Can you go an entire summer without making some homemade salsa of your own? I can’t. I get the itch to create some as soon as I know the local Farmer’s Markets are open for the season. I know the ingredients are available year round in the grocery stores, but I feel more bountiful when the salsa I make is either from my own backyard growing, or from someone else’s.
So I started seeds inside back in March, but because we are still in the middle of remodeling our new home, I didn’t have anywhere to store the plants outside and unfortunately they perished inside. Gutted, but I guess this year’s summer will be more about planning and building a special place for them to grow in the years to come. Luckily, I have perennials that I have planted that are absolutely flourishing outside right now to keep my green thumb busy.
Homemade Medium Salsa
- 6-8 large tomatoes, diced (keep the juices if you like your salsa more on the juicy side)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
- 2 tablespoon minced garlic, or two garlic cloves diced
- 2 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- salt, for taste
- Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl. Chill for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
I’ve been wanting to make some homemade jam for quite some time, so I took the kids to Jacquemin Farms in Plain City to do a little bit of strawberry picking. Every year when I remember it’s strawberry picking time, that time is basically over and we have to wait for it to be apple season before we get to experience anything similar.
We got there shortly after they opened for the day (830am) and I was surprised at how many people were already out in the fields picking! Luckily there were still a bountiful amount of strawberries still on the vines. Enough that we came home with 6 quarts of strawberries; probably triple what I actually needed. So I imagine for the next few days, there will be several strawberry-based recipes. That’s convinent even if you can’t make it out to a strawberry farm; strawberries are in season now so they’re not super expensive at the grocery store!
Washing strawberries is the easy part. Finding somewhere to store them turned out to be a little interesting, so I ended up lining the bottom of one of the 4qt carriers with parchment paper and filled it with strawberries to put in the refrigerator.
Next comes the time consuming part – chopping the strawberries. While there’s always the option of washing your strawberries, cutting off the tops and throwing them in the blender, I happen to like my jam chunky and so I opted to slice small and large pieces instead. This means my prep-time was well over 30 minutes.
Now for the real fun part, cooking strawberries. This is one of the quickest ways to make your entire house smell delicious. It’s such a sweet aroma combined with the lemon and sugar; definitely something that you taste test if your impatient like me.
Your jam will eventually thicken after boiling. Because all stoves cook differently; it may before the estimated time given on the recipe card, or it may be longer. You just have to constantly check as not to overcook.
Aren’t they cute!? I’m in the process of making some cute tags for them as well and will post those when finished.
Old-Fashioned Strawberry Jam
A small-batch recipe for strawberry jam made with fresh strawberries, lemon juice and sugar.
- 4 cups of fresh strawberries, cut into small and large pieces
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Allow strawberry mixture to come to a boil while mixing frequently with a wooden spoon. Scoop up as much foam as you can and dispose in sink. (foam will be a light pink color)
- After removing foam, allow strawberry mixture to continue cooking for 10-15 minutes; constantly stirring. Jam should begin to thicken. If it seems watery still, let it continue to cook but be sure to watch it so that it doesn't overcook.
- When jam seems thick enough your likening, add to clean mason jars and allow to sit out until they are room temperature. Refrigerate after.
- Canned jam lasts 2-3 weeks if it remains in fridge.
- If you want to try a quick set test, freeze a spoon while cooking mixture. When you want to see if jam is thick enough, use spoon to scoop mixture and tilt spoon ovetop a plate. If the mixture runs off the spoon quickly, your jam isn't thick enough.