This weekend I was invited to my friend Hallie's salsa party. Before you start to conjure images of me swinging my hips and having fancy foot moves, this wasn't a dance party. (Have I mentioned I have no rhythm and can't dance AT ALL?)
Every year Hallie gets a group of people together to make salsa and can it. Originally it started with just Hallie, her husband, our friend Claire and Claire's two kids. But each year Hallie has invited more people and she's increased the number of jars she makes.
I've wanted to go to her party for several years but every year there is a conflict. I've had the pleasure of eating Hallie's famous salsa at several parties but this was the first year I was finally able to attend the party and see the production.
This year there were about 14 people. Hallie asks you only to bring hands willing to work. She supplies all of the ingredients, canning supplies, pizza and drinks.
She set out this year to make 120 pints of salsa but we ended up making 164 pints!
First, we were all assigned jobs. There were buckets and buckets of tomatoes to be gutted.
Tomatillos to be peeled and cored
onions to be peeled and chopped
garlic to be peeled and chopped
and limes to be juiced
Everyone set to work on their assigned jobs, taking breaks where needed.
Imani moved to a few different jobs. She started out juicing limes and then moved on to coring tomatillos and finally, gutting tomatoes. She was one fantastic little worker!
Since I was one of the only people who doesn't get watery eyes from peeling onions, I spent most of my time peeling and chopping.
And I was happy to see lots of buckets for composting (especially after finishing "Garbology.")
Once everything was prepared, the tomatoes and tomatillos would be grilled.
After they were grilled, the would be placed in a measuring bowl and delivered to the food processing area
Here, they would be chopped up in the food processor and placed in a pot, along with the onions, garlic, chipotle, lime juice, and salt.
Then the pot would be cooked and placed in sterilized jars, lidded and sealed in boiling water.
It was quite a production but Imani and I had so much fun helping out (even Noah joined us later and helped by pushing the button on the food processor to grind up the grilled tomatoes and tomatillos).
And I could do a whole blog post on how awesome Hallie's house is. She lives in a log cabin in the woods about 10 minutes outside of town. It's like a little retreat . . . Fully equipped with a giant aquarium that had Noah mesmerized for hours.
Until he discovered a little something he found even more fascinating
The party's was a fun way to reconnect with old friends, meet some new friends and learn a new recipe! Hallie gives everyone several jars of salsa as a 'thank you' for their hard work.
Here's the recipe in case you want to have a little salsa get together of your own (or if you want to make a batch without the socializing, I won't judge you - even though I am a very social person).
Hallie's Grilled Salsa
1/2 gallon of tomatoes
1/2 gallon of tomatillos
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/4 c pureed chipotle in adobo
3 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup lime juice
This recipe yields 7 pints
(we canned 164 pints!!)
And here is my little Instagram vignette of the party. Are you following me? If not, join in the fun. I'm participating in FatMumSlim's photo a day challenge, and you'll get to see lots more pics of Imani and Noah!
Oh and in case you're wondering where Jason was - as much as he LOVES salsa (anybody remember the Mexican Fiesta party I threw for his birthday?!), he is busy at work on this project at our house. Stay tuned!