Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

The Garden Chronicles - Canning and Freezing

Gardening, Just For Fun, Terrific Cooking

Easy Salsa

Begin with the Secret Weapon.

I told you it was easy didn't I?  You can find this stuff at the grocery or Fleet Farm.

Start with approximately five pints of fresh garden tomatoes.

Scald tomatoes in boiling water for about thirty seconds and plunge into cold water.  Slip-off the skins and drain.

Coarsely chop the tomatoes and place in a stock pot.

Add Mrs. Wages Salsa mix along with a half-cup of white vinegar.

You can indulge your creative side by adding to the pot any or all of the following:

A couple of fresh green peppers - chopped medium

A couple of vidalia onions - chopped coarsely

A jalapeño pepper - chopped fine

A large carrot - chopped medium

A couple of garlic cloves - chopped fine

A tablespoon or so of crushed red pepper

A handful of fresh cilantro - chopped

Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes

Fill pint jars with hot salsa mix.  Leave a half-inch of head space.  Wipe the glass rims clean and seat the lids.  Screw down the bands.  Place in a canning pot, cover with hot water, bring to a slow boil and cook for thirty minutes.  Remove and allow to cool.  The lids will "pop" as the jars seal.

You can also freeze the stuff although putting it-up a jar is shelf-stable and saves freezer space.

I got carried away with the tomatoes and along with the extra ingredients ended-up with eight pints. 

If you are entertaining mix a jar of this with a can of black beans (drained) and a cup of fresh-frozen sweet corn (see below) and serve with chips.

Frozen Sweet Corn

Start with a pile of freshly-picked garden sweet corn.

Shuck the corn and remove all the silk.  Start a big pot of water to boil.

Scald the corn in the boiling water and immediately plunge into icy water.  The ears must be cold before cutting and freezing.

Note:  If you are putting-up whole kernel corn you will want to scald the ears for four minutes.  If you are freezing whole ears then scald for seven minutes.  Try limiting four ears at a time to any one pot otherwise you'll lose your boil and the scalding will be all screwed-up. 

For whole kernel corn slice the nibblets off of the ear with a sharp knife. Periodically strop the knife on a steel to keep the edge sharp and the cutting easy.  Call your dog to the kitchen to Hoover-up the kernels that will inevitably fly to the floor (saves clean-up time).

Put the cut nibblets in a colander to drain.

Vacuum seal with a Food Saver in portions suited to personal use.  Freeze immediately.




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