Hectaro Lagrimoso is yielding a nice crop of ingredients. Over here in the North Forty, however, we have a slightly smaller harvest.

At least they each got one.

This is what happens when you have crappy soil and plant tomatoes in pots. Not recommended.

The peppers are doing quite a bit better than originally expected though. There are tons of blooms and lots of fruit.

That is, until at some point, they get big enough and this happens.

I have no idea what that is at the end of each pepper. Nothing is eating it. They just seem to be... withering. It looks like they have been on the vine too long, but most of these are not yet ripe. It's annoying is what it is. No matter though, I can still cut off the end and help each little pepper fulfill it's ultimate destiny in life: to become salsa.

I love hot things. The KingofHearts is fond of saying that I only possess two working taste buds and one of them only wakes up for Tabasco. But he's not entirely correct about that. Tabasco is a little weak for me.

It's a little known fact that I make the best salsa in the world. I can't share my recipe with you though. Not because it's a family secret or because I want to always be the person with the best salsa at the next church party, but because it goes something like this:


Chop up some tomatoes. Or open some cans. Whatever's handy. Do you have enough? Hmmm... I don't know, maybe add another tomato? Sure, why not. Just be sure and drain the tomatoes if you're using canned. There's a fine line between making salsa and making
gazpacho soup and you cross that line when you forget to drain the canned tomatoes.

Chop up some hot peppers. What kind? Who cares? They're hot peppers, they're all awesome. How many? How many do you have? Put 'em all in there. Habañero are my favorite with chipotle a close second and one time in Mexico, a local dared me to eat something he called a pajarito pepper. I did. He was impressed. I got substantial points in the now you can haggle for a lower price on this guitar department. And I spent the following decade trying to find out where I could get my hands on peppers that were as flavorful and as hot as that one. Turns out pajarito was just what the locals called it and I've never been able to figure out what it was really called. I used to really enjoy jalapeños, but in recent years, I've developed a bit of a disdain for the jalapeño pepper. I think this is because I've gotten too used to those canned jalapeños they put on nachos at the movie theater. ::blech:: But some of my mystery pepper plants above gave fruit and I took a bite to see what kind they were. They turned out to be jalapeños and I'd forgotten that when fresh, jalapeños are really very good. The gist of this paragraph is that whatever you decide to use, it will bring a different flavor and depth to your salsa. Up to you. Plus if it's not hot enough at the end you can always add some Salsa from Hell sauce to spice it up a bit.

Onions. Do we have any onions? Yes? Then add them. The more the merrier. Half an onion. Well, might as well use the whole thing, it's just going to go bad otherwise. Whoops, no onions? Just steal from the Costco-sized giant bottle of dried onions in the food storage. Quarter cup or so, maybe? Just don't eat the salsa right away if you do this because they will need to rehydrate after swimming in the salsa for awhile.

If you used a preponderance of canned tomatoes above, you might want to put in a teaspoon to a tablespoon of sugar now. Or not. Whatever. I myself prefer less sweet salsa, so I often skip this step but sometimes you need it to tame the beast. Just don't use the sugar if you've got fresh tomatoes.

Salt. Every salsa needs salt. How much? Some-ish. Or a lot. Taste it, you'll see. You can always add more later.

OK then. What else? Open cupboards, see what's around. Do you have cilantro? Then yes, definitely put it in. You don't have cilantro? The world's not going to end.

Minced garlic is always good. Throw a teaspoon or five in.

Chives? Why not? Chop 'em up.

Other possible spices to try: oregano (surprisingly good), parsley, mint, cumin... necessity is the mother of invention.

Squirt some lime juice in there. You can never go wrong with lime.

If you feel like it and/or remember, you can add vinegar and olive oil. I usually forget and I find it's fine without either. With, you're treading dangerously into the gazpacho soup realm.

Anything else in the cupboard you need to get rid of? Throw it in. Corn. Black beans. Chick peas. Zucchini. Cucumbers. Bell peppers. It's all good.


Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Or, if you're like me, a ghet-to version of a food processor that fits onto your blender base.
Only the herbs need to be finely minced by hand before adding them. Tomatoes and everything else can just be roughly diced. I always do as little chopping by hand as possible, but that's because I am L.A.Z.Y. Put it all in the ghet-to food processor and pulse to chop and mix. If you want, you can save out some hand chopped tomatoes and sweet peppers and cucumbers (did I say sweet peppers and cucumbers before? you can use those too) so you'll have some larger chunks to add in at the end in case you are the kind that gets too heavy-handed with your ghet-to food processor. I'm getting better on this point.

The secret to all this is taste as you go and have more tomatoes ready to go lest you get too heavy handed with the salt or the peppers and no one else in your family will be able to eat the salsa. But if you get to that point without extra tomatoes, that's a win too because more salsa for you. Have some chips handy. It's actually easier to taste how the salsa all works together with chips. Plan not to eat dinner.

Put it all in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to let all the flavors blend. I promise, it will taste better a) after you let all those lovely flavors mix and mingle and b) it's nice and cold.

That's pretty much it. See why I can't share a recipe? My recipe for salsa is more a discussion than a recipe and I've never made salsa the same way twice. But I've never made a salsa I didn't like. So maybe the real secret is you can't really screw up salsa.

Yes, that's my recipe. You can't screw up salsa.