Salsa: 1. Latin American music with elements of jazz, rock and soul. 2. A sauce, especially a hot sauce with chilies.
There have already been blog posts this season on salsa making and at Cowen Creek some salsa dancing was even planned (except the sauce making was exertion enough) so you already know the gist of this blog post entitled Salsa Class. So why bother, you may ask. For one I’ve got some pretty pictures and for the other, I had some interesting experiences in my three different salsa making venues.
Venue One: Teaching yourself at home with seven women looking over your shoulder. We are eight women in one kitchen at the Dwelling Place Monastery. Sometimes that means many hands, light work. Other times that means, “Whatcha doing?” (repeated seven times) “That’s not going to be spicy, is it?” “Are you almost done with the stove?” “I finished cutting up that bucket of cucumbers. Do you need anything else?” A project I figured would take about two hours took five. But the salsa looks great.
Venue Two: Demonstrating salsa making at the David School with one guest because of a community funeral. On the evening of our salsa class at The David School, most of the participants in the David area attended the visitation for a well-loved community member. So my friend Erin Moore, who loves salsa-both the sauce and the dance-joined me in making twelve jars. Erin took some, I took some and we left the rest for Diantha and her staff. The learning point for the night—make sure your canner will fit on the stove. Ends up my water bath canner didn’t fit the large stove in the kitchen so we had to use the Home Sciences classroom. Bonus points for having classes in a school!
Venue Three: Demonstrating salsa making at Hope in the Mountains with seven women, six of which have made salsa at home. Hope in the Mountains is a residential treatment center for women with substance abuse problems. The women come from all over the state of Kentucky but most are from the mountains, have gardens of their own and know how to can. So my “teaching” opportunity was in the discussions we had on food safety issues. It was the first day for one of the ladies and you could tell she wasn’t feeling “safe” yet. How? She stood at the stove stirring the salsa while it cooked down.
So, that’s my salsa saga. Next year I’m going to do what Wayne did at LCAAHC did. Find a donation of Roma tomatoes in April and teach salsa making before the tomato season starts. And hope for no funerals.