LIMA â?? Itâ??s a little worse for wear because of the recent storm, Jenny Webb explained, apologizing for the state of her garden.
She had nothing to worry about.
Webbâ??s backyard garden looked lush, what with all the rain. Her raspberries were ripening nicely, as were the peppers, onions and many other things tucked into about 20 raised beds. Each is about 4 feet square, with mulched paths in between to allow for easier tending.
The Lima native grew up in a family that gardened. Sheâ??s been married 37 years, and she and her husband always have had a garden at their various houses over the years. Their two children have continued the trend.
â??I think itâ??s fun. Itâ??s kind of therapeutic,â? Webb said. â??You go out in a garden, and itâ??s relaxing. Itâ??s nice to be able to walk out back and pick something and go in and cook it.â?
But big gardens produce a lot. To not be wasteful, Webb learned to can. She often freezes vegetables for better flavor, but she found she didnâ??t care for freezing tomatoes â?? the ice crystals make the end result too watery. And what better way to deal with a tomato glut than make salsa?
About 25 years ago, she started asking around about how to can. Webb learned pre-Internet; she read books and asked friends.
â??I asked old farm people that I knew that canned â?» and girls I worked with,â? she said. â??I just asked around.â?
The recipe she shares today is what she has honed over the years. She said itâ??s mildly spicy, but the heat easily can be adjusted.
â??When I eat salsa, I might put hot sauce in it to make it hotter for myself,â? Webb said. â??You can always make it hotter, but you canâ??t make it less. â?» And itâ??s a really good salsa. Itâ??s delicious.â?
The Master Gardener enjoys sharing what she produces.
â??Itâ??s kind of nice to have a freezer full. When the kids come home, they can raid the freezer and the basement and take stuff home with them,â? Webb said.
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