Traverse City Record-Eagle


August 23, 2010

Rebecca Lindamood: Hot days of canning


Peach Salsa

½ c. cider vinegar

6 c. pitted, peeled, chopped peaches

1¼ c. chopped sweet or yellow onion

4 hot peppers, stems removed, finely minced (Use whichever hot peppers suit your heat tolerance.)

½ c. chopped cilantro

2 T. honey

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1½ t. ground cumin

½ cayenne pepper

Optional, 1 red or green bell pepper,seeded and chopped

Prepare your canner, jars and lids by sterilizing with boiling water.

Combine vinegar and peaches in a large, non-reactive (stainless steel, enamelware or glass) pan. Add onion, hot peppers, bell pepper (if using), cilantro, honey, garlic, cumin and cayenne pepper. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring often, until the salsa has thickened slightly. This should take 4-7 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Ladle the hot salsa into your prepared jars, leaving ½-inch of headspace at the top of the jar. Insert a chopstick, butterknife or thin spatula along the sides of the jar to help dislodge air bubbles. Add more salsa if needed to maintain the ½-inch of headspace. Wipe the rim with a paper towel dipped in vinegar. Position lids onto the jars and screw the rings in place to finger-tip tight.

Place jars in the canner, cover with tepid tap water. Place lid on canner, bring to a boil over high heat and process for 15 minutes at a full rolling boil. Turn off the heat, remove the canner lid and let the jars sit in the hot water for 5 minutes before transferring to a towel or rack on the countertop. Allow to cool, undisturbed for 24 hours at room temperature. Remove the rings carefully so you don't disturb the seal, wipe the jars clean with a damp towel, label and store in a cool, dry place.

— Adapted from The Ball Complete Book of Home Preservation

Frozen peaches aren't just for smoothies. Peaches and Cream Time Saver Muffins take advantage of frozen or fresh peaches. The vanilla peach muffins make a delicious start to the day or sweet afternoon snack. While delicate, they're sturdy enough to pack in lunch bags.

This muffin isn't just a tasty treat though. The beauty of the recipe is that you can whip it up and store it in the refrigerator for a week at a time. For piping hot muffins fresh every morning, simply scoop the batter into the desired number of muffin cups or liners and bake. A hearty, hot breakfast doesn't get much easier than this!

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