I think the adults had more fun than the kids.  Afterall, we are young at heart.  My granddaughter is studying Bubbles B the clown.  We were wondering if she was going to cry, but she actually like her. 

Here's a picture of the ladybug crackers.  The base is a creamy chicken salad.  I sliced cherry tomatoes from a co-worker's garden and used a tooth pick to hold a black olive, which is suppose to be the ladybug head. 

Here's a picture of my daughter and granddaughter on Christening day.  It's a blessing to know that both of my grandchildren have been lifted to the Lord.  We had about 20 people return to my home for the Christening celebration.  Had a wonderful time, but it took a lot of time and energy to put everything together.  Oh, did I mention that we made a trip to the ER before the party.  Yep, Zarriah took a fall off the bed.  I have to remind my daughter again and again, you can't take your eyes off her for a second at that age.  Thankfully, she was okay.  More scared than anything else.