We have been home canning for years to preserve the bounty of the garden and to avoid the additives and preservatives found in most store-bought relishes and salsas. Here is our favourite (and Bill’s specialty) – Peppy Salsa from the 1994 Canadian Living Barbecue Cookbook. The original recipe is below, but Bill changes the mixture of peppers according to what’s in the garden and to make it much more fiery!

Salsa being cooked prior to canning

Salsa being ladled into sterilized jars

This salsa is the perfect accompaniment to corn chips


½ lb jalapeno peppers

8 cups coarsely chopped peeled tomatoes

3 cups chopped seeded Cubanelle, Anaheim or Sweet Banana peppers

2 cups chopped onions

2 cups cider vinegar

1 cup each chopped sweet red and yellow peppers

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (5.5 oz.) tomato paste

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tbsp salt

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp dried oregano

¼ cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)


Wearing rubber gloves, cut jalapeno peppers in half; discard ribs and seeds. Chop finely to make 1 cup. In large heavy nonaluminum saucepan, combine jalapenos, tomatoes, Cubanelle peppers, onions, vinegar, sweet peppers, garlic, tomato paste, sugar, salt, paprika and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, for one hour or until thickened. To test thickness, place 1 tbsp salsa on a plate and tilt plate; salsa should flow slowly in one stream. Add coriander and cook for five minutes.

Pour salsa into hot sterilized canning jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Seal with prepared lids and screw-on bands. Process in boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Remove from water and let stand; you will know the canning process has been successful if you hear the lids “pop” after several minutes. If any of the jars don’t seal properly, refrigerate the salsa and use within a month. Unopened canned salsa keeps indefinitely; refrigerate after opening.

From Canadian Living’s Best Barbecue Cookbook – 1994