Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

It's Salsa Time

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Yesterday was a good day indeed.  J. and I met the air conditioning repairmen in the middle of the afternoon to replace the condenser fan motor after a tech earlier in the week said it was overamping and would likely fail soon.  With temperatures in the 106 range and getting hotter, that qualifies as an emergency in my book.  The good news?  They tested it with two different ampmeters and both said it was within normal range.  $583 saved and crisis averted!  You have no idea how relieved I am.

So that gave us a little more time to devote to slicing up all those tomatoes and jalapenos for our epic salsa-fest.  I guesstimate we have somewhere around 8 pounds of tomatoes waiting to be salsafied and canned up.  So J. set to work on the chopping while I watered the garden and the chickens.  Not a quick chore in all this heat, I can tell you that! 

J. showing off his hot chopping skills and his shiny Wusthof knife.  He says you can tell alot about a man's character by the cutlery that he uses.  He's such a knife snob.
Everything for our salsa making came was fresh picked from our garden except the lime juice and some of the jalapenos (blame the rabbits on that one!)  I can't tell you how satisfying it was to chop up these beautiful veggies that we have lovingly nurtured all Spring.  And we will love them all winter with all this canned salsa!

Here's the recipe we used and it's been tested and approved for canning.  Of course, you can use this for fresh salsa and not can it.  But, if you do can, you can make more or less of the salsa - just make sure you keep the ratios exact.  Otherwise, it may not can right and could spoil.

Tomato salsa from slicing tomatoes
Yield: 4 to 6 pints

4 cups slicing tomatoes, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 cups green chilies, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 ⁄2 cup jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped (no need to peel; 2 whole)
3/4 cup onions, chopped (1 medium)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups vinegar (5% acetic acid) or substitute lime juice
1 tsp. ground cumin (optional)
2 tbsp. oregano leaves (optional)
1 tbsp. fresh cilantro (optional).

  1. Peel and prepare chili peppers.  See below for instructions on peeling peppers if you're not sure how to do that.
  2. To peel tomatoes, dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split, then dip in cold water and remove skins.
  3. Core and chop tomatoes.
  4. Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Ladle hot salsa into clean, hot pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace from the top of the jar.
  7. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed.
  8. Wipe jar rims and cap with properly pre-treated lids.
  9. Process in a boiling water canner. (See state elevation map on inside front cover to determine processing time.)
  10. Process time in a boiling water canner for hot pack pint jar for the appropriate time for your elevation.  Generally, this is 15 minutes for 0-1,000 feet or 20 minutes for 1,001-6,000 feet.

How to Remove Skin from Peppers
To remove the tough skin from peppers, first slit each pepper along the side to allow steam to escape when you heat them. There are two methods you can use:
  • Oven or broiler: Place peppers in a hot oven (400° F) or broiler for 6 to 8 minutes until skins blister.
  • Range top: Cover hot gas or electric burner with heavy wire mesh. Place peppers over the burner for several minutes until skins blister. After heating, place peppers in a pan and cover with a damp towel. Allow to steam for 5 to 10 minutes. Slip off skins, discard seeds, and chop.
Muy caliente! I'm sharing this as part of this week's Carnival of Home Preserving.  Go check it out!


  1. Okay, I have an easier way... take the seeds out of the jalapenos, and throw them all in the blender with the tomatoes. In the correct ratios, of course.... no peeling, just the way I like it.

  2. Sounds delicious! I will definitely be trying this recipe!

  3. With 30 jalapenos to chop for the overall batch, I pretty much went with Mary Ann's method--de-seed, de-vein, toss in food processor. As it was, my hands were burning for two days. I can only imagine how bad that would have been if I'd chopped them all with that chef's knife.

    Not to mention that even though the knife is very sharp and I'm pretty decent with it, the food processor is a lot faster!

  4. Yum! Yum! This looks great!

    Thank you for sharing this at the Carnival of Home Preserving!


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