Honoring Tomatoes and Keepers from the Recipe Box

Today we squeezed, skinned, quartered, and sliced the 60 pounds of tomatoes JEJ harvested yesterday. The first project of the day was to make salsa. With all the chopping and mincing that is involved it certainly is a two person job. JEJ was a great partner in the kitchen as we put up sixteen pints of my Zesty Salsa.

The next project of the day was to make
Seasoned Tomato Sauce. This requires a bit more time than I realized. After the squeezing and quartering, there is cooking, then milling, then cooking more. After that the sauce goes into the hot water bath for thirty minutes. We just took out the last batch and now have fifteen pints of the sauce that filled the kitchen with savory aromas all afternoon and evening.
Here are the two recipes I used today. Both were adapted from recipes in
Ball Blue Book : Guide to Home Canning.

Christy’s Zesty Salsa

10 cups tomatoes (seeded, cored, chopped in food processor)

(About 6 pounds)

5 cups chopped and seeded green peppers

2 ½ cups chopped hot peppers ( Anaheim and jalapeno are mild,

poblanos and serranors are hot…….add a few seeds to make it hotter.

I mix these types……..usually Anaheim and jalapeno.)

5 cups chopped onions

10 cloves garlic,minced

2 TB fresh cilantro, minced

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)

1 cup cider vinegar

½ cup lime juice

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 min. Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving ¼ “ headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Yield: about 6 -8 pints

Tip: If my tomatoes are watery I strain the mixture to keep the salsa from being watery/soupy!

Seasoned Tomato Sauce

25 pounds tomatoes

3 cups chopped onions

10 cloves garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

2 TB oregano

1 TB Italian Seasoning

6 bay leaves

2 TB salt

1 TB pepper

1 1/2 TB sugar

2 tsp. crushed red pepper ( optional)

Wash tomatoes, drain. Remove core and blossom ends. Cut into quarters, set aside. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil in a large saucepan. Add tomatoes, spices, and sugar. Add red pepper if desired. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaves. Press mixture through a sieve or food ill; discard seeds and peels.

( At this point I used the food processor and left in the skins and seeds.) Cook pulp in a large, uncovered pot over medium-high heat until sauce thickens, stirring to prevent sticking. Reduce volume by one-half for a thick sauce. Again, for me if it is watery I cook it down more or strain it to get rid of some of the liquid. Add 2 TBs bottled lemon juice to each quart or 1 TB bottled lemon juice for each pint of sauce. Ladle sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/4 " headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 35 minutes, quarts 40 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Yield: About 14 pints or 7 quarts.

Tip: I don't have a pot big enough for this batch. I had to use three different pans, but then mixed them as the sauce cooked down.


  1. yummy, yummy, yummy. sigh.

    super cute picture of the fam!

  2. just think in the dead of winter yummy !!sandy

  3. I am eager to really taste the sauce after it sits. We sampled salsa fresh and warm while we did the second batch. Thanks... I am glad we finally did some photos together.

  4. Nifty fam photo! And beach pic! Tomatoes are probably the most wonderful summer food and there's nothing like their aroma filling a winter home! Good recipes.


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