Archive for the ‘Canning’ Category

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Peach Salsa

December 27, 2011

So last year I went on a trip with my neighbors through Colorado’s Grand Mesa, known for it’s fruit orchards. That area produces the bulk of Colorado’s peaches and cherries and they are AMAZING! So while driving outside Palisade, we stopped at a roadside stand to buy produce. I ended up buying a box of peaches and a couple pounds of cherries (for $1.50 a pound ?!? normally $3-4 in Denver). I think it was run by the farm it was next to. Shawn started looking through all the stuff they had and found some flyers with recipes on them. He grabbed one and showed me a recipe for peach salsa and really wanted me to make some. Now all the fruity salsa I have tried has never impressed me so I wasn’t too into it, but Shawn REALLY wanted some. So I brought the peaches home, bought the rest of the ingredients and made a relatively small batch (the recipe called for a peck of peaches and a peck of tomatoes – a peck is 2-gallons so basically 4 plus gallons of salsa!). The recipe didn’t look very complicated so I was kind of iffy that it would turn out. I pull it off the stove and I still don’t think it tastes that great so I stuck it in the fridge. Shawn kept insisting it was good, but I thought he was just trying to be nice, even though that’s totally not his MO. So a week goes by and he’s eating the shit out of it and we took some up to the neighbors and they loved it. I finally bring myself to try it again and it was truly amazing. I don’t know what sitting in the fridge did to it, but whatever it was, it was delicious. We went through about a half gallon of salsa in just a few weeks.

So this year, I wanted to make it again. Since I have learned how to can, I thought it would be good to make a whole bunch of it and can it, so I can either give it to people, or just hold on to it and have extras I don’t have to freeze or refrigerate. August is when the peaches are in season so my mom picked up a flat of them two weeks ago at the farmer’s market. The weekend she bought them I wasn’t really ready to make the salsa, I was actually planning on waiting until the next weekend (last weekend) but I went ahead and started anyways – big mistake!!!

First off, the peaches weren’t totall ripe. So I picked out the 10 ripest ones to start the first batch with. I started cutting up all the 10 million things I needed – peaches, tomatoes, garlic, onions, chilis, etc. My dad suggested I try the food processor. Great idea I thought. No. It completely obliterated the tomatoes and the peaches I threw in. Then I tried the onions and it worked ok, but in the end I resorted to cutting everything by hand. Advice for anyone making salsa – even though cutting everything manually is a lot of work, it’s worth it to get everything the same size but more importantly the size you want. I needed a break from the cutting so I threw what I had in the pot (stupid) and went outside to roast the chilis. I threw the first batch on the grill, basically all the mild hatch chilis I had. As I walked back inside, I thought to myself, I should set the timer. But as soon as I got in the kitchen, I got distracted and forgot about the chilis. 20 minutes later, I remembered them but too late. They were so burned that when I picked them up off the grill, they disintegrated into dust. I told my dad I burned them and he said, “Just spray them with water. That’s what they do at the roadside stands and it flakes off the blackened skin.” Needless to say, that wouldn’t have worked. I dicked around with the chilis so long that while I was outside, the salsa on the stove scorched. But when I went back inside, I kept cutting stuff up and didn’t realize it was burning. I have a horrible sense of smell and it was only after I had added all the rest of the tomatoes and half of the peaches that I realized something was wrong. It was too late. The whole pot smelled and tasted awful. I decided to throw it out and wait until the next weekend. I was just having one of those days where everything you do goes wrong.

So a week goes by