Nuclear Salsa!

When I left Naval ROTC at the George Washington University and moved back to Fayetteville to attend the University of Arkansas, I missed out on a huge component of starting university as a freshman: meeting people.  Most of my high school friends were gone at out of state universities, I did all of the freshman orientation get-to-know-your-neighbor shenanigans at GW, (and made some of the best friends of my life - I love you Mitchell Sixers!), and worst, I committed the cardinal sin of transfer student life: I moved into an apartment instead of a dorm, even though I was only a sophomore.  Being painfully shy, (more so then), I went through the next three years without knowing scores of people... more like five people, with close friends passing through town on holidays to keep my social candle barely aflame. 

In retrospect, I wouldn't have had my college years any other way for one main reason and one sub reason.  While Lennon had quite the crazy college experience, and sometimes makes me envious of his stories of dorm parties, wild exploits, etc., I could not change anything about how my low-key, knitting to Billy Holiday CD's and shopping at the organic Co-op because my parents still paid my credit card bill and staying in weekends experience played itself out, because if it had been different I wouldn't have been with my mom the last year she was alive.  She got so sick she had to leave the house in Texas to stay with my aunt and her family in Fayetteville, which meant I got to see my momma on a near-daily basis.  If she'd been in Killeen, TX, still, or I'd been at George Washington or any other school, I would have maybe seen her twice that year - she died in May.

So that's the huge reason I don't regret my quiet college years.  The secondary reason is that I learned how much I love to cook and make everything from scratch.  The only thing that stands in my way most of the time, is, well, time.  On my 20th birthday I didn't have anywhere to go so I stayed home, watched a movie, and made myself green Thai curry, cutting up every vegetable and using a cookbook I had bought the previous summer while living with Joanie & Julia (my girls!) on Martha's Vineyard and working at the Bunch of Grapes bookstore. 

Ok, all of this back story to say, what exactly?  To talk about making salsa from scratch.  Without a recipe.  So am I going to sell these instructions as the world's best salsa recipe?  Heck no, I confused serrano peppers with poblano peppers at the grocery store, I didn't peel and seed the tomatoes, and I listened to Lennon (BAD IDEA) and put in two jalapenos and burned the crap out of my mouth. 

But we made it together, it was fun, and after sitting in the fridge overnight, it came out spicy and tasty.  Next time, though: no poblano.  Expect this to be the first of a series of salsa posts, I'm a tad obsessed with the stuff, as well as recipe tweaking.

Nuclear Salsa: Take One


Roma tomatoes
Green onion
Poblano pepper (don't use it!)

Chop everything into little bits!  The seeds in the jalapeno make it extra hot.

It's time for a quiz!  Amanda is doing the following:

        a) taking the world's most flattering picture
        b) wearing a poblano pepper stem as a hat
        c) doing my best Alton Brown impression complete with sea salt
        d) all of the above

Tricky, eh?  If you need the answer, you can email me at:, but that's cheating!  Remember integrity is important when making salsa.

Blenders are also important.  Put everything in one.  A food processor also works.

Oh, oh!  It's quiz time again!  Lennon is:

      a) competing with Amanda for world's most flattering picture
      b) drinking the glass of red wine beside the giant glass of beer
      c) about to blend together all salsa ingredients before putting it on chips and in a mason jar
      d) answers "a" and "c" only

Again, feel free to email me for hints.

So while this salsa was a bit pulpy, it was certainly good!  Be prepared to see it make an appearance in a few more recipes I have waiting in que for an appearance on this blog.