Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Salsa for everyone!

Say, what do you do when you've picked a peck of peppers?  Make salsa, baby.....

Aren't these lovely? We grew about a billion Anaheim peppers this summer. They went nuts so we are picking them by the bucket load.

And we are making salsa.

Of course I consulted my Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving for "how to." Despite a thousand warnings that we'd all die if we made or processed the salsa incorrectly... we persevered with the preserving. And... its fabulous! Wow - really great stuff. We used the "Zesty Salsa" recipe on my page 82. I liked that they used weight measurements ("about 2 pounds") as I finally broke down and got a kitchen scale. The process went pretty fast with the chopping taking the most amount of time.

My only disappointment was that I couldn't find a canning recipe that included black beans and corn - our favorite. But I figured I could just add these ingredients to a jar of the core salsa after we canned it properly.

And I used by buddy, Drew's recipe found here. Its amazing - we only added cumin, black beans, and corn to a jar of our Zesty Salsa... then we grabbed a bag of chips and commenced to sit on the couch and eat the whole thing. Whoot!

Thanks Drew - you are right, I'll be making this over and over again.

We did learn a few things tho....

First, we ended up with more salsa then we were supposed to... which made me nervous. The ratios are really important or you won't have enough acidity to kill off any of the scary canning bacteria. So I added a teaspoon of lime juice to each pint before I processed them.. just to make sure.

Next, I got irritated at how slowly the pepper chopping was going. So I ditched my slow but safe method of chopping and just started handling the peppers barehanded. Of course I thought I made sure that the peppers weren't too hot to touch. nope.. the peppers just weren't that hot. All was fine until about 30 minutes later.. and my hands started feeling.. funny.. then hot.. then really hot and not so funny.. then there was a lot of hopping around and shaking and blowing on them.

I tried all the remedies... Dawn dish washing soap, soaking in milk, etc. Nothing helped.. and then someone suggested that I use olive or veg oil, rub it around on my hands like soap, and then rinse off. Wow! It totally worked. Apparently the olive oil bonds with the hot pepper oil, neutralizes it, and then helps get rid of it. Of course my farm-y hands are pretty rough and cracked so it took a couple treatments.. but it did the trick.

And yes, next time I'm wearing gloves!


Drew @ How To Cook Like Your Grandmother said...

Can I have some? Oh wait, you already ate it all. Boo. Guess I'll have to go get some more corn.

Mama Mess said...

Oh girl! I know how my hands get all cracked and bleeding in the winter......I cannot imagine getting pepper juice in those cracks!!! I have to confess that I use Mrs. Wages to make salsa........hanging my head in shame.........LOL

Ohiofarmgirl said...

ha ha! yep if you hurry.. i'm adding the last couple drops to an egg scramble...whoot!

Good to see you, Drew! Keep up the great work! And I made your auntie's potted chicken.. it was amazing.

Unknown said...

Wish I knew about the olive oil trick! Last year we make salsa and I was cutting jalapenos barehanded. It wasn't that many, so I thought it would be ok- nay nay! My hands burned horribly for a full day! not fun.

Love your blog by the way. I've been reading for a while and finally got around to commenting.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hey GW! I know a lot of folks who use Mrs Wages.. so chin up! For you who dont know.. its a package of spices and such. You just add 'maters

Good to see you Austin, thanks for reading! Pop in any time with comments - even if its to say hi. We're all pals here.

But you are reminding me that I need to go and pick a bunch of the jalapenos! With gloves, this time.

Anonymous said...

Oof, sorry you learned the hard way, but I'm thankful for the tip. :)

Ohiofarmgirl said...

you said it, LBSS! i even checked the peppers! yikes - a good lesson learned. never trust a pepper

Melanie said...

yum!! we love Anaheims, cheaper than bell peppers and 2x as good

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