This past May my uncle/godfather/second dad went to Heaven. He was a Vietnam vet who never told us of his accomplishments. Only because my cousin has gone digging into all the governmental red tape were we able to find out all the commendations and medals he earned. He was an American hero. I guess we always kinda knew that anyway though, even though the Uncle Dave I knew was a big, tall guy with a gruff exterior and tender, tender heart.
And he loved to garden. He had a big plot in the backyard of my aunt and uncle's home, and every year since I can remember he grew delicious green beans, cucumbers, and pounds and pounds of bright red tomatoes.
This summer, my cousin was determined to keep his garden growing. In early June she, a family friend, my husband, and I spent the day planting all the usual plants Dave would grow... with a few extras. About 20 hot pepper plants of all varieties. We had a plan to make some deeeeelicious salsa.
My cousin and my aunt kept the garden growing as best they could all summer, fending off many hungry, little Peter Cottontails. And at the end of the summer we were ready to make and can some homemade salsa.
We learned two things: 1) Canning ain't easy. 2) Don't trust the amounts given to you in directions you get off the internet. :P Live and learn. Next year we will know better, and, God willing, Uncle Dave's garden *will* be there next year, and the next, and the next.
Here is the photo documentation of the process.