Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My LAST blog about Salsa!!!! PROMISE!


When we pastored in Mt. Pleasant, our dear friend, LINDA POHL, would give us some of her homemade salsa every year for Christmas. OF COURSE, with my husband's strong love and desire for HOT THINGS, 12 jars didn't last very long. So he asked if I could learn how to can Salsa and make her awesome RECIPE. (did he REALLY understand what he was asking????)

SO LINDA so PATIENTLY and graciously walked me, the Domestically, Culinarily Challenged, through the process.

I learned ...When I make salsa for my hubby...I have to make it SOOOO HOT... my lips and tongue burn and my lips swell up... He can just pour it down. ... I use 30-35 jalapenos and pablanos per double recipe for him. I use 3-4 for normal people!

I believe he is made of iron from his tongue thru his entire digestive system.

Last summer, at the end of August Steve was gone for about 10 days, so Brianna and I decided to go and spend time with my mom and dad. I figured it was a GREAT time to make my Salsa...especially because Mom had such a great kitchen to work in.

There were a couple of GREAT things about that decision.

#1: My grandma's niece had a garden full of tomatoes...so we went and picked tomatoes, some jalapenos, and green peppers...plus Farmer's Market treasures. Linda taught me "grow your own or know someone who does!!"

#2: Mom, Grandma (MO), my Aunt Darlene and Brianna all helped me...And they are all VERY GIFTED in the kitchen... that offsets my "not very gifted in the kitchen" self.

#3. The Vidalia Chop Wizard - (blogged about it last week)
(This is the one thing I taught LINDA! She bought one last year and loves it!!)

LINDA TAUGHT ME that when you take the jars out of the water after their water bath...and set them on the counter... and you hear the lids start popping.... you say "PRAISE THE LORD"...because every time you hear that wonderful little noise, you KNOW it is sealed properly.

Believe me... popping lids are surely something to Praise GOD for... I have had to redo many jars because of one little speck of stuff on the lip of the jar. I can tell you from much experience, a pop-less jar is quite a depressing silence .

SOOOO...last year I said "praise the LORD" 99 TIMES! (I would have said it 100 times but my salsa making comrades and I ate a jar full when it was warm...right after cooking. It was SOOOO yummy. SO this year I made Steve's mom and dad 40 jars with veges from their little - 1.5 acre - garden.)

A "LINDA'S SALSA CHALLENGE" for the week...

When something goes right... say "Praise the LORD" in thanks and appreciation.

And when things aren't going your way... and you have to redo what you've worked so hard on... decide to Praise the LORD in faith for the great things that are going to happen and THANK HIM for the lessons learned in the prior attempt(s).

SO...that is enough of the domestic diva in me for today. If you come to my house for dinner...GUESS WHAT YOU ARE HAVING?????

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You've Gotta Watch...

Last week my family and Becky were blessed with tickets to the Steven Curtis Chapman concert in our area. (thanks Nathan and Heidi!)

When S.C.C. came on stage the first song he sang was "Blessed Be the Name of the Lord".

He shared with us this was the first song that came to him when his 5 year old daughter, Maria, was tragically killed last May when her 17 year old brother, Will Franklin, accidentally ran over her in an SUV.

When S.C.C. started singing the part of the song... "You give and take away.... You give and take away...My heart will choose to say... LORD BLESSED BE YOUR NAME ..."
I can tell you there was not one dry eye in the place.

If you have not seen the Chapman family's interview on Larry King Live a couple of weeks ago... go
HERE. (be sure to watch all 6 parts.) AND Larry King did a short follow up titled "About Last Night" when he reflects on the interview. Amazing how he was touched.

I also flipped on the
Early Show this morning and they were introducing Steven Curtis and his son Caleb singing the song he wrote for his daughters before the death of Maria, Cinderella.

He was also featured in People Magazine June's Issue and an August interview online...

on Focus on the Family recently, in a 3 part series talking about the tragedy and the GOD OF COMFORT.

He and his wife, Mary Beth... (Steven and Mary Beth.... funny... WE are Stephen and Mary Beth!!!!) have also been interviewed by
Robin Sullivan on Good Morning America. What a platform the LORD has opened for them to share their faith in Christ.

On GMA he said, "We have questions... but that's what faith is all about ... Living with the questions... it doesn't mean you have the answers... that's what faith is ..."

The statement that struck me the most at the concert and on the Larry King interview was this... "We have hit rock bottom ... but in hitting rock bottom we have discovered that the bottom is a solid foundation."

That is the beauty of living for our LORD and having Him in our lives... when we think we can't continue... when we don't understand and ask "WHY"... when we have sunk to a place where we can go no lower... we find...


We can look up and have hope, faith, and blind trust in the ONE on whom we are standing.

If you haven't seen any of these interviews...Watch, listen...Be ready to weep... be ready to be encouraged... be ready to see the GOD OF ALL COMFORT in action with this family...

Our GOD who is also there for YOU... longing to be YOUR SOLID FOUNDATION.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Salsa Recipe

So... thanks to the mass 3 of you who emailed for this recipe! :-D

I take no claim to fame at being a domestic diva...except I DO make yummy salsa, thanks to Linda!


* 4 C. finely chopped tomatoes

* 1 C. finely chopped onion

* 1 green Bell pepper finely chopped (around 1 cup)


Place chopped veges in a LARGE saucepan.

Combine the following ingredients in food processor or blender.

* 4 – 8 Fresh Jalapenos
( ok… I use 35… count ‘em… 35 for Steve’s Salsa. It is fire hot! You just
have to taste it and go by trial and error for your likes. If you like mild start
with 2 -4.)

* 4 cloves of Garlic

* 1 sm. Can Tomato Paste

* ½ C sugar

* 1 C. White vinegar

* ¼ t. Alum

* ½ t. Cumin

* ½ t. pepper

* 1 TB. Salt

Process until smooth.

Combine with chopped veges in large sauce pan.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat.

Simmer for 45 minutes.

Pour into HOT sterilized jars. ( pint jars) leaving ½ inch head space.

Seal. And process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Makes appx. 3 pints.



**You can double recipe. One time I tripled it but it easily scorched.

**Jalapeno hints… I do not deseed them because it takes away the HEAT

IF You deseed them wear gloves. I have had two friends rub their faces while deseeding and their faces get red and on fire. If this happens,my allergist says bathe face and hands in milk. It really works.

** If you have never canned before, be sure to use new seal lids and read the directions.

I found the 2nd Best Time Saver EVER! (what is the 1st? my female family members!)


I saw it in Real Simple listed as a great product. It chops the vegetables so quickly and perfectly. No watery onions or peppers. And even the ripe tomatoes chopped into little perfect squares without being mushed!

It usually takes me a day or more JUST to chop all my vegetables. We did all the onions and peppers in 45 MINUTES!!!!!!

NOW... my mom, father- in- love, sister-in-love, aunt...all have one. Whoever tries it loves it. You can get it at Walgreens, CVS for $20... or with a $5 coupon at Bed, Bath, and Beyond... it's just $15.
Cheaper than a good food processor.

Let me know how it goes when you make it!