Seltzer, not salsa!

I canned salsa, and nobody has died yet!

This may also be because nobody has eaten any of the salsa yet. It is sitting there, in those jars, lined up on the kitchen counter like a little salsa stealth army. And I'm not-so-secretly hoping that this army? Its secret weapon will be that subtle jalapeno kick, and not, say, botulism.

To deal with this anxiety, m y current strategy is to bring a wee jar of salsa to each household I visit. I took a jar to my friend Monica when we went for our too-often postponed weekly walk. Another jar to brunch at Judy and Jill's on Sunday. On Saturday I took a jar to my friend Sarah, who spent two hours with Isaac at her pottery wheel, just her and him and me watching, as she took put her hands over his and centred a slab of clay on the wheel and coaxed pot after tiny pot out of him, little gifts, all.

I sent the kids up the street with a couple of jars for our neighbours who came over in the first place at the beginning of the summer with five tiny, extra Roma tomato plants and dug them into the unused bed at the warmest spot in the yard, between the driveway and the south wall of the house. Our neighbours weren’t home, so the kids left the jars in the mailbox as a surprise. I'm hoping it's a good sort. I would bring a jar to Stephanie, who taught me the basics of canning with those peaches and lent me her pot, but she has her own army of green tomato salsa lurking in her own pantry, and thus she may be suspicious and question my motives.

So, really, there's probably only a squillionth of a chance that there will suddenly be a ring of mysterious, salsa-related deaths in my fair city, but part of me, the newbie canner part of me, just wants to state for the record here that my intentions were only good.