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Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for Salsa

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter T and the category of Memoirs

 This is a re-post from way back on my first A to Z challenge.

Well, here we are on the last few posts of the challenge.  I've enjoyed it for the most part except those days where I don't have any time and still have to get a post out.  Would I change the way I posted next challenge?  Probably not.  I'm more of a spontaneous writer.  I like it that way.  It comes from the heart.
Stay tuned for a special post I have planned before the end of this little shindig.  Now what to post about today.

Have I ever told you the story of my salsa business?  Well it wasn't a huge business but it did make money and I was noted as having the best salsa around.
It started about 10 years ago.  We had just moved from an apartment to a little house within the city limits.  It was a quaint little 3 bedroom house with a fenced in yard for the dog we didn't have.  I used the kids instead because you can't have a fence without containing something.

With all the space I had (compared to the apartment) I decided to put in a garden.  This was the seed that sowed my love of gardening forever.  My neighbor (and Uncle in law) had a beat up old rototiller and offered it up for service.
After an hour of sweat, blood and tears I finally had the.....tiller started...........and began dry humping the soil.  Sounds crude, I know but have you ever watched someone break virgin soil with a front tine rototiller?  If you have, then you understand my description.  I think the garden was about 14 feet wide and around 25 feet long.
Not real big but she was my first.

The only experience I had with gardening was watching my father.  We didn't have a lot of gardens, but I do remember some of them.  So what to plant was my biggest dilemma.  I love salsa so I figured I would grow vegetables that could make salsa.  Off to the store I went and came home with an assortment of veggies.

I worked my butt off in that garden.  Weeding and watering.  I put a rickety, chicken wire fence to keep out our imaginary dog out and more importantly the neighborhood rabbits.  My efforts were rewarded come late that summer, as I plucked beautiful vegetables from my first garden.  Now I just needed to learn how to make salsa.

After much research, taste testing and a very messy kitchen I completed my first batch and filled up 6 pints with mild, medium and hot salsa.  Of course, I couldn't sit still without having a taste test so off I went to the local Eagle's Club. (hang out at that time) I went accompanied by my 6-pint jars and 2 bags of chips.
Now I don't know if it was all the beer talking or the salsa was just that good but soon the 6 jars were empty and people were asking me how much I charged for it.  It was like I was Mr. Ortega, Chi Chis, Old El Paso or something.  They wanted it and it was obvious by the price that they didn't care how much it cost.
This was pure fresh salsa.  No seasoning packets or kits involved.  90% of the ingredients were harvested from that little yard.
I sold many jars that year and I sold them at $5 a pint and requested the jars back, and they gave them back.  I think the thing I liked most of all about my salsa business was the feeling I got when I was told that it was the best salsa ever.  My garden boomed and since that day there was only one year I didn't have a garden and that was last year because we moved.  I no longer sell it but the romance is still there.

So in my growing infatuation with vegetables and gardening I increased the size and number of plants.  Added sweet corn and cucumbers along with zucchini and squash but if you stood back and looked, the predominant vegetable was the shiny red one.  Hanging from its stem, plum, ripe and ready to be turned into something delicious.  At one time, I had as many as 40 plants growing.  Last canning season I had I put up 40 quarts.  This post is dedicated to my love affair with the........................Tomato


  1. That's a big tomato.
    Wish I could taste your salsa.

  2. I also grow stuff for salsa. I can it and I make fresh for as long as I am able. Last year was a bad year so I am down to my last two jars. I have sold a few jars at garage sales. Good for you.

  3. How cool! I bet it tasted delicious! Who knows one day you might market it nationally!



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