Want a good recipe using sweet, delicious, vine-ripened, just-picked tomatoes? I suggest you try my sister LaDonna’s recipe for homemade salsa that I have been making for years. You will find many ways to use this tasty salsa besides tasting great with tortilla chips. For example, on enchiladas, tamale pie, fresh burritos or on top of or as part of the filling for omelets. Another great recipe using fresh tomatoes is my brother Bruce’s canned spaghetti sauce. Wonderful!
■ Mexican Salsa
● 16 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
● 1 green pepper, chopped
● 1/2 red pepper, chopped
● 2 medium onions, chopped
● 2 T. salt
● 1/4 c. sugar
● 2 1/2 T. Tabasco sauce
● 4 tsp. cumin
● 4 fresh jalapeno peppers
Mix all ingredients together in a large kettle and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, stirring occasionally. If you want it thicker, use a cornstarch mixture. Put into jars and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Makes 5-6 pints.
■ Canned Spaghetti Sauce from Bruce and Joyce
(Joyce and Bruce can this sauce every year with fresh home grown tomatoes. Very tasty!)
● 13 quarts tomatoes, cut and peeled
● 5 c. onion chopped
● 2 c. celery
● 5 c. Italian Frye Peppers, diced fine
● 3 12 oz. cans tomato paste
● 1 c. sugar
● 3 T. salt
● 2 T. Italian seasoning
● 2 T. pepper
● 2 T. oregano
Chop or grind all ingredients and place in a heavy kettle to simmer for 2 hours. Put in hot jars and seal.
■ BLT Appetizers
● 16-20 cherry tomatoes
● 1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
● 1/2 c. mayonnaise or salad dressing
● 1/3 c. chopped green onions
● 3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
● 2 T. snipped fresh parsley
Cut a thin slice off of each tomato top. Scoop out and discard pulp. I freeze the pulp in a baggie and save for chili. Invert the tomatoes on a paper towel to drain. In a small bowl, combine all remaining ingredients; mix well. Spoon into tomatoes. Refrigerate for several hours.
■ GARY’S TIP: To dispose of bacon grease and other drippings, put a plastic storage bag in a cup, slightly cool the grease and pour it into the bag. Zip the bag shut and dispose in the garbage.
■ FOOD FOR THOUGHT: If you have kind words to say, say them now.