Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Putting Up"

My husband hates it when I refer to canning tomatoes as "putting up" tomatoes. It is the terminology that I have heard all my life for canning, freezing, and preserving. Trust me, I heard it often. My Mom and Granny "put up" many things-peas, beans, okra, pickles, plums, strawberries, dewberries, Mustang grapes, tomatoes, corn, and figs. My Dad's favorite was tomato preserves. I adored my Granny's pickles and fig preserves. We never left my Granny's home empty handed. She would send eggs, frozen chickens, sausage, preserves, pickles, kolaches, homemade noodles etc. She had 2 chest freezers in her garage, an upright on the backporch, and two refrigerators in her "wash house" in addition to the kitchen fridge. I always loved gathering eggs, unless she had a broody hen.
I try to "put up" whenever I can! My Dad and Step-Mom had a bumper crop of tomatoes this year. First, my Dad gave me a coolerful. I decided to try making Salsa. My Mom made it when she had extra tomatoes. I added cilantro since I adore it!
Just like Mom, I dropped the "maters" into boiling water, then cool water to make peeling easy.
Beautiful, peeled and chopped and ready to cook!

Extra flavor chopped and measured. (onions, bell pepper, jalepenos, garlic, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt and vinegar.) I add the fresh cilantro a few minutes before putting the salsa into the jars.
I like to let it simmer for several hours so it is nice and thick.

I decided that I better not answer the door in this red-stained apron. My Dad and Step-Mom gave me a second cooler of tomatoes. I "put up" 4 1/2 batches or 27 pints!
Mmmmm, well work the time and effort!

Almost too pretty to eat! NOT!
The Mustang grapes look prolific this year after a rainy spring. My son loves Mustang grape jelly! That is on next month's "putting up" agenda!
Y'all Come Back,
The Recipe "sorta"
14 Cups peeled and chopped tomatoes
3 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped jalpeno pepper (I used 4 fairly large ones and removed the seeds)
1 cup bell pepper
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup tomato sauce (I substituted a can of tomato paste. Then I ran out and did without. The salsa still tasted fine)
3 Tablespoons salt (I used pickling salt)
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
5 garlic cloves
I cooked for several hours to thicken it. Then, just before putting into jars, I put in a handful of fresh cilantro leaves because we love cilantro. I let this simmer for just a few minutes. Last of all, I put the jars into boiling water for a 10-15 minute "water bath". I used pint jars.
(If you are new to canning, look up the procedure for more detailed instructions.)


  1. I am SO jealous of that salsa! My tomatoes haven't "come on" (have you heard that one before!!) yet so I haven't been able to "put up" anything. You're not alone with your terminology, as I've heard those terms all of my life!
    If you get sick of salsa, I can send you my mailing address!!!!

  2. What a wonderful idea to make salsa and can it so that fresh tomato taste can be enjoyed all year long.

    I'm going to have to search for a recipe so I can do that this year. I've only made jam and it's time to move on to other items as well.

    The tomatoes here are not ready yet but soon will be and there will be way to many to eat all at once.

    Mind sharing your recipe for your salsa?


  3. Oh WOW! I think you're SO cool doing all that 'putting up' I think your husband and family are very lucky, nobody ever did anything half so useful in our family.

  4. I am so jealous of your tomatoes! There is nothing better than home grown 'maters. The store ones don't even taste like 'maters. We have a salt water well problem so can't grow any this year. Bums me out! Enjoy.

  5. Now you have me hungry for some good 'maters. My auntie's always "put up" too. I sure miss those days.

  6. The women in my family have "put up" 1000's of jars of produce over the years too. Love to see the jars standing in a row. Lots of work but so worth it in January when you open a jar of summer. (Here in Utah people say they "bottle" their produce. Our tomatoes are the size of a dime. We'll be lucky to have fresh by the end of July! Mimi

  7. We've had such weird weather here in Northern Nevada that my garden isn't where it was last year.

    But with it being 100F the other maters grew 6 inches over night! I kid you not! Just flowers though...nothing has set on yet.

    I eat my maters...I make salsa out of the tomatillos.


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