This is my most favorite salsa recipe of all time. I always make a ton, and I never make enough. This could be the very reason that I have a garden. Even if everything else fails I am okay, as long as there are tomatoes and peppers for salsa.
Years after eating it, I could still remember the taste of my grandmother's salsa. With the help of my mom and a few of my aunts I was able to track down the recipe, written in Grandma's own handwriting, with all her notes included. I was so grateful to be able to copy it down. Eating this salsa transports me to my childhood. I can remember walking through my grandparents' garden with my grandpa and getting to pick and eat the strawberries. The daylight seemed to last forever. I'd play with my cousins long into the night before settling in with my parents and siblings for some sleep in our tent trailer that we had pulled behind our Volkswagen Vanagon on our road trip adventure from Northern California. As the sun came up we'd wake to the clucking and crowing sounds from the poultry pen nearby. Having my grandparents move from California to Alberta, Canada, when I was little gave me new places to see and explore. It wouldn't be long after our visit that we would make our move to the Pacific Northwest. I am so grateful for the memories I have and for this recipe that triggers those memories for me.
I was so overjoyed to have this recipe and now after years of making it myself, I am excited to share it. The recipe is pretty straight forward.
- 16 Cups chopped tomatoes (slightly drained)
- 2 1/2 Cups chopped bell pepper
- 2 Cups diced green chiles (from can)
- 1/2 Cup diced jalapenos (I use 3/4 Cup)
- 2 Tablespoons crushed red pepper
- 3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
- 3 Tablespoons garlic powder
- 3 Tablespoons black pepper (optional)
- 5 Tablespoons salt ( I use almost 4)
- 3/4 to 1 Cup white vinegar (I use 3/4)
Mix it all together and divide it into pint sized canning jars. I usually fill seven with some left over. Process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes.
Be sure to use correct canning protocol. Sterilize jars and fill them when they are still warm. Wipe rims before placing lids on. Heat new lids and use sterilized rings. When processed properly these jars of salsa should be safe for at least a year, but honestly we've never had them last that long.
You may want to have a bag of chips handy, because you'll definitely want to taste this salsa as soon as it's made. Hopefully you'll save some to can and enjoy another day.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family has. What family recipes do you enjoy? We'd love to hear about your memories.