Saturday, January 29, 2011

Salsa With Cilantro/No Vinegar

My family loves salsa.  I'll bet yours does, too.  We're "cilantro people".  This seems to be one of those herbs that people love or hate.  We love it!  I pile it onto my taco like it's lettuce.  So, when I was searching for a canned salsa recipe that 1. included cilantro, and 2. omitted vinegar, I had my work cut out for me.  I like vinegar in pickles, but not in salsa.  I much prefer the very fresh pico de gallo.  However, winter tomatoes in Minnesota are flavorless.  If our family wants a fresh-tasting salsa at a super bowl party in January, this mom's going to need to get picky. 

It took some research and digging, but I found a wonderful recipe that our whole family loves.  When canning tomatoes, it's necessary to preserve them with an acid.  Instead of vinegar, this recipe uses lime juice which compliments wonderfully the cilantro, peppers, and tomato.

Traditional Salsa

Makes about 13 pints

7qt diced, seeded, peeled, cored tomatoes
4c  long green chili peppers, seeded & chopped (about 12)
5c  onion, chopped (5 med)
1/2c  jalapeno peppers, seeded & chopped (about 2)
6 cloves garlic, minced
2c. bottled lime or lemon juice
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp cilantro

Remember to wear rubber gloves when handling chilies. 
Combine all ingredients except cilantro in large pot.  Bring to boil, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat and boil 10 min.  Add cilantro, simmer 20 min. stirring occasionally.
Ladle hot salsa into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2  inch head space.  Wipe rims.  Cover.  Process 20 min. in boiling water bath.

Rose Hip and Rhubarb Jam

I was researching ideas for old-fashioned summer jams, something different I could do with my rhubarb, when I stumbled onto this particular recipe.  The name alone sounded lovely, and once I read the ingredients I knew I had to try it.  It was the addition of the lemon rind that really made my mouth water.  This is certainly not the easiest jam for which to prepare.  Harvesting enough tiny hips is a long, tedious task on a late summer's afternoon.  Preparing them is yet more laborious indeed.  Once you've managed to achieve your monumental enterprise, the rest is standard.  Until, of course, you plop your first dollop of this jewel upon a perfectly buttered toast.  These jars will no longer represent hours of summer toil and sweat, but now your guarded golden, rosy reward. 

Every one's favorite, I have actually been reprimanded by my children for giving this as gifts!  Give it a try, you'll become as obsessed as we.

1 cup rose hips, slightly under-ripe
4 cups diced rhubarb
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind

Cut rose hips in half and remove seeds with knife point.
Combine rose hips, rhubarb, water, and salt, and boil 1 minute.
Add sugar and lemon and boil 1 minute.
Remove from heat and pour into hot, sterilized jars.
Process in boiling water bath.

~ Cooperative Extension Service, University of Alaska

Rose Hips

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lani Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Wash the Laundry Out

Lani Cynthia Sylvia Stout
would not wash the laundry out.

She researched for pups and started a blog,
cooked a chicken and dreamed of her dog.
And though her family would whine and pout,
she simply would not wash the laundry out.

And so it piled up to the ceilings:
dirty socks and twisted leggings,
Dad's work shirts and smelly socks
crusty wash cloths and wrinkled frocks.

It filled the hamper, it covered the floor,
it cracked the tiles, it blocked the door
with sweats, and undies, and ring around the collar
and pockets with legos and crumpled up dollars.

Kleenex surprises that burst in the drier,
lip balm that makes the situation dire.
Five loads of whites, three red tees,
Wash in the day when the pipes don't freeze.

King-sized sheets all wound up and coiled
stuffed with wet rags that were floured and oiled.
Hosery, nylons, stockings, and tights,
some without toes and others, worse plights.

At last the laundry reached so high
that it finally touched the sky!
And all the neighbors made their report,
And none of her friends were of that sort.

And finally Lani Cynthia Sylvia Stout said,
"OK, I'll wash the laundry out!"
But then, of course, it was too late..
the laundry reached across the state.

From Minnesota to Dakota West,
and there, in the laundry, she did detest.
Poor Lani met an aweful doom,
somewhere in her laundry room.

So, children, remember Lani Stout
and always wash the laundry out!

~With a little help from Shel Silverstein

About Me

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As long as I'm on this journey, rambling through life's exhilarating highs and trudging heavily amongst it's incapacitating lows, I might as well share whatever may be gleaned from my little bits of wisdom and my many missteps. No room for judgment from this broken mama. I'm writing from my heart: raw, open, messy, but saved. And I'm still thanking God!