Since we were gone to Alabama for 2 1/2 weeks, we had a lot of garden produce waiting for us when we got home. I also had 8 pounds of strawberries in the refrigerator that needed done, so I made 4 batches of strawberry freezer jam today. Then we went to my mom's and pulled her green bean plants and picked the few beans off of them. We pulled her onions and picked some tomatoes. Boy, am I glad we weren't here last week!! Mom & Dad picked 20 - 5-gallon buckets of tomatoes while we were gone. What a lot of work!! We brought part of those home to make salsa with and picked more to put on the tables to finish ripening. Then we went to Gary's mom's and pulled her beans and picked lots of beans off of those plants. We also dug onions in her garden to use in the salsa. My mom and dad and Gary's mom took the beans and snapped them for me this evening. I will can those tomorrow. The girls and I worked on salsa.
We had our green peppers and jalapeño peppers already diced and in the freezer waiting. They were ready before we went on vacation, so we did them ahead of time since the tomatoes weren't ready yet. We just diced up what we had picked and put enough in each bag to make a double batch of salsa. We ended up with enough peppers to make 4 double batches, so that's what we made. I guess that totals 8 batches! We started with 144 Roma tomatoes, 40 onions, 16 cans of tomato paste, 40 cloves of garlic, 2 cups of jalapeños, 8 cups of green peppers, 1/2 gallon of vinegar...
Here's Leah opening the cans of tomato paste for me (using the Pampered Chef can opener, Aunt Lynnette).
Nanna & Laura were in charge of chopping onions (with our two Pampered Chef food choppers, Aunt Lynnette). The onions were so strong that everyone in the house was crying! Laura & Nanna went & got their swimming goggles and covered their noses to keep the tearful fumes away.
Laura "in action"
As I was stirring this at about 8:00 tonight, I thought to myself, "What in the world were you thinking making this much salsa all at once?" This is a 26-quart stock pot. It's HUGE!!! And look how close to the top it is. I didn't have any spoons long enough to reach the bottom, so we resorted to the long spatula Gary uses when cooking on the grill. I ended up with 25 quarts of beautiful salsa. I'll finish the beans tomorrow, and maybe we'll pick more tomatoes. We still have 5 or 6 rows of potatoes to dig too. It will all taste so good this winter when the snow's blowing!!