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I live in Central California.  There are some things that that are a certainty when August rolls around:
  1. It will be hotter than Meg Ryan at the restaurant in "When Harry Met Sally"  [I'll have what she's having"---classic],
  2. Peaches and nectarines will be falling from the trees, and
  3. Vegetable gardens will be producing like crazy.  You could be buried alive under all the tomatoes coming off of even a small-ish garden.
After you have made all the tomato sauce, tomato paste, stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, and salsa you could possibly eat or give away in a year, what do you make next?  Try something new; make some peach salsa.



Step 1: You're Such a Tool!


Gather your equipment.  We will be using the boiling water bath method for canning our peach salsa.  You will need:
  • One large 21 quart water bath canner (or a big-ol'-pot)
  • One large stock pot for cooking the salsa (I used an eight quart)
  • One small pot to heat lids and bands.  I used a two quart pot
  • Seven pint size canning jars, lids and bands
  • jar grabber and funnel
  • Knifes, cutting boards, bowls, ladles, and other prep equipment
  • spice bag or a pair of nylons.

Step 2: In Greedy Aunts

Darn English language....I meant "ingredients."  Sorry.

  • 6 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes, 1/2 inch cubes
  • 8 cups peeled and chopped hard, unripe peaches, 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped granny smith apples, 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups diced onions, 1/4 inch size
  • 2 cups diced red, yellow, orange, or green bell peppers 1/4 inch size
  • several finely diced HOT peppers (I used 3 orange habaneros, 6 serranos, and 4 jalapenos and it is on the hot side for my wife and a bit too mild for me....Ah, the art of compromise....no one is happy!)
  • 1 bulb garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 to 11/2 cups brown sugar (to taste)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs salt (pickling salt is preferred, but table salt will work, too.)
  • 1 Tbs black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 2 Tbs pickling spice

Step 3: We've All Got Skin in the Game...

...but we don't want it in our salsa.  The tomato peels and peach skins get very rubbery when cooked, so they have to go.

The easiest way of removing the tomato peels is by placing them in boiling water for 90 seconds and then immediately plunging them into cold water.  The skins will crack and slide off easily.  Do the same with the peaches, but boil for 2 minutes instead of 90 seconds.  

 

Step 4: It Slices. It Dices. It Chops...

Time to cut everything up.  When you dice the tomatoes, put them in to a colander so the juice drains out.  Everything else is straight forward. 

Mandatory disclaimer to protect my assets. 

Knives are sharp...blah, blah.....fingers....blood....blah, blah.....intense pain.....yada, yada...not my fault. 

Step 5: Bag That Spicey Thang'

Oh, grow up!  I'm talking about the pickling spices!


Put the pickling spices into your spice bag.  If you don't have a spice bag, just use a small section (6 inches is enough) of nylon stockings, preferably new or at least washed!  Put the spices in the nylon and then knot the ends to keep them contained.  Basically, what we are doing is making a tea-bag so that the flavours get into the Salsa and the spices are easy to remove. 


Step 6: Start Smoking That Pot!

Oops, I mean it's time to cook the salsa.  Put everything in the pot except the cilantro.  Simmer it for 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning. 

At this point, you need to prepare your jars.  More about that in the next step.
 

After a few minutes of cooking, perform the palate perception assessment procedure to determine product suitability.  This highly technical, scientific procedure is often referred to as a taste test.  Adjust salt, pepper, sugar, etc. to taste.

A few minutes before the cooking is finished, add the cilantro. 

Step 7: Boil Some Water....it's Time to Deliver

After you start cooking the salsa, it's time to prepare your jars. 

To prevent the jars from breaking when they are filled and placed in the hot water bath, they must be preheated.  This can be done in one of three different ways.
  1. Place in dishwasher on the sanitize setting.
  2. Place in oven heated to 200 degrees.
  3. Place in boiling water bath and .....surprise, surprise.....boil the water.
Since the boiling water bath will be used later anyway, I chose option number 3. 

