“Too few tomatoes … too tired from yard work … too blasted hot!!!“
This has been our constant refrain every July since 2014.
But it isn’t that way this year!!!
Of course, every season starts off with “Too few tomatoes”. This year, we have found two local sources of organically grown tomatoes to provide us sufficient numbers until all of our bushes are producing at full capacity. We have seven bushes. Three are just now coming into their maturity, while the other four will start producing in a couple of weeks
Of course, every July there is much to do and we are “… too tired from yard work”. We have studied this problem and devised ways to spread the yard work and other chores out over the week so that we don’t get overly tired. We’ve also moved heavy work periods to the early morning hours, before the heat of the day sets in.
That leaves the most serious problem – “… too blasted hot!!!“ Canning salsa or pasta sauce in mid-July in Virginia without air conditioning is not for the faint of heart. It might be 95° with 90% humidity outside, but when the jars are sterilizing, the tomatoes are simmering, and the lids are heating up, the temperature in the soon-to-be-world-famous Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen begins to soar to well over 100°. The only sensible dress under those conditions is shorty pants and matching wife- and husband-beater shirts. – – Believe me, it’s not a pretty sight and Mr. Monte is not so pleased by the odors brought on with the heat.
Previous owners of Serendipity Farmhouse ran air conditioners, but it was a somewhat risky situation. The house only had 100 Amp service. We changed that last year. (See SFH Journal: 2018-11-29 through 2018-12-03 – 200 Amp Service!!!) With that upgrade, we feel a bit more confident about running multiple air conditioners.
And that brings us to the meaning of this post’s title: Serendipitous Salsa – No Sweat!
Our first tomato canning event for this season was accomplished without bleating out our old constant refrain. We had enough tomatoes to make seven pint jars of salsa in a single session. We were well rested and up to the task at hand. And, most importantly, we were dressed comfortably and not in the manner that so scandalized poor Mr. Monte. In fact, he even came over and rubbed my leg several times in animated appreciation of my lack of troublesome and annoying odors.
Yes, dear friends, this was a serendipitous occasion and the preparation of the seven jars of salsa was – No Sweat!
There were several other happy facets of this uncanny canning event. One was the introduction of Cow Horn peppers to our tried and true salsa recipe. These peppers are roughly in the same range as Jalapenos, measuring in at 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville heat units. They bring with them their own distinctive flavor.
Another change to our recipe this year was leaving most of the Jalapeno and Cow Horn seeds in the mix. This will make for a little stronger kick, hopefully without shocking the taste sensibilities of the regular fans of Granny & Grandad’s (G&G’s) Salsa.
G&G’s Salsa is becoming a regional favorite for as many as tens of people. This fantastic rate of growth attests to the high quality of our products. In keeping with our aspirations to become a world-famous brand, this year, we have modernized our labeling as you will see below. But, keep in mind, it’s not the label that counts as much as the quality of the product inside. So, dear readers, we present to you the story of this year’s G&G’s Serendipitous Salsa. We put a lot of work into it, but it was – No Sweat!