Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hot Day! Hot Salsa! Hot Pool!!

Today when I woke up, it was already hot out.  I knew I needed to do my chores early.
After we had our coffee out on the patio, I got busy hanging out the wash.  There is just something about hanging your sheets out on the line to dry in the warm  breeze that screams summer. 
By noon, I had already  hung out three loads of wash.  Things dry faster on the line, than they do in the dryer.
After swimming in our neighbors pool, and enjoying the warmer water temp so much, I decided to go ahead and get another solar cover for our pool.  We have had them in the past, but not since we put a fence around the pool.  So yesterday morning I got another one.  You are supposed to let it lay out on the pool for a day before cutting it to shape.
Since today was such a hot one, it will heat up fast!
I watered the garden and then harvested some more tomatoes.
 And a bunch of my green onions and jalapeno peppers.
I brought everything inside, gave it a good washing, and prepared to make a whole bunch of fresh salsa.
I have shown how I make salsa before here on my blog.  But I did it a bit differently this time, since I am growing all of the ingredients in my garden.   The first thing I needed to do, was prepare the tomatoes.  To do this, you do not need to cook the tomatoes through, but you do need to remove the skin and seeds.  To make this easy, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and drop your tomatoes in, a few at a time.
Just for a minute or so.  Have a large bowl of ice water next to your pot of hot water to transfer them into.  This is where the skin will split, making them easy to peel.
This process makes it very easy to remove the the skins, and when cool, squeeze the seeds from the tomato.  At this time, you will also need to remove the stem with a paring knife.
I  forgot to mention that wearing an apron for this is a good idea.  You can see by the photos how messy this can be.  My good friend Holly sent me a box of goodies recently, and in it were two aprons.  She knows I love aprons!!  One of them was a beautiful white, with a Scandanavian border embroidered on it.  I couldn't possibly wear that one for this job.  So I chose the blue check, with white embroidery for my salsa making.  It is a half apron, and I can often be found wearing my half aprons like this!
Holly, I made a mess, but it washed up just perfectly!!!
To prepare the peppers, I sometimes steam them in a little bit of water until just barely fork tender.  But this time I wanted to roast them over an open fire and get them nice and charred.  I put them on a metal skewer and roasted them right over the gas flame on my stove.
Don't put anything on them at all.  Just hold them directly over the flames, turning them to get both sides charred well.
When they have cooled, just slip the charred skins right off of them.  They will come off very easily.  I do red peppers the same exact way!  The flavor is out of this world!
Remove the stems and toss them into your food processor to chop.  I usually do all of the chopping for salsa by hand.  But I may never do it that way again.  Using my Cuisinart made this job so easy!
I only pulsed each item a few times in the machine.  Then dumped it all into one big bowl for mixing.
I used the zest of two fresh limes, as well the juice.
At about this time, Geeps came wandering out to see what was smelling so good.  He gave the salsa a stir and taste, and two thumbs up.
I also mince several cloves of fresh garlic, and then sea salt and ground pepper to taste, to finish the Salsa Fresca.
You would think that piles and piles of fresh tomatoes would make more salsa.   But using fresh makes a big difference in the taste.
I sent one jar home with Jake this evening.  We will go through this in a week.  We put it on eggs, steak, breakfast burritos, chips, baked potatoes, EVERYTHING!!
Then, there was the aftermath!!!!
So maybe going through all of these steps just to make salsa, really isn't your thing.  You can buy perfectly delicious salsa at the store, and not have to wash a thing!  I get that.  I just happen to like to cook.   So if you are growing all of the ingredients to make your own salsa, and you don't mind making a mess in your kitchen, then I hope you will try making this.
One last thing.  Several of you have made the comment that I have a green thumb, and my veggies look so great.  I can't take the credit for that.  I do have a secret.
Everything I cook, every vegetable I cut. Every banana peeled.  Every egg shell, coffee grounds, filter and all, go into my compost crock in the kitchen.  I them empty my compost jar into my compost bin in the garden about twice a week.  This is where I put all of the collected chicken doo, grass clippings, leaves, deadheaded roses, etc.  And the big secret ingredient in fast composting is chicken doo.  If you don't have chickens, go to Walmart and buy a 97 cent bag of steer manure.  Use a few cups to each addition of grass and leaves on your compost pile.  Turn your pile weekly.  Keep it moist by watering it lightly every couple of days or so, and you will be rewarded with rich, fertile soil for your garden.   And your veggies will be great!  It's the compost...not me!
I use this pottery crock with a lid.  It fits perfectly in the corner of my kitchen, right behind my ancient toaster oven.  It is very easy to just pop things right in there as I am cooking.
I always tear a few strips of newspaper and put them into the bottom of the cleaned crock before placing anything in it.  When you empty the crock, the newspaper breaks down in the compost right along with everything else, and it keeps your crock from getting icky and slimy on the bottom.
Make sure you use something with a good fitting lid.
Good composting=a good garden!
In about 6 weeks, this will be rich soil that I add to my garden!
After all of that, I went in and put my swimsuit on and headed straight for the pool.
Ahhhhh....the solar blanket has made the water a delightful temperature.  We will be swimming until October!
XO  Kris


