I vividly remember the spicy dill pickles my Grandma Warburton canned every year.  I can taste the fake cinnamon apple rings my Grandma Baker canned every year.  I think I remember jams and a few other canned good, but nothing more specific than the make-me-pucker pickles and the zucchini  rings that were spiced and colored so you truly believed you were eating spiced apple rings at Christmas. 

Both of my grandmothers passed away in my early 20's.  I'm not sure why, but I was the grandchild chosen to receive both of their canning supplies.  Jars of all shapes and sizes with mismatched rings and lids fill boxes in my garage. Some of the jars still smell like the spicy pickles that Grandma stored in them year after year.

Canning supplies: jars, lids, rings, cleaning tools, large pot with canning rack, et.

Slowly I'm teaching myself how to can.  Among the supplies were a few instruction manuals 30+ years old.  As valuable as they are, I also turned to the Internet for some solid advice.  My first canning venture were the the Spiced Apple Rings.  Five years ago I gave out JARS of them for Christmas because my garden was overgrown with zucchini.  Three years ago I canned whole tomatoes, mixed tomatoes with green peppers and onions, and tomato paste for use in homemade marinara sauce and in Mexican dishes.

This year I specifically planted an over abundance of tomatoes and peppers of all varieties so I could can many different recipes. Then the storms took out most of my tomato crop, but spared my peppers.  (Don’t even get me started on the destroyed corn that I’d so looked forward to freezing!)

You can see the dead and damaged parts of this Roma tomato plant.  The lower tomatoes are unharmed and growing well because the hail didn't reach them there. 

Big Jim Peppers

Poblano Peppers

A friend hearing of my tomato plight told me he was going to Missouri to visit family and while there he was going to the vegetable auction and could buy me a box of about 20lbs of tomatoes.  I jumped at the chance to get some tomatoes right away that I could work with and can with the peppers that are ready to be picked.  I got the box of tomatoes at the beginning of the week and knew I needed to get down to canning business.

Box of tomatoes from Missouri.

I decided to use the tomatoes for canned salsa since I have an abundant of hot peppers: Serrano, Anaheim, hot banana, jalapeno, jumbo jalapeno, etc.  I searched for salsa recipes and researched safe canning procedures.  I found many great sites and came up with a list of my own tips.  I settled on Instructables Roasted Salsa for the ease of the recipe.  This recipe does not require the skins of the tomatoes and the peppers to be peeled.   Also the vegetables can be roughly chopped and then blended to whatever texture I want.  (My husband does not like chunky salsa.)  Plus I love the taste of roasted vegetables.

Mixture of peppers picked from my garden for the salsa.  The recipe called for a total of 13 peppers, I used Poblano, Serrano, Big Jim & Hot Banana.

All of the ingredients ready to be cleaned and roughly chopped.  I bought the Tomatillos at Safeway along with the White Colorado Grown Onions and Garlic.

All the seasoned chopped veggies ready to be roasted.  After about an hour of roasting (300 degrees for 3hrs) the veggies were reduced enough to stir which spread the spices more.

This is every single skin, peeling, core of every vegetable that was chopped.  I blanched the veggies then froze them so I can make vegetable stock in the future.

After the vegetables roasted for 3 hours I finely chopped them in the food processor.  I kept the salsa hot on the stove top while I sterilized and prepared the jars, rings and lids.  Using the ladel and canning funnel I filled the jars within a 1/2 of the top.  I placed the lids and screwed on the rings tightly. I processed the filled salsa jars in rolling boiling water for 10 minutes due to the elevation.  (Lower elevation = only 5 minutes of processing.) Check out my Canning resources, salsa recipes and advice.

This reciped yielded 20.5 pints of Roasted Salsa!