Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mr. Hawthorne Cans Salsa Ranchera.

Mr. Hawthorne has been a busy boy. Since he was getting "low" on his homemade Salsa Ranchera (I think only a dozen jars are left.), Mr. Hawthorne has been a bit anxious. In a burst of energy, he finally canned another batch the other day. Salsa Ranchera is not a hot salsa. It's a more robust, complex salsa. We use it in omelets. We add it to rices. Gives a dish some punch.
I generally despise Food Network competition shows, but I did watch The Big Waste. As a consumer who tries her best not to waste anything, I felt I should watch it. It was shocking how much is thrown away. This is why Mr. Hawthorne and I always check dates on meats and wait for it to be marked down as it nears its sell-by date. Because it will be thrown out that day. I've seen it happen too many times and I think it's shameful. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that food. Very little goes to waste in the Hawthorne household, I'm happy to say. And I recycle too. In fact, some days when I go to the grocery store, I purposefully do not take my canvas bags. That's because I need the brown paper bags for recycling my glass, my plastics, my tin cans, my aluminum cans, my papers and boxes. So the hallway from the kitchen to the back bedroom and bath is nothing but an obtrusive recycling center. I try to do my part in spite of obstacles along my way. And they know who they are.
That said, and trying to be mindful of waste, we went to the rack of rapidly rotting food at Harris Teeter. Nothing wrong with this food. It's just not as pretty or as young as the produce on display. So it gets banished to The Rack. And it gets marked down drastically. So we picked our peppers from The Rack. We don't care if a vegetable's skin is wrinkled since this is going to be simmered for a good while.  We used  4 poblanos, a handful of serranos, and a  jalapeno.  You can use whatever combination of assorted peppers. That's what makes the flavors interesting. 

We had 2 Roma tomatoes and 3 others we found on The Rack.  You want to peel them first, so put them in boiling water for about 20 seconds. Let cool, then easily remove skin.
Return to pan.
Those big cans of tomatoes I got on sale: Buy 1 can. Get 2 free. Chop one onion. This ain't rocket science, so there are no hard and fast rules here. Eyeball it for amounts.
Chop the peppers.
Mix all together in a large pot over low heat.

Bring to a bare simmer, stirring occasionally.
This was kept at a bare simmer for about 2 hours. You may can it now, or let the sauce cool and refrigerate it and do the canning the next day. Which is what Mr. Hawthorne did. He was exhausted after all that bare simmering.
One of the loveliest sounds to my ears is the sucking pop of a jar sealing properly.

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