Salsa and Pickles.

There are times when I really get into cooking. I think all of the commercials for the new Julia Child movie coming out have inspired me to head into the kitchen. Cooking is a tasty form of creativity and when I feel the need, cooking is a great way to feed my crafty bug. Literally.

After our trip to the farm last week, I had lots of great produce that I needed to do something with. It is easy to get carried away at the farm. Everything looks so fresh and beautiful, you just want to take home everything you see. Suddenly you find yourself wanting to pick eggplant, even though you’ve never eaten eggplant before in your life. It just looks so pretty…and purple!

That’s what lead to the canning that I decided to do last Saturday. We had 5 pounds worth of berries that we were thoroughly enjoying, but one of us was going to turn into a berry (like that poor girl Veruca Salt) if we kept eating them at the rate that we were going. Hence the jam. It was fun to make, pretty easy, just a little sticky. I’ve never made jam before, but I must have done something right–the jars made that little clicking sound so you know that they had sealed correctly and the Cheese said that it was the best thing he’s ever tasted.

How about that Julia?

I also decided to make some pickles. I made garlic dill slices. They’re pretty tart (lots of vinegar) but they just need more time to marinate. Nothing wrong with a pickle with a little kick. And they look so pretty in the jar too.

Then yesterday, I decided to make some fresh salsa. We are salsa people. We eat it by the pound. All of us. Boys included. Using the four fresh tomatoes that we had picked to make salsa seemed like the logical choice.

I didn’t have a recipe. I knew some basic ingredients that I needed from the help of my Whole Foods Market Cookbook. But I made up the amounts myself: 4 tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 pepper (I went with a nice and hot jalapeno), 1/2 red onion, the juice of 1 lime, salt and pepper.

I chopped everything up, making sure to remove the mushy parts of the tomatoes. I also added some of the seeds from the pepper for more of a kick. I didn’t worry about getting everything too finely chopped.

And here’s why. I was going to put it all into my mini processor. I didn’t want chunky salsa, but I also didn’t want to puree it too much and turn it into total liquid.

And this is what I ended up with. Looks pretty good, huh? And it tastes good too! At first I mostly tasted just the tomato, but after letting it sit for awhile, letting the pepper, garlic, and onion take effect, it tasted just like Ted’s, a Mexican food restaurant in Oklahoma (yeah, all you people back home just suddenly perked up didn’t you?)

I would say that it made about 2-3 cups worth of salsa. Just enough to last a couple of days at our house.

(And see that granite counter top? This time next week, it won’t be here any more! You want it?)

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