September 17, 2016
The Salsa Dance
It is that time of year again, harvest season. We have to use these vegetables in as many ways as possible. The President decided to plant a lot of everything this year. His enthusiasm has been rewarded! The Harvest Moon last night was not just a beautiful light show in the sky, it was a reminder that we needed to work hard to get the harvest in and a few more hours of moonlight from the sky helped with that task.
Our garden has been working overtime, even with the drought that Northeast Pennsylvania has been enduring. You know it is tough when the weeds in the garden are crisping up. We can only envision rain at this point after three weeks of dry ground. Our well is begging for a shower.
We have jalapeno peppers that are hotter than Hades. We have tomatoes with not an ounce of blight, the first strong harvest in three years. We have green peppers that pop when the knife edge graces their skin. So, it makes sense that a wonderful salsa is bubbling on the stove. The salsa recipe is attached to highlight the harvest.
Dancing Jalapeno Salsa
Makes 3 pints
3 cups tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 cup green peppers, chopped
10 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
3 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 cup white vinegar
2 tsp. salt (1 is okay if watching sodium)
Place all in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Turn to low simmer for 10 minutes. Put into sterile canning jars and close lids. Use water bath canner for 15 minutes.
We find ways to use all of our produce, even when surprised by gigantic zucchini hiding under foot wide leaves. This season a few hid under a big old leaf or showed up a little bruised. After eating our fill, giving away as many as possible in the dead of night, the chickens don’t mind the extra nutrients from the homegrown produce- in fact they get VERY excited when they see them coming. Just chop them in half so they have easy pickings in the yard. A good house of hens is a great solution for redirecting nutrients back into the soil, not to forget the entertainment factor. Speaking of entertainment, this time of year and all of these vegetables bring to the forefront this states premier mix of education and entertainment. When the leaves start to turn and the sweater is needed with the morning coffee it must be time for the Fair.
Only five more days until Fall, September 22, 2016, which means the State Fair starts next week. I can’t wait to take school to the Fair to see the mammoth vegetables and to eat the crazy fair food. I wonder what Youngin’ will try this year, she is our gastronomically adventurous child.