Gloria said...

Ah dear I understand these hot days are terrible and you msking jalapeños but I love hoe they smell abnd your tomatos look absolutely nice too; have a nice week Kris:)

From the Kitchen said...

I feel like going back to bed after reading about your day! However, you have clean laundry and salsa and I don't!! Enjoy!


priscilla said...

That salsa looks amazing ! I do think I need a nap after hearing all you did yesterday and I just got up ! :)I need to compost , just haven't done it yet ! Hope your pool is warm today !

Holly said...

The salsa looks great! It appears I sent you a boob bib.

Claudia said...

I'm jealous of that pool!

Love your crock that you use for storing compost inside. I've long wanted to compost but haven't had the extra money to buy a composter. Thanks for the tips about newspaper at the bottom of the crock.


Nicolle said...

Hot Mother Chicken....
now that makes me smile! :)

Your salsa looks HEAVENLY. I make my own too, but I definitely don't put the time into mine like you do. What a labor of love. I am sure I would love your salsa. YUM.


Debbiedoo's said...

I am still laughing at Hot Mother chicken! Your family is a hoot. I tell ya that float is awesome, hot or not, it still looks relaxing for a minute or two.

Karen Bates said...

I would die for a taste of that fabulous homemade...divine Salsa...your family is so lucky!! It does look like a lot of work but oh...I can just imagine the taste!

I have compost going too...great post!

Grammy Staffy said...

You always inspire me. I so love fresh garden veggies and I've not planted any this year. Shame on me. I've also never made compost which I want to do. You are my kind of gal. I just wish I had your ambition. One thing I do enjoy like you is hanging out my wash. I love hanging clothes out to dry in the breeze. I think that there are not many left of us that do that. All my friends and kids use their dryers instead. They don't know what they are missing. We just got a pool cover too. They say great minds think Have a grat week. Hugs, lura

Genn said...

I was SO excited to see that Jake came home with salsa last night!!!! Thank you! I can't wait to have some with my breakfast!

So excited about the new pool cover too!!

my4lilgirls said...

Oh Kris my daughter Sophie would love you, she adores hot & spicey food, specially anything Mexican.
Will have to give this one a go.
Chilli on the menu today so she should be happy out!!!
Lol Karen xxxx

Debbie said...

Good morning Kris! Boy you were such a busy bee yesterday....I love the smell of sheets that have dried in the sun. Your salsa looks just delicious...we put it on everything over here, but I have never made my own, haha. But I will confess the end of your day and that pool looks the best to me. ; )

Patty@Lemon Lane Cottage said...

Composting bins are my number one fall thing to do this year. I have the perfect spot picket out. You can't beat fresh salsa, that's for sure. I wish I was in that raft with

Pam said...

Homemade salsa is the best... especially when you have grown all the veggies! The solar cover for the pool is a great idea!

NanaNor's said...

Hi Kris, I've got to say that your salsa looks so good! Also when I saw the photo of you, in the bathroom with your apron on, I thought it was one of your girls-you look like you're in college when you hair is longer.
I'd love to come go for a dip-sounds so fun.
Have a cool evening.

