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There’s nothing like homemade salsa.  After you have tasted it, you’ll never want to go back to store bought.  My kids liked my salsa so much last year, that this spring I planted a Salsa Garden with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, bell peppers, and hot peppers.  Everything did fine except the cilantro, which went to seed too early.  When it was time to pick, my son and I went out to the garden for some sun-ripened tomatoes and peppers.  I picked up my other ingredients from the store, and then it was time to make salsa.  I used my sister’s fabulous recipe and then adapted it:  this year I decided to make one of my batches with mangoes, which give the salsa an extra sweetness.  When I cut up the peppers, I found a happy face, reminding me that life is full of unexpected bursts of happiness.  The salsa took most of the day to make, what with chopping up the vegetables, washing and sterilizing jars and lids, and putting the filled jars through the water bath.  In between batches, I began a new murder mystery:  Three Sisters, by James D. Doss.  I was soon laughing at all the shenanigans that Aunt Daisy gets into as she contemplates life and helps Charlie Moon solve the murder.  I saved some salsa out to eat fresh, and we had it for supper with crisp tortilla chips, salad, and tacos.  It was delicious.  The mango batch was especially a hit.  So, here’s my mango salsa recipe.  Feel free to make your own adaptations.  Enjoy!

4-6 jalapeno peppers (wear gloves when deveining and removing seeds)
8 c. chopped tomatoes (I leave the skin on)
2 c. chopped yellow onions
1 c. chopped red pepper
1c. chopped yellow pepper
4  cloves garlic, minced
2  large ripe mangoes, chopped
1 large bunch fresh cilantro
1 small can tomato paste
1 c. apple cider vinegar
1 c. regular vinegar
1/2 c. white sugar
2 Tbsp. salt
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. oregano

Chop vegetables.  In a non-aluminum pan, combine and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer 1 hour.  Stir often.  Put in sterile jars with new sterile lids, process 30 minutes in water bath.  Makes about 12 pints (depending on how much you keep out fresh).  For original recipe, leave out the mangoes and process 20 minutes.

ready to make salsa happy face with cut peppers 2 Chopped salsa in bowl canned salsa

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