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A few years ago I started canning for the first time. And I have to say I'm hooked! Now don't get me wrong, I don't can a ton of things. I'm still learning and trying to expand my garden every year.
And this year, quite honestly, my garden was pretty lame. Going to Disneyland in June kind of set me up for failure when it came to my garden (and really my whole yard) because I didn't get things planted in time. I only planted some tomato plants and cabbage. And out of 5 cabbage plants I planted only one survived thanks to some pesky pests.
I did plant some pumpkin plants but only one pumpkin is growing :( So next year I will probably have to try and pollinate them myself since the bees didn't do their job this year. I noticed within the last week that I might have more pumpkins starting to grow but they won't have enough growing time between now and Halloween. Although, I might have some green pumpkins for my fall table :)
Every year the one thing I always plant is tomatoes. They're easy to grow and you can do so much with them. Although this year mine didn't fare so well and I'm wondering if switching planting beds was what made the difference.
I don't usually make spaghetti sauce since it takes a ton of tomatoes for even one quart sized jar of sauce. And quite honestly, the time it takes just isn't worth it to me. But the one thing I love to make is salsa. It's pretty easy to make and my whole family loves it. Seriously, when I start making it we go through several jars! And my kids love to take it in their lunches. So I like to can a lot of it to last us til the next year's salsa making.
I love to use this salsa mix. You can find it at just about any store that sells canning supplies. When I first started making salsa I found tons of recipes online but I worried about getting the wrong balance of spices. But this one is perfect. If you're not a canner you can still make it and either freeze it or just eat a lot of salsa! hehe It makes six pint sized jars out of about 6lbs of tomatoes.
After I've cooked the salsa I like to use my immersion blender just before adding to the jars. We like our salsa a bit more on the "saucy" side & less chunky.
Btw, these immersion blenders are great for soups, too!
Then just process according to the package directions!
I also got to finally use my blue canning jars. I've been hoarding these cause they're so cute! You can barely tell they're blue but I like how it makes the salsa look like a deep red color.
You can see the difference in the regular jar vs the blue one. Well, I have another batch of salsa to make! Cause those 11 jars that we have left will not last us til next year!