Make and Can Your Own Salsa

The best part of the gardening year for me is the HARVEST.


I’m sure I’m not alone in that.


My tomatoes, however, are doing dismally.  DISMALLY!  I have about 20 plants, but are they producing???  NO.  Well, okay, I did harvest three little teeny tomatoes yesterday, but man, it’s been a rough year.  I’ve still got hundreds of flowers on them, none of which are turning into fruit.  My mom and sister told me their heirloom tomatoes are doing the same thing.  Since all of my plants are heirloom, maybe this is the problem?  They produce higher quality, better taste, but less fruit perhaps?  I don’t know.  Maybe that’s why hybrid varieties became popular?  Guess it’s time for me to do some research, eh?


Anyway, I was not going to let that stop me from making my annual salsa batch.  If I don’t make it, we will buy it from the store, and anything I can take off the grocery budget for a year, I’ll take off.  So, I ordered 20 lbs of tomatoes from Bountiful Baskets and went to town.

20 pints of salsa, 2 quarts of quartered tomatoes, and 6 pints of spaghetti sauce later, I think we’re good on salsa for the year.


I honestly don’t even remember where I got this recipe.  I’m thinking it may have been at a church event, but I’m really not sure.  I tried it one year, liked it, and we’ve never tried another one.  This is just your standard tomato salsa, and it turns out every time.  Anyway, here it is:




  • 2 quarts tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 8 bell peppers, diced (I usually only do 6, just because I never have enough on hand)
  • 1 1/2 cup onion, chopped (I usually use yellow or white onions)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2/3 cup vinegar (apple cider or white)
  • 2 6-oz cans tomato paste
  • 5 jalapeno peppers, diced (more or less according to your liking)
Mix all ingredients except jalapeno peppers in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Boil for 15 minutes, then add jalapeno peppers and boil for another 10 minutes.  Pour into warm, sterilized jars and hot pack for 15 minutes.  Makes about 7-8 pints.




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