Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Doing the Salsa, or Bryan Learns Canning

Bryan chopping and chopping.....and chopping tomatoes, onions, garlic, green peppers and hot peppers for salsa.

As I'm typing this, the computer is diligently downloading pictures from my camera disk into a file. It takes time... there are a few pictures.

Yes, patient reader, I know it's been a long time since I wrote to you. But I was busy. Truly.

Not just the travel to and fro across the North Atlantic, but also the laundry and chores to do upon arrival home, and the brutal re-entry back to work the day after arriving home (landed in Calgary late Saturday night, then drove from there to Vernon the next day).

Go to work - go to supper for our 25th anniversary - sleep 10 hours - go to work - sleep 1o hours - go to work - feel human again.

Bryan did a lot of the catching up around home. That included picking and processing a lot of tomatoes. A LOT. The crop was good for the few plants I put in the garden. I would have made tomato sauce but not Bryan. Salsa was on his mind.

I didn't have peppers in the garden this year, but I bought local. The hot peppers are from Osoyoos - does that count as 'local'?

And so we made salsa. Bryan loves to cook but he's never done any preserving before. That was primarily my job. He now knows how much work it involves - not just picking and processing the produce but also preparing the jars, the whole she-bang. But he was a quick learner.

"Wash the tomato, dry the tomato, chop the tomato." Repeat.

We couldn't get the entire batch cooked up in one night. A third of it was in the fridge for processing the following day. When I got home from work that night, Bryan was just tightening the lid on the final jar. And he had supper made as well. I was very proud of him!

Can't you just smell the goodness?!

This morning, Bryan headed back up north for a month. Back to the grind for him. He'll be spending Thanksgiving with the kids, though, at Marlon and Krista's in Grande Prairie. I've half a mind to drive up on Friday night or early Saturday morning, then back on Tuesday. Things are slow at work - we'll see how it goes.

In the meantime, I now have time to (waste) spend here, showing you some of our pictures from Germany and Denmark. Once they're sorted.

Lessons learned this week:

1. Never mix salsa vegetables with bare hands, no matter how mild the hot peppers seem.

2. Liberal application of lemon juice kills the unbearable burn from chili oil when one ignores lesson #1.

We made 10 quarts of salsa. I still have 4 gallons of green tomatoes in the basement I picked earlier this evening under the threat of frost. Us northern gardener know a thing or three about green tomatoes. They'll ripen. Perhaps I'll get some spaghetti sauce in jars yet this season.

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