Worms and Flowers

Simply Salsa

Posted in Recipes by Lzyjo on September 1, 2009

Ah, salsa. The cherry on the nacho cake.  Okay, lousy metaphor for a wonderful condiment. Salsa comes in smaller, pricier jars than tomato sauce, so surely it must be harder to make? NO?! NO! It’s not. Blast! If anything, it is easier. It can be made in a frying pan using just 2 pounds of tomatoes! No kidding.  The following recipe is for salsa as simple as it gets. K.I.S. I like to leave of the last S, becuase it’s unnecessary, but inevitably I think Stupid, anyway!

Preparation

Rinse two pounds of tomatoes and blanch in a large pot of water to a boil.

Let the water come back to a boil and cook for approximately five minutes.

The skins of the tomatoes should be just splitting open. Cook too quickly and the skin will still be attached, cook too long and pulp will exit the cracks in the skin.

Cool tomatoes under running water or in an ice bath.

Peel the blanched tomatoes. The skin should come off in one piece (hopefully 😉 fingers crossed, knock on wood, pray to god….)

After your tomatoes are peeled you can take a break and let them rest overnight and a lot of the water will drain off, or if you’re feeling energetic, proceeded with the salsa. Draining the additional water off can help produce a thicker salsa more quickly.

Cooking the Salsa

Chop one onion

Chop the two pounds of blanched tomatoes

Chop 3- 5 ounces of green chilies for a mild-medium salsa. Approximately 8 oz for hot.

Bell peppers can also be added, but are optional.

Combine the ingredients in a skillet and simmer for about 40 minutes until the tomatoes break apart, mostly.

Season to taste with salt and sugar.

I used about 2 tsps of salt and 1/4 C of brown sugar for two pounds of tomatoes. Salsa, being a condiment, known for being piquant, (as in Picante) requires stronger seasonings than you would normally add to a sauce or main dish.

Yields approximately 3 Jars.

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Big Box Stores Blight the Country

Posted in News by Lzyjo on July 21, 2009

I’m not talking about parking problems and increased traffic, I am talking about late blight being spread across the country by infected tomato plants sold a nation-wide retailers.

Professor of Plant Pathology at Cornell University, Meg McGrath called blight, “worse than the Bubonic Plague for plants.”

Blight is well-known for causing the infamous Irish Potato Famine in the mid 1800s. Despite its reputation as a potato-killer, tomatoes are actually more susceptible to the fast-moving fungal condition.

Scientists monitoring the advance of the fungal disease report this year’s infection has started earlier and has been more severe than years past.

We all know, this spring and summer has been unusually wet and cool, providing the perfect conditions for blight.

Right now infections have been found is almost all of the Eastern states, excluding, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, and West Virginia.

The New York Times reported that Alabama-based Bonnie Plants recalled all of its remaining tomato plants on June 26. Bonnie, known for their peat pots, distributes their plants to Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s from more than 60 greenhouses in 38 states .

The disease moves so fast, there are reports of entire fields of tomatoes dying over a weekend. Farmers are already talking about the price of tomatoes doubling from the squelched supply.

More articles on the Blight situation:

Associated Press “Plant disease hits eastern US veggies early, hard”

Albany Times Union “Blight like a nuclear bomb”

Albany Times Union “Big-box blight hits tomatoes”

New York Times “Outbreak of Fungus Threatens Tomato Crop”