Every summer my mom cans salsa and tomatoes. In the past, I've not been very interested in learning, nor have I lived here at the time of year when tomatoes are in season and bursting off the vine, begging for a play date with jalapenos, cilantro and onions.
In each family, there are those recipes that must be passed down or lost forever, and this is a big one in our family. My mom has her recipe written down, but I wanted to actually stand in her kitchen, peeling, chopping, filling jars, and seeing how the pressure cooker works with my own eyes. That hissing, clanking pot has always filled me with a little bit of fear. That's probably because when I was a kid, Mom would holler if any of us even came near the kitchen when it was working. Apparently, my Papa T (her dad) literally blew up 3 pressure cookers in his day since he would go off and forget about them. They must have filled her with a little bit of fear, too.
So we started last week, and I helped for 2 days, working with Mom to get things prepped for the 3rd day that I couldn't be there. This week we're at it again. Today was another salsa day, and tomorrow will most likely be just tomatoes. There is nothing like opening up a jar of vine-ripened tomatoes in the middle of a cold winter to pour into a thick chili or soup. Smells like summer right there with snow falling out your window. Perfect.
Do you have any handcrafted recipes handed down in your family?