a taste of things to come ..

we had a rainy day here the other day .. seemed a bit unusual as we didn’t have much in july or august .. record breaking dry period, i hear .. at any rate, the rain was welcome as far as i’m concerned .. it was a BIG rain, too .. meaning it rained steadily from early morning .. meaning it was penetrated the earth more than a 16th of an inch .. meaning i got to stay inside and do inside things .. the day brought that feeling of autumn and winter days to come .. brrrr .. ! .. almost made me want to light the woodstove .. instead, i got into some seasonal activities .. like sitting at the computer .. and preserving tomatoes .. making salsa .. ole .. ! ..


6:30 in the morning ..  frank had just left for a quick trip to the okanagan to visit grandkidlets .. and to bring boxes of fruits back to our little island .. peaches, nectarines, plums, pears .. and of course.. sunshine filled .. glorious tomatoes .. there’s no comparison to island tomatoes .. those grown in the full, hot interior sunshine .. all day sun .. have a different substance .. and robust-ness .. about them .. that is completely different than any i’ve seen on the coast .. not better necessarily .. just different .. i had one on my outside railing .. basking .. taking in the bits of sunshine out there .. that weighed in at over a pound and a half .. that’s  one of those “one slice for a sandwich” kinds of tomatoes .. mmmm ..

tomatoes ..

since i was up and at ’em early .. and since i’d made beau his next seven meals of stewy ground beef and veggies .. and since i had all this free time .. partly because of frank’s departure .. and partly because of the rain .. i decided i’d carry on in kitchen mode and make salsa with some of those lovely tomatoes sitting out on the railing .. i started off using a recipe from simplyrecipes.com .. then .. as often happens .. i changed it up to suit .. instead of roasting the tomatoes i skinned them .. into boiling water they went .. for about half a minute .. then out and into the sink of cold water .. i cored them .. slipped their little red skins off .. and chopped them up into a bowl .. then i moved to seeding peppers .. i seed hot  peppers because .. although i like heat in food .. i don’t want so much that it covers the taste of everything else .. and the placental material that holds the seeds is .. apparently .. where all the heat is focused .. so i take that part out .. then i went on to chopping onions and garlic .. added some lovely green cilantro .. a cup of cider vinegar .. a few dry herbs .. a dash of salt .. a touch of sugar .. and set the pot to boil .. then backing off to 3 for a gentle  simmer ..

pot full ..

while i waited i headed to the computer .. i like to see how other people do things .. like make salsa .. most of the recipes i googled simmered their salsas for 10 minutes .. !! .. not me .. i love the process of making sauces and relishes and salsas and believe the magic happens during a long, gentle simmer .. 3+ hours for this salsa .. the ingredients happily and slowly melding together over time .. creating a lovely, thick sauce which i then put into jars .. and place in a hot water bath for 15 minutes .. then .. pop . ! .. pop .. ! .. pop .. ! .. pop .. ! .. pop .. ! .. the sounds of successfull canning .. mmmm .. nothing like it ..


.. and the next day i did it all again .. i ended up with seven pints and 2 half pints of lovely .. thick .. spicy salsa ..






  1. grdnstff says:

    alison .. i just opened my blog up after many moons .. i have to say that we are really enjoying all the delights i put up when fruit was on .. so glad i know how .. and yes, i have the same sense of beau when he’s standing happily in the salt water .. so sweet .. thanks for dropping in ..

  2. Alison Watt says:

    what a lovely post. Now I wish I’d had the foresight to have a shelf of summer tomato salsa in my cupboard! And such a touching story about beau-loved the pics of him in the water, as if his feet are killing him and it was suuuuuch a relief just to stand in the water.

  3. grdnstff says:

    what kind of soup, marguerite ? .. i freeze lots of tomatoes, too .. just core them and cut them into chunks and throw them in a bag .. easy .. love having them .. i guess i cook my salsa because i do can it .. i love canning .. love the product on the shelves in the basement .. funny, i hardly ever make fresh salsa ..

    it’s a foggy day today .. and yesterday .. lots of predictions of hot, sunny weather .. i think it’s there above the fog .. don’t say the ‘w’ word quite yet, marguerite .. 🙂 ..

  4. Marguerite says:

    Your salsa is making my mouth drool. :)) in a nice way. We make fresh salsa here (with what sounds like a very similar ingredient list) as I haven’t got a clue about canning. On my top ten list of things to learn. Every year I swear it’s the year I learn about canning. What I wouldn’t do for some salsa mid-winter. but I’ll enjoy it now while I can. and make loads of soup to freeze in the meantime – we’re having a similar rain these past couple weeks. early winter?

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