I have been making Some Like it Hot Salsa for a number of years. It inevitably tastes a little different each year depending on the heat of the hot peppers. Generally, I like to do a taste test after adding each pepper to make sure that sensitive mouths will not be on fire!
I told this story to my cousin and her husband on Monday and thought I would share it with my readers. I will warn you that this blog post does not really have much (actually, anything at all) to do with Some Like it Hot Salsa… I guess I could write that we were eating tortilla chips and salsa when Jack told us the story, but that would be a little white lie.
Jack was our driver and tour guide extraordinaire in Uganda. Jack was solemn man who was committed to his job and took his responsibilities very seriously. After getting to know Jack a few days into the trip, the story he told us of his humble beginnings was touching and unforgettable. Jack grew up in a small village outside of Queen Elizabeth National Park and was one of six children born to parents who could not read nor write. When Jack was in his mid-twenties he was lucky to get a job with the UWF (Uganda Wildlife Federation) working in the national park. He told us that he made $55 per month at this job which was enough for Jack to pay his rent, buy food and live a comfortable life.
Jack told us that his life changed on February 4, 2007 when he touched a white person for the first time. He said that this white lady (an American) was in Uganda working for a charity that provided assistance to people living with HIV and Aids. Jack said that she was a kind and generous person and he was stunned by the $50 tip that she gave him. After he shook her hand (the first white hand he had ever touched) he did not wash for the rest of the day and felt that the goodness of this lady had been passed onto him. He decided that he was going to change his life and try to be a better person. He took the $50 tip and paid his brother’s school fees for the year.
Today, Jack is not only supporting himself but is also putting his four brothers through university and supporting his sister, his two children and three children whom he has adopted.
The $50 tip and the kindness shown by this lady truly changed not only Jack’s life, but the life of his siblings and children. I encourage each and everyone of you to give to a cause that you support whether in your local community or on the other side of the world. Even if it seems like a small amount, it may make a big difference in someone else’s life.
Some charities and movements that I personally support are the charity CARE International and the Half the Sky Movement. I encourage you to find something that s meaningful to you and to either donate money or your time. We can make a difference!
- 2 finely chopped jalapenos, with seeds
- 1 finely chopped hot red pepper, with seeds
- 1 finely chopped habanero, with seeds
- 4½ pounds, by weight, of tomatoes*
- 2 cups coarsely chopped onions
- 1 cup coarsely chopped bell pepper (green or any other color)
- 5 cloves minced garlic
- 2 5 ounce cans of tomato paste (depending on how thick you want your salsa to be)
- ⅔ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon pickling salt
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper (for mild flavor, leave this out)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Sprinkle black pepper
- ⅓ cup lime juice
- Cut up all ingredients or chop in a food processor.
- Put all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Boil for 5 minutes and pour into hot sterilized pint jars.
- Process in a hot waterbath canner for 20 minutes.
If you are tasting the salsa for spiciness, cool the salsa down in the freezer first. Hot salsa tastes spicier!
If canning is new to you, check out my Step by Step Canning Guide.
Try Some Like it Hot Salsa with my Mexican Fritatta for a delicious brunch or serve with tortilla chips for an appetizer.