Master Food Preservers: Oh those tomatoes

By From page B6 | July 31, 2013

MASTER FOOD PRESERVER Monique Wilber. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

MASTER FOOD PRESERVER Monique Wilber. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

Tomatoes: the international fruit. Do you like tomatoes as zesty Mexican salsa, or as Italian pasta sauce? Or maybe just stewed to add to hearty winter soups? The Master Food Preservers of El Dorado County will offer a “Tomatoes, Basic and Fancy” canning class on Saturday, Aug. 3, at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds Board Room in Placerville. The class will be repeated on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at the same location. Both classes are from 10 a.m. to noon and include instructions and demonstrations of techniques.

Most salsa recipes contain a mixture of low-acid foods, such as onions and chiles. Acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, must be added to prevent the botulism bacteria from growing. This bacteria produces a deadly toxin that can cause serious damage to the central nervous system or death when eaten even in small amounts. Only use canned salsa recipes that have been tested from a safe and approved source to ensure that they contain enough acid to be processed safely in a boiling water canner. Do not alter the recipe because it might make the salsa unsafe.

Chile salsa

Yield: 7 to 9 pints
10 cups peeled, cored, chopped tomatoes
6 cups seeded, chopped chiles*
4 cups chopped onions
1 cup vinegar (5 percent acidity)
3 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Combine ingredients in a large saucepan. Heat to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Ladle hot salsa into pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner: 15 minutes at 0–1,000 feet altitude, 20 minutes at 1,001–6,000 feet; 25 minutes above 6,000 feet. Source: New Mexico State University (
*Use mixture of mild and hot chiles
For questions about safe home food preservation or to schedule a speaker for organizations or clubs on the topics of food safety or food preservation, call the Master Food Preservers at 530-621-5506.

For more information go to the Master Food Preserver Website at Sign up to receive the Master Food Preservers e-newsletter at

Monique Wilber

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