Garden salsa

We got together to make salsa Wednesday night using my Aunt Beth’s recipe.

Madison, Darcy and Monroe assemble the grinder from the Amish hardware store that we wound up not actually using.

It was cool to recreate a taste I remember first experiencing at her house in Bluffton a generation ago, before she and Uncle Kent and my cousins moved to the Twin Cities. I’d probably never had fresh salsa before, having primarily eaten Mexican food at chain restaurants growing up. (Aunt Beth, who’s one of four sisters all named after characters in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, was always way more hip than the rest of the family she married into.)

It tasted just as good as I remembered, even though I see now, in looking over the recipe for the first time in years, that it calls for canned tomato sauce in addition to the freshly chopped variety.

This was also our first opportunity to eat from the garden this summer. (Well, I should say my parents’ garden and Brent and Darcy’s; everything we planted was killed off by drought and an overly hectic kid sports schedule.) Besides the tomatoes, green peppers and onions that went into the salsa, there were also heaping mounds of sweet corn from Uncle Dan’s field.

The plan was to can salsa using Gunnar’s turkey fryer. This apparently went as planned, though I can’t say I played much of a role in that part of the process. (My primary duties were eating salsa, chopping peppers and washing dishes, in that order.)

What do you call fresh salsa after it’s been boiled for canning?

Aunt Beth’s Salsa

10 ounce tomato sauce

1 onion, chopped

2 green onions chopped

1 diced tomato

½ bell pepper, diced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon cilantro

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

Yes, we really did use a turkey fryer to seal these canning jars of salsa. From left, Darcy, Brent, Traci and my Dad.

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