❀❀❀Ðαωᾔ❀❀❀ said...

Your salsa looks yummy. Love that you used the indoor stove to roast them. My hot peppers are ready but no tomatoes yet. The onions still have a ways to go also. I compost everything too, even the newspaper, paper towels, and napkins. You have an advantage over me with the chicken poo. That is good stuff and will make your garden grow like crazy!!

Jann Olson said...

Oh hommade salsa is worth every minute of time if you ask me. I do bottle salsa in the Fall and my kids all love it. I send a bottle or two home with each of them. We love it on alot of things also. I have not done peppers like that. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing and stay cool my cute friend!

Jill said...

That looks delicious Kris! To me there's nothing like fresh homemade food. I enjoy your recipes :-) Next year I will be sure to get our garden started again. I have missed it so much! Pool looks so inviting...
Have a great day!!


Eileen said...

Hi Kris,
Your salsa looks so good. And especially that you made it fresh from your garden.
I used to love to hang out clothes, especially the sheets and towels. But atlas, I had to give it up because the birds kept buiding nest in my families jean legs. !! It was a loosing battle..the winner....the birds.
Have a great week. And stay cool.

Jody and Stan said...

What a busy day. Your recipe for the salsa looks amazing. We have fresh tomatoes too, you gave me an idea. Laundry done, the pool looks like just what you needed!


Cheryl said...

Yes the hot mother chicken got me too...snorting laughing again:-)
Your salsa looks so good. We are big salsa eaters in this family. Glad your pool heated up!!

by Teresa said...

You continue to amaze and inspire me! I am just so jealous of that pool of yours! I'm heading to my pool, but it's for lap swimming, indoors.. no sun to enjoy except out the window! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I am in Colorado this week visiting my kids, and my son's garden is the best I've seen. His tomatoes are enormous! He make his own salsa but I will show him your recipe, Kris. My daughter's neighborhood has too many deer in it to have a vegetable garden...rabbits, too.

I like the solar cover you got for your pool! I'd prefer warm pool water over cold, anytime!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing this blessing! loves

Little Treasures said...

I'd die to have my own garden and grow my own vegetables! You are lucky!!

Val said...

That salsa looks like the best salsa ever.

Katie said...

Wow, look at all that garden loot!! I love that you hang dry your sheets!

Okay, I have come to the conclusion that you had Genny when you were 10!! You Look Smokin Hot in the previous post! Way to Rock it!! ;)

corners of my life said...

We used to have a solar cover but it was such a pain to put it on and off. Do you have an easy method?

Katie Sue said...

I wish I could grow tomatoes. Your salsa looks delicious.
Hmmm. I think I'll make nachos for lunch. :)

Grayseasailor said...

Thanks Kris for the tutorials! I have tried some of what you do as far as composting, but it is something we need to work on in our place and you are a great encourager=)
Hugs from Gracie

Susanne said...

I have had a compost bin in my back yard for years. The list of what you throw in your crock (and then the outside bin) sounds just like me. Yep, egg shells and coffee grounds and the filters, apple cores and banana peelings, etc. Pretty much everything except meat scraps. It does make rich compost soil for garden beds and such. Makes you feel good too to know you are doing your part to give back to the earth. I recycle too, daily and take all the glass, cans and aluminum to our township house once a month. Our tomatoes are just now starting to ripen. I wasn't so sure we would have any at all with this drought, but watering and catching some rain water did help. We only put out 18 tomato plants this year. One year we had 83 plants, don't ask me why, I guess for some reason I lost track of how many I bought....yes, tomatoes were up the ying yang and I gave away what I didn't use. I did over 50 quarts of spaghetti sauce that year and can and froze tomatoes for soup, made salsa, and stewed tomatoes. I always share with my girls. They don't like Ragu or Prego, they are spoiled, lol
Susanne :)

bj said...

What a fabulous gardener, cook and swimmer you must be.
I am not afraid to try your tomato sauce, your roasted peppers or your compost but I shudder at the thought of putting on a SWIM would NOT be a pretty sight. :))
Have fun in your beautiful pool.
xo bj