If you recall, I received a very generous party pack from House Party for my Ball Fresh Taste of Summer party. Since my mom was in town, I was aiming to hold the party while she was here so she could attend. My mom had never canned before, and since I’d just jumped in and started doing my own preserving, she wanted to see how it was done.
Before my party, we prepared two recipes from the House Party party page. We made some salsa and pepper jelly. Here’s what you’ll need for the salsa.
10 cups chopped, cored, peeled tomatoes (about 10 med)
5 cups chopped, seeded green bell peppers (about 4 large)
5 cups chopped white onion (about 5 med)
2 1/2 cups chopped, seeded chili peppers, such as
hot banana, Hungarian wax, Serrano or jalapeño
(about 12 med)
1 1/4 cups cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp hot pepper sauce (optional)
12 Ball® Half Pint (8 oz) Jars with Lids and Bands
So first, you’ll need to prepare your canner and jars. I ran my jars and lids through the sterilize cycle on the dishwasher to clean them and get them nice and hot, and set the water bath boiling because it is HUGE and takes forever.
Next you’ll need to peel, core, and seed all your tomatoes. I did not take photos of this, but here’s what I did. I scored the tomatoes with two big circles that intersected at a cross at the top and bottom. Have some water boiling and drop the tomato in for 30 seconds only. When it’s done there, immediately drop it into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. When you remove from the water, the skin will peel right off. Then, slice in half and remove the insides, chop.
Combine all your chopped ingredients in a pan.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. The vegetables will begin to release some liquid and it will start to look like this.
Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. It should look like this at this point.
At this point you’re going to ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 headspace. Remove air bubbles and re-measure headspace. If needed, add more salsa to meet 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rim and center lid on jar. Screw band on until fingertip-tight.
Process your jars in the water bath for 15 minutes.
Remember once the jars are removed from the water bath, try to leave them undisturbed for 24 hours. Don’t forget to press down the tops of each lid to ensure each jar has sealed. If it hasn’t sealed, you can either remove the lid, clean the rim, and once again process it, or you can simply put it into the fridge and eat it within 2 weeks.
This batch of salsa was really good. However, wasn’t nearly hot enough. I was being way overly cautious and removed all the seeds and membranes from the jalapeños so these are all considered “mild”. However, the batch I made DURING the party for the demo we left in everything and it’s super hot! Next time we’ll remove half for a nice, happy medium.
For the pepper jelly, here’s what you’ll need.
4 1/2 cups finely chopped green bell pepper (about 4 large)
1/2 cup finely chopped jalapeño pepper (about 4 small)
1 1/4 cups cider vinegar
1 pkg (1.75 oz) Ball® No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin
2 cups sugar
1 cup honey
12 Ball® (4 oz) Quilted Crystal® Jelly Jars with Lids and Bands
Of course, as always prepare all your gear first.
Then, combine the peppers, jalapeños, and vinegar in the pot. Gradually stir in pectin.
Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down over high heat, stirring constantly.
Add sugar and honey. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. You’ll be left with a jelly that looks like this.
Ladle hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4 headspace. Wipe rim and center lid on jar. Screw band on until fingertip-tight. Process for 10 minutes in a water bath and let sit for 5 with the heat off before removing.
I had never had pepper jelly before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s sweet with a bite and goes great with cream cheese and a cracker. We also served it with Monterey Jack cheese and crackers. Both were delicious.
I prepared these two batches before the party so that I could share them with the group, as well as send a jar of jelly home with each of them.
At the party, we did can a small batch of the salsa, like I mentioned. It was great to share something that I love with my friends. I do hope they will each try preserving at home themselves!
It was great to enjoy some homemade snacks and girl talk.
I love any excuse to get together with my girlfriends. And it was even more fun since my mom was able to join!