I have some very sad news. Brace yourself. I am down to my last jar of homemade salsa!!
One of the best things I did last fall was to can my own salsa. It was totally on a whim too. I had this Jack and the Bean Stalk tomato super plant that grew to be about five feet wide and 12 feet tall. Not. Even. Kidding. And do you think I even once thought to photograph it? Totally did not. But trust me, it was behemoth. And produced the sweetest, most delicious, softball sized tomatoes for months.
Before the first freeze, I brought in all of my decent sized green tomatoes. I just set them on sunny window sills and they slowly ripen. Doing this can give me up to two more months of fresh, home grown tomatoes. But the problem (if you want to call too many yummy t'maters a problem) is that I often have arm-fulls ripe at the same time. So last year, my solution was salsa.
Now I've been making salsa for years. But this was the first time I canned it.
Best. Decision. Ever!
I have been eating salsa and sharing salsa and bringing salsa to parties for nine months. I eat salsa on everything from chips, to eggs to baked potatoes. But I am down to one lonely jar. That will never get me through the next three months. Store bought just isn't the same. So this fall I will (hopefully) make double this amount.
Staring at my last jar, I thought about how much it cost me to make my own salsa last year. And it stopped me in my tracks. Want to know what I spent?
2 seasoning packs ... $2
1 extra pack of lids ... $3
lots of jars ... FREE
lots of tomatoes ... FREE
1 orange for the second batch ... $1
TOTAL ... $6
I consider the tomatoes free because I grew them. And I would have paid for the plant even if it died. And trust me, some do die. The price for all of the tomatoes (regular, non organic, even though mine would technically be considered organic) I used to make the salsa in the grocery store would easily be in the $50-100 range and have half the flavor at best. I made a LOT of salsa.
And the jars were free because mason jars can be re-used for a lifetime. I've had these for years. I might need to buy more this year though.
So to review, I made a ridiculous amount of salsa. I never took count or took a photo. But in total, it cost me $6 and my time.
Did I inspire anyone to grow something this year?
**Also...don't forget to enter my Spring Giveaway! You can win a great treat to pamper yourself this season!