In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

More Birthday, More Tomatoes, More Watermelon AND a Salsa Recipe

Two and four are great ages for birthdays. Elijah was really into it this year; I think Julia's excitement was rubbing off on him. Since Julia had a cake, Elijah had cup-cakes. He liked the singing and blowing out the candles.

JD took about 20 pictures of Julia while we sang Happy Birthday, her smile was this big in every picture. She never lacks enthusiasm.

Having them take turns opening presents was kind of like Christmas morning.

The excitement on all their faces crack me up. They know a DVD gift will benefit everybody.

Julia still wins the enthusiasm prize, however.

Other than celebrating birthdays, we have been canning tomatoes and eating watermelon. Yesterday, I canned 10 quart jars of tomatoes for vegetable soup and chili this winter. There were some tomatoes that we going bad that the chickens got to eat, but between my salsa and tomatoes, I processed over 80 pounds!

We eat 3-4 watermelons a week around here; we could actually eat more, but that's all I buy. I definitely am planting them in the garden next year!

For those that are interested, here is the salsa recipe that I use. It came from a friend of JD's at work and I've used it the last three years:
Dave's Zesty Salsa:
6 lbs. peeled and coarsely chopped tomatoes (I chop everything except the garlic and cilantro in the food processor)
2 lbs. seeded and chopped green peppers
1 lb. chopped hot peppers (or less, depending on taste)
2 lbs. white onions (other kinds are ok too)
2 T. chopped cilantro
1 T. salt
1/2 T. sugar
3 cloves minced or chopped garlic
1 1/2 c. white vinegar
1 small can tomato paste
Combing all ingredients, EXCEPT tomato paste in a large pot and simmer until desired consistency (about one hour)
Right before you are ready to put salsa in jars, add the tomato paste and stir thoroughly.
Spoon salsa into hot, sterilized jars.
Process jars of salse in a hot water bath canner for 15 minutes.
My additions:
This recipe makes 5 quart jars (10 pint jars.) I double the recipe and it works well, other than it's so large that I have to use my canner to cook it, then clean the canner to process the salsa.
Make sure the canner is at a full boil before you start the 15 minute timer.


  1. thank you for posting your salsa recipe i was very eager for it.you have a beautiful family and i enjoy reading your posts faithfully

  2. I chopped the garlic & cilantro in the food processer together & it worked just fine but that's just me! it is a huge process...quite a bit of work but it's worth it. i feel for you with those 80 lbs. for the first time ever i was in your boat this year between tomatoes & making pickles.
    btw, we need to meet soon!!! we picked 7 watermelons yesterday, about 30 cucumbers & 2 cantaloupe. i told Clay i was ready for him to plow it under (the garden)...i cant take it anymore! but it's been a good year.

  3. I think I found you on Mega Blogger a while back...we tried your salsa recipe and I definately have to thank you. I was a beginner canner last year so I started with a mix for salsa last year- really didn't like it too much, but it was OK for cooking so I can going to do some more this year. Until I saw your recipe.....it is now everyone's FAVORITE salsa to make!!! We've canned several quarts from much of our own tomatoes and hoping to get several more done when I find some good priced tomatoes!! Thank you for posting this!!!!! Blessings, Jennifer