Friday, September 19, 2008

Canning Salsa: Absolute Torture

Like the women of Regency England, I do not like to dwell on unpleasant things. Torture falls right into the category of things unpleasant.

Today, however, while making and canning salsa, I had a few torture ideas I'd like to pass on. You know, just in case anyone in the torture business is reading this blog and looking for ideas on how to expand their torture options. (Prince Humperdink, you out there?)

Chopping onions - I chopped 6 cups of onions today for my salsa recipe and my eyes were burning half way through the first onion. I had to stop and blow my nose and then wash my hands 5 times. I was in misery. There were many times I couldn't see through the tears and came very close to slicing my finger. If anyone came by and offered to take over for me in exchange for my deepest, darkest secret, I would have sung like a bird.

Chopping tomatoes - Not a wholly unpleasant task unless you consider volume. While chopping 2 tomatoes might be considered therapeutic, chopping 30 tomatoes is down right mind numbing. Throw in the direction to "remove all seeds" and you've got yourself a nice little form of torture.

Dicing Jalapenos - I was supposed to chop 12 jalapenos, but wimped out and decided 10 would be plenty. To protect myself from the capsaicin I wore latex gloves. (Do we all remember how I feel about latex?) Due to an unpleasant respiratory reaction the last time I cut into multiple jalapenos, I decided also to wear a surgical mask. How much more unpleasant can this task be made? Make sure you are using a dull knife and require the jalapenos to be chopped into teeny, tiny pieces.

Torture is a highly unpleasant topic but today I couldn't help think that we could stop water boarding and require bad guys to make salsa for 12 hours a day until they spill the beans, we'd not only be a lot more humane (OK, that's debatable), we'd be sure to get the desired information a lot more quickly AND have plenty of tasty salsa.


Heather said...

Ooohh, my mouth is watering just thinking of your deliciosa salsa! (Sorry to take pleasure at your pain...)

Debbie said...

I have two words for you...


You could have been done with your chopping in mere moments!

Regardless...I agree with Heather, your salsa is totally worth it! Delicious!

Afton said...

This year I bought a food mill/strainer for applesauce and it was over $60. Next year maybe I'll get the food processor. I still would have had to take all the seeds and ribs out of the jalapenos though. I also would like a pressure canner one of these years.

Emily said...

Ok...I so need the recipe that you use...I have never canned salsa, but after making homemade spagetti sauce with all my tomatoes, I now have 30 lbs about ready to go bad! Help! I will let you borrow my food processor if you want!

Emily said... And thanks! Someone else gives a darn about the government or lack thereof!

Erika and Ryan said...

You're right, the salsa is torture, and I too do not have a food processor (that's on my want list along with an ice cream maker-all Cuisinart of course) so the process took a long time. But it's so nice to look at those cute jars when you're all done, and you feel like you did something useful and worthwhile. It's so nice to know there are other women out there canning! I just got done today canning peaches and I think I am officially done with my canning this season!