Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Home-Canned Salsa

To be honest, I didn’t make this recipe. I want to! In fact, canning is a technique that has intrigued me ever since I discovered Mamaw’s list of the produce she and a friend canned in 1971: Almost 500 pints of jams, pickles, and vegetables packed nice and neat into glass jars.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the equipment to do any canning, and not a lot of space in my apartment kitchen to store the results. Thank goodness my co-worker, Michele, does! We work together at Discovery Montessori Preschool here in Topeka, and we often share and compare our recipes. She lives on a farm outside of the city and grows most of her own vegetables. She does a lot of canning, plus she helps her children prepare canned goods for 4-H competitions.

Recently Michele brought in a jar of her homemade salsa for me to try. My husband, The Picky Eater, and I enjoy salsa and chips weekly. It is one of our favorite snacks. However, my husband isn’t known as The Picky Eater for nothing. He is very particular about his salsa. It has to be mild and one specific brand.

Michele got this recipe a few years ago from one of her mother’s farm-lifestyle magazines. Her family doesn’t like hot salsas, so she leaves out the jalapenos called for in the recipe. This salsa is a big hit with her husband, son, and daughter. In fact, her daughter won’t eat any other salsa but this one! Michele thinks it’s the home-grown tomatoes that make the difference.

I took the jar of salsa home to try, and I loved it! The flavor is different from others I’ve ever tasted, possibly from the cumin and chili powder.
But would it pass The Picky Eater test?

I told my husband how popular the salsa was with Michele’s family. He still looked a bit leery. I also assured him it wasn’t spicy at all, but he was still timid. Then he saw the look of delight on my face when I tried it and decided to give it a try himself.

The Picky Eater loved it, too! In fact, when Michele gave me another jar so I could take photos for this post, he was very happy to hear we got to keep it after I was done.

I guess I’d better invest in that canning equipment after all.

Michele's Home-Canned Salsa

4 to 5 quarts fresh tomatoes, skin removed and chopped
4 large onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (optional)
2 cups white vinegar
12 ounces tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
6 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon powder alum
1/2 cup pickling salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 tablespoons ground pepper
1/2 cup sugar

In a large kettle, bring all the ingredients to a boil; simmer for 30 minutes. Pour the mixture into hot jars, and then place the lid and rings onto the jars. Process in a hot water bath for 20 minutes. Makes 12 pint jars.


  1. Hi Linda!!!

    I'm almost ashamed to say there is no canning going on in my neck of the woods, well in the house anyway. I've always thought about trying my hand at it but for some reason, I just never do. It isn't even on my "someday list." Thank goodness my daughter dabs at canning every now and again. She lives in Idaho where canning seems to mean party time!!!

    I do however, adore Salsa. Very sweet of Michele to pass on a bit of deliciousness for you and your family to "test." I must tell my Michele, my daughter to give it a whirl. Who knows, maybe she''ll be a good daughter and send me some!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  2. I would love to start canning/preserving things myself. Thanks for the post!