Spicy Canned Salsa

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One of my most favorite things to do in the depths of winter, you know those days of endless cold, snow, and wind, that just too long moving on to let spring and summer come on in, is to grab a jar of salsa I made last summer when all the vegetables were crisp, ripe and sweet. I will get a brand new bag of chips, grab the salsa, and go put my feet up usually in the living room, without the tv on. You see I like to listen to sounds of nothingingness, just that quiet were I can hear the dogs snoring, and chips crunching in my mouth.

I take a nice big dip of salsa onto my chip, praying the chip does not break, and the moment it hits my tongue, I am back to summer, where it is hot, I mean really hot even with the air conditioner on kind of summer heat.

I can smell the fresh mowed grass, I can feel the hot sun on my head as I garden, and I am outside taking care of my veggie plants and flowers, playing ball with the dogs, and watching everything grow and thrive.

My most favorite part of the salsa experience, is just when you think its not too hot, and your ready for another bite, that heat sneaks up and hits the back of your throat! Quickly another chip is dipped and the cycle starts over, with the dipping, and the eating, until a glass of water is definitely in order to put out this fire.

I gotta say, I like hot and spicy food, I really enjoy a good hot salsa, that sneaks up on you, not the first bite, and maybe not the second, however by the time your fully committed that heat is there in those jalapenos, and serranos, and poblano peppers. I am kind of a rebel, I like to leave the seeds on the jalapeno when I make my batches, just to live on the edge a bit.

 

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Swedish Meatballs

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My mom used to say a hot meal was the best meal of the day.

However the more I think about it, all the meals she served were hot from breakfast, to lunch and finally dinner.  She was all about the 3 meals a day, to keep us fit and strong as we worked around the farm.

Swedish meatballs were a stable for either lunch or dinner, we would eat it with a baked potato, or rice, depending on what was in the pantry.

The Apricot Salsa

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The year of the bummer crop, was the beginning of something amazing for me.

Apricots filled the countryside from North to south and everywhere in between, they were literally bending the branches of the trees in the old town square.

That year everyone had a bucket or two in their truck or car, just in case you got a hankering for a fresh apricot, or an entire bucket to bring home and can with.
I decided to make the most of this amazing crop, I was going to put up some Apricot Jam, Apricot Salsa, and dried Apricots.
Boy did I ever. I must have found every jar I had in storage, bought all the lids and rings from the town stores and endlessly filled those buckets.

All I really remember is the endless days of chopping, cooking, creating and canning, day after day for a whole week!
Boy did we enjoy this bounty, we ate the chunky sweet, fresh salsa on everything.

We devoured the Apricot Salsa with chips, or pita, cooked with it, poured it on tacos, or burritos, or just ate it by the spoonful! The salsa had a perfect blend of sweetness to heat from the peppers, and it was chopped to perfection.

Recently I came across my last jar of salsa, tucked nice and safe in the back of the pantry, I quickly ran to cupboard grabbed the bag of chips a jar, and sat down at the table to enjoy. I closed my eyes and all the smells, sights, sounds and memories of that summer 2 years ago came rushing in, filling my heart with so much happiness and joy.

This past canning year, I was able to find apricots at the farmers markets, for all my canning needs.
I just gotta say I think it tastes even better from the apricots I picked myself, lol, and yes I still have a bucket in the trunk of the suv, you know just in case.