This roasted salsa took me a full week to make. Not because it was undergoing sensitive, time-activated developments in flavor. Nor because of the voluminous quantity that overfloweth from my salsa pot (it was under 4 quarts’ worth). No, the reason it took me so long to finish this salsa was everyday life, daily demands upon time, otherwise known as reality.
I invite you to my reality, which entails stretching out canning recipes as much as possible to make it work in the confines of my busy schedule. For this particular salsa, I enlisted the help of my grill-master wife in roasting all the veggies, let them cool on the counter, then refrigerated them for 3 days (aka left town). The next installment was operation roasted tomato peeling plus another day in the fridge because that was enough work for an evening. The following day I food processed everything (in batches) and realized I didn’t have the size jars I was hoping to use, so salsa complete, but it spent one more day getting delicious in the fridge before I could can it the next day.
With fruit, I macerate (sometimes for days). With laborious produce, the tomato or peach in need of peeling, the peppers in need of seeding or looking for a roasting, or a whole bunch of large things in need of cutting up, I figure out how to stage the process without compromising quality. So long as you bring the contents of your preserves to a boil prior to canning them, it doesn’t really matter how long it took you to get to that point.
Sure, I could omit preserving entirely, and have more time to do other things, but I like it. I like how the preserved goods taste, I like how I give these things away around the holidays and as thank you or just-because gifts. I like that my schedule has things like ‘pears’ and ‘tomatoes’ on it and that other people have those things on their agenda too.
What kinds of things do you do to make preserving fit into your schedule? What keeps you going with canning?
Want the recipe for this roasted salsa? Well, thanks to last year’s delicious salsa from a fellow gardener in our nabe garden, I discovered and slightly modified the original roasted tomato salsa recipe in Canning for a New Generation. Check it out there!
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