Put the jars in the water bath and fill it to just over the top of the jars with warm to hot tap water.  Place it on the stove and bring to a boil.  This will take a long time because of the large volume of water.

Place the lids and bands in a separate small sauce pan and cover with water.  Place on stove and heat water, but do not boil.  Somewhere around 180 degrees F is perfect.

Step 8: Feel 'er Up

On second thought, that could get you slapped.  Let's fill the jars instead.

After the 30 minutes simmer time is over, take all of the jars out of the water.  Use a slotted spoon to fill the jars to about 1 inch below the top.  Try not to get too much liquid.  Once all the jars are filled, add liquid to bring level to 1/2 inch below top of jar. 

Use a damp rag to wipe any spills off of the rims of the jars.  If you don't do this, the jar may not seal properly. 

Add lid and band and hand tighten. 

Disclaimer #2:

You just put boiling hot liquid in the jar.  It's going to be hot.  Use your brain and a pot holder when handling the jars.


NOTE: Be sure to save some of the salsa for immediate use.  Instead of making that last partial jar, put it in a bowl instead.  Place bowl in refrigerator and enjoy the fruit of your labors when your project is done.  





Step 9: How High ARE You?

Put the filled jars back into the boiling water bath and bring to a boil.  Once boiling starts, continue boiling for the time indicated below, depending on your altitude.

Altitude above sea level             processing time
less than 1000 feet                     15 minutes
1000 to 3000 feet                         20 minutes
3000 to 6000 feet                         25 minutes
6000 to 8000 feet                        30 minutes
8000 to 10000 feet                      35 minutes
10,000 feet or more                    Dude!, Stop reading this and get an oxygen tank before you pass out!




Step 10: I Otta' Pop You

When the processing time is completed, take the jars out of the water, place on counter to cool. Leave at least one inch of space between jars to allow sufficient air flow for cooling.  Then leave it alone.

After a while (which can be a few seconds to 30 minutes or more) you will hear the lids pop.  This indicates that the lids have sealed properly and you have successfully canned your peach salsa.  Let sit UNDISTURBED overnight so you don't disturb the seal. 




Step 11: Eat Me.....

You now have peach salsa that will stay fresh for at least 12 months.  But let's be honest, it tastes so good it won't survive more than a few weeks.  

So what is it good for?
  • I use it on hamburgers and hotdogs instead of relish.
  • use it as a dip for tortilla chips.
  • Add a sweet tang to tacos, burritos, nachos, and other Mexican dishes.
  • Chicken casserole....mmmmm
  • use your imagination, and share your ideas here.
Hope you enjoy your Peach Salsa.

If you liked this Instructable, please vote for me.  Thanks.
My family says this is the best salsa they ever had!
Clearly your family has good taste and is well educated. :-)<br> <br> Glad you all like it.&nbsp; &nbsp;
A question for you....my peach salsa tastes very hot -- perhaps too hot. Should I have used fewer jalapenos, or will the flavor mellow as it sits in the jar?
If it is too hot, then you probably should cut down on the peppers next time. As for mellowing over time, I couldn't say...mine never lasts long.<br> <br> A brief sidetrack to a somewhat related situation... I once made a very spicy mango and papaya salsa. It was too hot even for me, and I like spicy. I grated some milk chocolate over the salsa and mixed it up. The &quot;heat level&quot; of that salsa was then half of what it had been before. . ...<br> <br> Back to the situation at hand... To tone it down a bit, you could add a tablespoon or two of brown sugar when you open the jars....more sweetness should offset some of the spiciness...at least in theory. Heck, try the chocolate. Can't hurt.<br> <br> If you try this, let me know if it works. Good luck.
For peeling peaches you can parboil them if they are really soft (squishy). However, if they are firm you can use a vegetable peeler. The peeler may take of just a fraction of a bit more fruit, the peaches are not in any precooked.<br><br>Thanks for sharing your Instructable!
Thenks, so good!

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