Mama Tip Tuesday! Canning Five Generations in One Pot

Sweet Sound of Popping Lids

You may notice an old aluminum pot of simmering tomatoes on my mom's stove from time to time. It is my great grandmother's pot. Five generations have cooked in that old pot. It may go back even further. I am not for sure how long. I do know my great grandmother canned, who taught my grandmother, who taught my mother, who taught me, and finally my daughters when they join in! Growing up I've seen my mom can many many times. She even canned as many as 100 quarts of tomatoes one summer. Hearing the lids pop is one of my favorite sounds.

My great grandma lived till she was 93. I remember, she was sweet and most of all, the windmill short bread cookies she had on her counter that I loved. Yes when you're under 5 that was the high light of your day. My grandmother took care of her till she passed away. Who in turn has a heart of gold. To this day, at age 75, my grandmother never ever stops. I came to the realization a few weeks ago, I can never recall a time that she has been sick. Not even a head cold?! My mother is also good hearted and so strong. This year she was diagnosed with breast cancer, went through 8 rounds if chemo, a mastectomy, and now 6 weeks of radiation. Who never let it slow her down.
There is no doubt I've had generations of strong women who have passed down so much passion. I hope you enjoy the generations of knowledge that has gone into this.
It starts with mules, yes, mules. Every year before my parents plant a garden they make sure it is good and fertilized. With mule-newer. Year after year their produce is so hearty from the mule's hard work. Ha!

Then you need two cute curly headed girls to pick all those tomatoes. The youngest one had a tough time picking just the red ones, but there were plenty to go around.

Here is the recipe,

Savory Southwest Salsa
5lbs Ripe Tomatoes (Roma's are the Best)
3 Cups Chopped Onions
1 Cup Jalapenos (We removed seeds and middle to make it not as spicy)
1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar (5% Acidity)
3 1/2 tsp Salt

Seems Simple Right?!

First of all, make sure all surfaces are clean! This is so important so nothing get into your jars that you don't want.

Then weigh your tomatoes. You can use a kitchen scale if you have it. The other option is to weigh yourself with and without the tomatoes. Yes, it is okay to write it down on paper, if you can't do it all in your head. I did, but no one will have to know.

Next, talk your mom into doing the dirty work, cutting up the jalapenos. Over the years, she has learned the hard way, when you cut up this many jalapenos, WEAR GLOVES! It burns! Meanwhile, I cried my eyes out cutting up onions. Okay, I'm not sure who was really doing the dirty work here!

Next get a large pot of water boiling. Then pour it over the tomatoes. This blanches then to make it easy to remove the skins. Then put a medium size bowl aside with cold water the tomatoes and toss a few hot ones in there. Cut out the stem and then peel off skin. Cut off any imperfections such as excessive whiteness or dark spots.

After about 20 minutes of tomatoes bubbling on medium heat, add in your onions.

Tip from grandma. She says to skim off the foam to help take impurities out of the tomatoes.

Great grandma's pot on the left. Place jars in boiling water to start the canning.

Next stir in the jalapenos. Then add in remaining ingredients.

Then place new lids and rims in boiling water. Tip from mom: Never reuse lids! New lids will ensure a good seal.

Fill hot jars with hot salsa leaving about a 1/2 inch of space at the top. Then clean off rim of glass jar with a clean towel or wash cloth. Add lid then rim. Set aside and move on to the next one. Once they have sealed the dot in the middle will recede. Make sure all jars are sealed before storing.

Next enjoy the salsa that didn't fit in the jar! Add fresh cilantro before serving!


  1. You are so absolutely awesome. I have tears running down my cheeks thinking about all the generations who've kept canning alive in the family. And now you're teaching it to others so the tradition can start for them. You go, girl!


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