Archive for August, 2009


As a departure from my usual topics, I thought I’d tell you about a different kind of art that my mom and I are trying… the culinary kind. Salsa. I hope you gathered the fact that we are not talking about a kind of dance.

My grandparents have been bringing over bags and bags of vegetables and fruit from their very large garden. They are growing too much for the two of them to eat, so they are giving the extras to family. . It seems that every time I come in the kitchen there are more tomatoes than there were the day before (this can be an unnerving experience when you forget that your grandparents just came by to drop off more).

We have been making fermented raw pickles, sauerkraut, and salsa. The salsa is what I was most pleased with. For the most part I am not really big on salsa. Never have been. So when my mom suggested that we make it with all of the tomatoes that we got from my grandparents I was a little less than enthusiastic.

My mom found the recipes (which we barely followed because she likes to make it up as she goes along). I got the fun job of pealing the tomatoes (that was an interesting, rather messy experience) and I also chopped them up into tiny little pieces (did I mention that I hate tomatoes?).

While I was doing that, my mom was cutting up the unions, peppers, etc. When it was all finished and into a bowl, it actually looked like salsa, which, I think, is the general objective. When I ate it I was surprised. Again, it tasted really great. I couldn’t stop eating it. My brothers, who weren’t very excited about the salsa either, began eating it and had to be told to stop (as if they would listen). Even my dad, who most always scoffs at things like raw, homemade salsa (why can’t you just buy it?), liked it.

It didn’t last very long because we were all eating it so much. My brother ate 2 jars of it almost single handedly. He was eating it with every meal. And my mom ate spoonfuls at a time.

So, the 5 wide mouth mason jars full of salsa that were supposed to last at least a month and a half squeaked by for barely 2 weeks. Suffice it to say, the Salsa was a success. We are making more of it either today or tomorrow, and hopefully it will last a little longer.

My mom wasn’t quite so lucky with the first batch of pickles. They were great for the first couple of days but then at some point they turned a funny color and didn’t taste too great. My brothers were more than a little disappointed by this because they were really enjoying the pickles before they turned. The second batch turned out much better. They didn’t have any funny colors, weird floating things (I didn’t even want to know what they were) and tasted really good. So good, in fact, that when my grandfather tried them, he dubbed my mom queen of pickles (or something like that, I don’t remember his exact words).

These are some photos of my grandparents’ tomatoes (is it just me or are they huge?), a jar of salsa (one of the last ones) and the salsa in a bowl (I had to stop taking pictures because I kept eating it).

P.S. I have also found that tomatoes are great for juggling, though that does sometimes end very badly…


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