This summer we have done something I’ve been waiting to do for a very, very long time: we canned our own salsa! I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that I’ve been dreaming of doing this since I was a little girl (well “dreaming of” is probably not exactly right; “expecting that my grown-up self would do this” is more accurate). I grew up watching my parents make salsa summer after summer, occasionally helping by peeling the skin off the tomatoes and then smooshing them by hand, as my daughters are doing in the above photos (so yes, to those of you with whom we’ve shared a jar or two, my girls literally had their hands in your salsa — don’t worry, I made them wash first!). I just assumed that most grown-ups did this, and that I would someday use the tomatoes from my own garden to do the same.
I’ve planted tomatoes in pots before, but this is the first summer we’ve had a bona fide garden plot (in our community garden) and the first year we’ve been swimming in so many tomatoes that we (almost) literally had no other choice but to jump in a make some salsa. So we did. Four batches and 40 quarts (or 80 pints, which sounds more impressive) later, we feel like we’ve crossed over the divide. We are no longer people who talk about someday canning but who are actually quite intimidated by the whole process and reluctant to begin; no, now I think it’s safe to say we are canners. Yes, we can!