Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Garden Salsa

I finally made salsa from some of the produce from my garden.  I grew several kinds of tomatoes and peppers, and onions too, so a couple days ago I harvested a bunch and got to work.

I don't follow a particular recipe, so each batch of salsa is different for me.  This was a small batch, because I didn't have that many fresh tomatoes.  Most of the tomatoes I used were 'San Marzano' plum-type tomatoes, but I also had one large 'Kellogg's Breakfast' and a few small 'Yellow Perfection' thrown in for good measure.  I used the big 'Corno di Toro' - type pepper I grew from a sweet pepper mix, and three of the jalapenos (two red, one green).  I also used three small onions from the garden that didn't end up in this picture.

I cored the tomatoes, and ran them under hot water to loosen their skins.  I peeled them, and discarded most of the seed pulp, then chopped them and tossed them into a pot.  I diced the onions and peppers, and added a tablespoon of lemon juice.  I also added two cloves of garlic, crushed.  I brought it to a boil then simmered it for an hour, let it cool a little, and put it in a 24 oz. plastic storage container to finish cooling in the fridge.  It wasn't a large amount of salsa, but it tastes quite good - fairly hot, but not masochistically so.  I like heat, but not to the point of pain.  Nothing tastes quite as good as food fresh from your own garden, whatever you do with it.  I think I'll have to go buy some more tomatoes and make another batch of salsa, since I've still got peppers and onions to use.

I did learn that the next time I want to chop jalapenos, I should wear rubber gloves.  My fingers tingled for a whole day afterward, lol!  These peppers were hotter than jalapenos I've grown in the past.

So far, so good. . . .

The kids both went off to school yesterday, and apparently had a good time.  Our son loves riding the bus, and taking his lunch.  He said he likes his teachers, and that  he was "only bored a few times," which coming from him is praise indeed.  Our daughter said she was bored because they only "played games and labeled our folders and stuff" - she wants to get right to work.  But, she said she made a new friend on the bus, and likes her teacher a lot.  I told her they'd keep her busy enough as the days go by.

Our son had math homework last night, and he worked hard on it after dinner.  He's not quick at homework, and easily distracted, so we'll have to figure out the best way to help him get it done in a timely manner.  He says he wants to get good grades and do well in school, and I'm very glad he's discovered some motivation in being responsible to his teachers.

After the kids got on the bus, I went out to have coffee with a good friend.  It was so relaxing to just get to sit and talk at the coffee shop, to share our joys and struggles in our families and relationships.  We have a lot in common, and I hope we can continue to grow in our friendship and pray and just be there for each other.  I've been so blessed with all the great friends I've made since our move.  This really feels like home now.

I think it's going to take a  couple weeks to settle into a new routine of my own.  I'm not used to having this much time to myself, and it feels weird.  But it feels unbelievably good, too, since I like being alone, and that's been the hardest part of parenthood for me to deal with - the lack of space and alone-time, that is.  I like having space, which is something in very short supply to parents of small children, and to home schooling mothers.  This is the first time I've ever had both kids out of the house at the same time on a regular basis.  Earlier this summer, I had a two week taste of this when the kids did a summer enrichment program - one week in mid July, and one week in August.  Now, it's for much longer, and for good.  I think I'm starting to feel myself relax, at long last, now that the transition to public school is finally HERE, and the kids did okay their first day.  God willing, they'll continue to do well, and our family will settle into a "new normal" soon.