Friday, June 14, 2013

Fresh Cherry Salsa (and Our First Canning Experience!)

Cherry Salsa


Can I just say for a moment how proud I am of myself? I....cooked. (Well, kind of...I made something, no actual cooking was involved.) In this apartment, I'm not the one who does the cooking. Mr. 246 does most of the cooking and he's wonderful at it. And he enjoys it. That's the part I usually lack when cooking: the enjoyment factor.

Anyways...so what's that picture of? Cherry Salsa. Let me tell you...it is delicious. It's the perfect blend of spicy and sweet and deliciousness. Cherry season is here in full force in California. There are cherries everywhere. Every fruit vendor on every corner has cherries right now. We picked some up from the Farmers' Market this past Tuesday just to snack on but then I wanted to make something out of them for a craftalong on Craftster (It's the Harry Potter Craftalong...the subject of the "Herbology" assignment was cherries. Hehe.)

A lot of the recipes I found online were for cherry filling type cherries, not fresh big cherries. There weren't nearly as many recipes for the kind of cherries we have.The cherries we have look like this:

Mr. 246 says red ones are "Bing Cherries" and the lighter colored ones are called "Rainier Cherries". I did come across a recipe here, however, that used the proper kind of cherries. The recipe called for 1/2 pound of dark sweet cherries, but we didn't have a complete 1/2 pound of the red ones so I added in some of the Rainiers. I like the color contrast it makes.

Here's a copy of the recipe I used:
(Recipe Credit: Here is the About.com page I found the recipe on.)


Delicious Fresh Cherry Salsa
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 lb. dark sweet cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cherry preserves
  • 1 Tbsp. minced red onion
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped jalapeno pepper *I added 1/2 Tbsp to mine for a tiny bit extra spice.*
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
Directions:
Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and stir to blend. Cover and chill 1-2 hours to blend flavors. Serve with grilled meat, or with chips as an appetizer
I made a jar for Mr. 246 for Father's Day and we grilled chicken with it last night and it was amazing. I even sent Mr. 246 and Lunabean out today to get more cherries so I could make some more.


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But that's not all folks! On a whim I decided I should learn canning so I made a quadruple batch of the salsa and bought some canning supplies (basically jars with the lids, jar tongs, and a huge pot) and we tried our luck at canning tonight.

IMPORTANT EDIT: Okay, thanks to a kind friend online, I have learned that I failed my first canning attempt. The lesson I learned: Only to use canning-approved recipes for canning otherwise there is a good chance you will end up sick. I had the cherry salsa recipe...it was good. I found directions for canning cherry salsa but I didn't use the recipe they had used in the directions. Mr. 246 said it should work just fine and that the recipes were similar enough. No...apparently it is very particular when you are canning due to acidity, ect. (Ahem...clearly I know nothing about canning...) Well, so I have my mission: Can something the proper way to redeem myself. I'll let you all know how it goes after I've done some better research. My disclaimer: DO NOT USE THIS RECIPE FOR CANNING. On another note...I think we did the actually canning part quite well, all of our jars sealed. :)

It was quite an adventure. I drank hard cider and paced around a good bit. I didn't know there would be so much timing and waiting and hurrying involved, but we accomplished it. I think it would really take me another time or two of doing the canning until I got the hang of it, but I'm really quite proud of us. Here's a couple pictures from the canning experience:

Part of the Setup:
Part of the Canning Set Up


Water heating up in the big shiny pot. Salsa made and ready to go!
Close Up Cherry Salsa


Heating up the salsa and lids...
Heating Up the Salsa


Bunch of behind-the-scenes magic and: Voila! Five delicious jars of cherry salsa!
Completed Cherry Salsa Jars


If you try the recipe out, let me know what you think! Also, Happy Father's Day Weekend!
-Ms. 246

2 comments:

  1. Looks delish!! I bought all the canning stuff last year and a book and I was too chicken to try it. Very inspiring! You mentioned drinking hard cider? I've wanted to make hard cider forever! Sounds so fun!!! Great job on your Cherry Salsa!

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    1. I'm second guessing myself now. When I went to bed I was so excited about canning I decided to look up more stuff and now I'm afraid I'm going to give myself food poisoning. Mr. 246 says that we did everything right and it should be good, but now I realize why people are afraid to try it. As for hard cider - it's my drink of choice! I've never thought about making it though. Thanks for stopping by!

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