The Sunday Recipe: Salsa

This recipe is adapted from one in an old copy of Country Woman magazine that my grandmother had kept. It was submitted by “Diana Murphy of Black Earth, Wisconsin” and printed in the November/December 1999 issue. I changed up the amount of onions, type of peppers, and reduced the amount of tomato paste.

Note: When chopping hot peppers, like jalapeno, it is wise to use gloves, but if your hands are in good shape, no cuts, and you can remember NOT to touch your face, you should be fine.

The first time I made this recipe, I left the seeds from ONE jalapeno in and it gave the salsa a nice heat that crept up on you. This time I seeded the peppers but didn’t worry if a few seeds got in, for a nice, mild, sweet, salsa.

Originally, I also used Poblano peppers instead of bell peppers. This time the grocery store only had the Italian equivalent so I used those. Substitutions are a good thing, especially when someone in the family is allergic to bell peppers.

This made me about 9 pints of salsa. A great recipe for gift giving!



  • 18 cups quartered peeled fresh tomatoes (60 to 80 Roma tomatoes, depending on size.)
  • 4 Large onions, chopped
  • 4 good size Poblano chile peppers, seeded and chopped.
  • 9 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 6 sweet banana peppers chopped
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can of tomato paste


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large kettle and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring once every five minutes.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for two hours. Stir occasionally.
  3. Jar or cool and freeze.

The Friday Poem: Am I Happy

The Sunday Recipe: Old-fashioned Chili Sauce

Old-fashioned Chili Sauce

This is an old recipe that my mother got from my paternal grandmother. I’ve made it quite a few times over the years and it has evolved a tiny bit. (Recipes tend to do that around here based on what is available.) It’s a lovely, savory relish that my father and aunt were known to eat from a saucer with a slice of bread.

I like it on burgers and I’ve cooked venison in the slow cooker with it for a great main dish. I’ve even used it as a dip with crackers. I have canned it before, but I have also frozen it and that is what I did this time. It makes a great gift for people who don’t need anything, or when you simply don’t know what to buy.

The most onerous part of making this relish is chopping the onions, but it’s worth it. I highly recommend you refrigerate the onions before chopping. (It helps a LOT.) You can use a food processor, a chopper, or make sure there’s a vent fan going while you chop.

Now, I don’t normally use brown sugar, I substitute maple syrup, but I wanted to keep this recipe true to the original flavor because I was mainly making it for family, so I used the brown sugar.


  • 12 large, ripe tomatoes
  • 6 large onions, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (green or red, or a combination)
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon each ground allspice, ground cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, mustard seed, and celery seed.
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves


  1. Mix everything in a large pot
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring every few minutes.
  3. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook down for about 2 hours, until well thickened.
  4. Can, freeze, or use.

The Friday Poem: Don’t Let Go

The Sunday Recipe: Green Tomato Mincemeat

My husband grew a bumper crop of Roma tomatoes this year. I’ve made several batches of marinara sauce, chili sauce, and one HUGE batch of salsa. Some of the tomatoes didn’t quite have time to ripen though so I’ve used an old favorite recipe to preserve them — Green Tomato Mincemeat. I’ve adapted this recipe for a more paleo version from the Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook of 1937. It’s simple but amazingly delicious.

In the past I’ve used either olive oil or butter, and either vinegar or lemon juice. This time I replaced the sugar with maple syrup, which allows me to use ¾ of the sugar content and still retain the tangy sweetness.

I prefer Granny Smith apples, but I’m sure any good cooking apple would work. I made a double batch the first time with vinegar, instead of lemon juice, and it tasted great. Today I made a triple batch and used lemon juice.

Green Tomato Mincemeat


  • 2 cups peeled, cored, and chopped apples
  • 2 cups chopped green tomatoes
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup dark raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon mace (nutmeg is an acceptable substitute)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ tablespoon tapioca flour or cornstarch (optional)
  • ¼ cup butter


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large pot, except butter and tapioca (or corn) starch.
  2. Bring to a boil gradually over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Simmer about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
  4. Stir together tapioca flour or cornstarch with 1 tablespoon cold water and stir into the sauce.
  5. Simmer another 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in butter.
  7. Cool and use, or pour into freezer containers to store in the freezer.

The Friday Poem: 2020 Calendar

The Sunday Recipe: Autumn Turkey Pot Pie

This recipe was born from being short on time and already having turkey salad in the fridge made up. It’s a combination of the popular turkey salad recipe that uses pecans, cranberries, celery, mayo and yogurt, the Pampered Chef Turkey Cranberry Wreath, and what I happened to have on hand. My daughter has told me several times that she wants me to make it again, so I consider that a big win.

If you don’t know how to make crust for a pie, talk to Betty.

I like to use Spectrum organic palm oil for the shortening. For regular pie crust, the trick is really to be in a hurry – leave the fat content chunks big, like green peas, no over mixing, just enough to bring the dough together, and keep everything cold. Chill the dough ten minutes before rolling out. Now, with the vegetable shortening, I found it worked best warm. Roll out on floured parchment paper then put the pie plate over it upside down and flip them BOTH over.

Autumn Turkey Pot Pie


  • ¼ cup mayo
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon marjoram
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ dried cranberries
  • 4 ounces shredded baby swiss (or cheddar)
  • Crust for top and bottom on a pie.


  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Prepare bottom pie crust in deep dish pie plate.
  3. Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, honey, marjoram, and pepper together.
  4. Add the chopped turkey, celery, pecans, cranberries, and shredded cheese.
  5. Turn into the pie crust.
  6. Cover with second crust, flute edge, and add air vents.
  7. Bake at 425 for 35 minutes.
  8. Enjoy.

The Friday Poem: Trickle Charged

The Sunday Recipe: Simple Marinara Sauce

My husband had a bumper crop of Roma tomatoes in his garden this year so my daughter and I ended up doing three batches of marinara sauce over three days for the freezer, refining our skills as we went. Here is where we ended up.

I based the seasoning on the simple sauce I make from canned unsalted tomato sauce.  I just stir together 1 eight ounce can of unsalted tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon of basil, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, ½ teaspoon of oregano, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, and a pinch of sugar. I use that for pizza, spaghetti squash, zucchini, and eggplant recipes.

Now we have a small supply of sauce from home grown tomatoes.

Simple Marinara Sauce


  • 9 to 10 pounds tomatoes (preferably roma)
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of water
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup dried basil
  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • If not using head of garlic, 2 tablespoons of garlic powder (NOT salt)
  • 4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Clean and quarter the tomatoes to make sure there are no bad spots inside.
  2. Combine tomatoes, crushed garlic, chopped onion, and water in a large stock pot.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Stir and reduce to a simmer.
  5. Leave lid on and stir every fifteen minutes for the first hour.
  6. Tip the lid so steam escapes and continue to simmer for about 3 hours.
  7. Run the cooked tomato mixture through a food mill with a fairly large whole strainer. You’ll get some seeds but not too many. Can also be pressed through a colander but the food mill is much easier.
  8. Place the tomato sauce in a pot and bring to a simmer.
  9. Cook until desired consistency, about an hour.
  10. Add seasonings and simmer another 15 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool.
  12. Package and freeze until needed.

Makes approximately 12 cups of sauce.

The Friday Poem: Silent Contemplation

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