Sunday, August 22, 2010


I looked at my ingredients and thought, "What can I make?"

SALSA of course!

John helped me to chop up the vegetables (the Pampered Chef chopper makes short work of them!)

The ingredients are in the jars ready to be put into a hot water bath.

GUESS what we had for dinner!?!

from "The Practical Produce Cookbook"

8 c. peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
3 c. chopped jalapeno peppers - I didn't have enough jalapenos, so substituted hungarian hot peppers too
2 c. chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. minced cilatro (optional) - I don't like it and don't add it
2 tsp. oregano
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1-1/2 c. vinegar or lemon juice

When seeding or cutting hot peppers, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from being burned (or you can coat your hands with olive oil). Combine all ingredients in a large kettle. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Carefully ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Adjust lids. Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.

It turned out kind of watery - I figure we'll dump it into a strainer and draw off the excess liquid before we serve it. I'd appreciate tips and/or recipes anyone may have!

Gardeners are starting to see more powdery mildew and other fungal diseases in their gardens with the cooler, wetter weather. I looked up natural alternatives to chemical sprays and here are two I'm going to try. I'll let you know how they work.

Hydrogen Peroxide Treatment

To prevent bacterial and fungal problems on outdoor plants use hydrogen peroxide! Hydrogen peroxide will prevent the disease spores from adhering to the plant tissue. It causes no harm to plants or soil, however don't use on young transplants or direct seeded crops until they have become established.

Warning: Always test on a small portion of plant tissue first to check for any negative reactions. Do not proceed if there is any damage to plant tissue. Do not substitute food grade H2O2 for the common H2O2. Spray plants with undiluted 3 percent hydrogen peroxide that you can buy most anywhere. Be sure to cover tops and bottoms of leaves. Do this once a week during dry weather and twice a week in wet weather. This works as a preventative. If you already have problems use this as a direct treatment.

Milk for Mildew

Milk with its' natural enzymes and simple sugar structures can be used to combat various mildews on cucumber, asters, tomato, squash and zinnia foliage. This works by changing the pH on the surface of the leaves, so they are less susceptible to mildew. Use a 50/50 mixture of milk and water. Thoroughly spray plants every 3 to 4 days at first sign of mildews or use weekly as a preventative measure.

Milk can also be mixed at a rate of 2 ounces milk to 18 ounces of water and used as a spray every 7 to 10 days to treat mosaic disease on cucumber, tomato and lettuce.

6 eggs

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