Hot Salsa for My Salsa Loving Kid

The reveal of today’s project is a little different than most. Today, I cooked! Well, sort of. I made salsa!

I’ve been growing tomatoes in containers on my back deck. I did much better than last year and recently harvested more fruit than we could eat. So, I started thinking about cooking something with them and settled onto the idea of making salsa. So last night on the way back from the hardware store, I stopped at the grocery store and bought the necessary ingredients.

In addition to my tomatoes, I bought scallions, cilantro, jalapeno peppers and something I hadn’t tried before, Orange Habanero peppers. The sign under the produce seemed to indicate that they weren’t that hot, not in relation to several other peppers like Ghost peppers that were on the next row down. And I only bought four of them.

So, I started the morning by dicing the peppers. I removed most of the seeds and chopped them very finely. (Sorry about the blurry photo!)

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I browned them in a frying pan in a little bit of butter while I chopped scallions and the cilantro. I added them to the pepper mix and simmered while chopping and dicing tomatoes. Tons of tomatoes!

Somewhere in there, though, I managed to rub my lip and then my nose and set myself on fire! It was then that I investigated my peppers of choice and found out that these are some of the hottest peppers grown! I also found that the best treatment involves dairy products, so I first soaked my nose in a bowl of milk and then found a tub of Philadelphia cream cheese that I proceeded to smear all over my face! A minute or so later, it started working and the heat dissipated. It return immediately when I wiped it off, so I reapplied and decided to leave it for a while.

In the meantime, I finished chopping the tomatoes and added it all to the pepper/onion/cilantro mix and turned down the heat.

IMG_3422Isn’t that beautiful?

I added two quarts of water to the mixture and let it simmer the better part of the afternoon. I actually let it simmer just a little too much, most of the water was cooked away. I hadn’t intended to cook it that much. I may still be tempted to dilute the final product if it is still too hot.

IMG_3424I let it cool a bit and then scooped it into two jars that I had saved (you know me and saving!)… and fitted them with lids. They looked a little plain without labels, so with “The X-Files” playing, I whipped out a personal label, printed them and glued them onto the jars.

DSCN4119Here is the label itself. For those who don’t know, my son’s name is Streeter. Most of the time I refer to him as “The Kid” just to reduce the amount of exposure on the internet.Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 9.00.56 PMHe will be home tomorrow – been gone for a few days – and I will let him try this. All I know is that the burning of the peppers took hours to finally dissipate, so I am opting out of eating any of it. The Kid loves hot – the hotter the better – so as the label says, its for him!

As a side note, I’ve sold three of my recently finished projects and have someone coming for a fourth tomorrow. I love this time of year!

julie

Change-Up In The Line-Up

Even though we don’t “do” Christmas in my house, there is definitely a different feel. We sort of slacked off the last couple of days in the garage, finishing up the numerous projects and spent more time just being together.

One family tradition that I still do, is our famous homemade bean soup. We have ham one day and then we munch on what’s left, in the meantime, the bone is thrown into a big soup pan and we bring it to a boil and then it simmers for hours over the next couple of days. Navy beans are soaked and then added to the mixture, and then more cooking. Finally, potatoes are peeled and cut up and added, then more cooking. We bring it to a boil and then its moved to the back burner and it simmers pretty much all day.

DSCN2979We feast on this for days… today it was breakfast, lunch AND dinner! When the level drops down too much, we add more beans and more potatoes – this time we actually added more ham. When I was growing up, this was a staple in my house. This fed us much more than you could imagine, potatoes and beans were cheap and could make things stretch a helluva long way.

I also indulged in a little baking. If we aren’t the slaves to our habits, I don’t know what. Growing up, we always kept the ends of breads and day old buns, kept in plastic bags in the back of the freezer. There were always ways to use these pieces, even if it came down to thawing and eating as is!

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Well, I still do this. Bread ends, hamburger and hotdog buns that didn’t get eaten, croissants and bagels that went uneaten. Well, I pulled them all out and sliced and diced them into small bread cubes and lay them out on baking sheets and getting them all toasted.

Then I pulled out my favorite cookbook. I think that this is the first cookbook I bought once I turned eighteen. And I’ve used it often. I mean, just check out this well worn book.DSCN2982Inside and out…

 

DSCN2983For me, this is the only cookbook for me. Including the ever popular bread pudding. The mere fact that when I was done prepping the bread cubes I had enough for 5 double-batches should tell me something, but I simply bagged up what I wasn’t going to use and pre-packaged them for ease for the next baking session(s).

It turned out really, really good. One of my best, I think. In fact, before I could even get photos for the blog, other members of the household had helped themselves to almost half of it! Good thing I made two pans, so I might be able to have some myself!

So, with that, I am snuggling onto the couch with The Kid and binge watching “Roseanne”. Hope everyone has the best holiday and celebrating in whatever way that makes you happy.

julie

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