Like they say, local [references] get you local work.
A couple months ago a buddy of my made some salsa. It was a bit too spicy for his family so he asked me if I wanted a jar. Well, heck yeah. Homemade salsa that's spicy? Sign me up! A day later I was coming home from an errand and I found a bag hanging from my mailbox, inside was a jar of salsa with a homemade label, "Make your tits sweat salsa"..we'll see about that, we, will, see, about, that. When I opened the jar later that night I was met with an aroma that was a bit like, curry? It looked chunky and towards the orange side. Sort of looked like if a standard and a verde hooked up. There were lots of seeds visible, some white onion and a mix of green and red tomatoes. I could see cilantro up in the mix as well. My first couple tastes were straight from the spoon so that I could get the full flavour, untainted. There was a nice pepper heat, it's not an aggressive chemical burn, just a great flavourful pepper heat that got my forehead sweating almost immediately..there was a hint of afterburn on my lips but not bad at all. Natural flavourful heat. Tasted like verde to me. Towards the liquid side but still very well within the banger spectrum. Really good salsa, so much so that I asked Daner for the recipe. It turns out he made some minor heat adjustments to a verde recipe that he found on the internet. I'll list the ingredients in the ps in case the link ever stops working. The salsa went really well with some Arriba creamy guacamole chips..I believe I plowed through the hole jar that first night.
I've written about Bazooka Joe (fka John Smith) before on this blog..I Ain't Lazy. When I was trying to figure out how to pair a local chip (the salsa was just a slightly less local but still not store bought precursor) I rattled a few things around in my head. I could write about Yesterday's Dream (local band that I don't believe has been available on the internet since myspace dropped off), or No Hope (slightly less local, sort of Winnipeg, I believe still not available on the internets). Then last week I saw a post that showed a cd copy of Bazooka Joe and Rob Crooks colab Schadenfreude. I commented on the post because to the best of my knowledge they only released tape copies of the album in a limited fashion, which is how I got my hands on a physical copy of the album after copping it digitally as soon as it was released December 2018. Well, let me tell you, Rob Crooks is a really nice guy (as well is Bazooka Joe, but we'll probably get to that in the future sometime). He messaged me on IG letting me know that he'd send me a copy of the CD, asking for nothing in return. Fast forward to this past Monday, cd shows up, with some stickers and an AudioRecon/Saskatoon Folk Rap Records comp. Sheeeet. That was a long introduction to a review that will likely be shorter. Schadenfreude (is a difficult word to spell) showcases Rob Crooks' beats/production which in this case are synth based, dark and quite aggressive (I don't believe there's any samples in the actual music, with a few vocal samples sprinkled throughout the album), there's the odd flourish of Crooks taking the mic, but 95% of the vocals delivered on Schadenfreude come from Bazooka Joe, ol' man Winter. Throughout the album the tempo is up, Mr. Joe's lyrics are as sharp as ever and feel like they're delivered by a man who spent last night partying until the sun came up. Some of the songs seem like they're written from the perspective of a man in the middle of a whirlwind while others come off like they're written by the guy who woke up the next day and is contemplating a lifestyle change. I believe most of the lyrics are from a first person perspective while there's a dash of voyeurs perspective. Yuletide Bandit's a wild song.
So if you live in Western Canada you're aware of the co-op chain of grocery stores. I've written on here about co-op gold/pure chips before. This week however I'm not going to waste your time talking about pre-packaged chips that get shipped around the country. No sireee. Co-op in store made Taco Chips (these are potato chips that are taco seasoned, not tortilla chips) are slightly thicker than standard potato chips and kettle cooked in store. When I dipped into the bag I noticed that the oil that the chips were fried in is relatively present along with a faint powdery taco seasoning flavour. Somehow the mix of oil and thick cut potato make these chips taste almost buttery. There's a good crunch, just over a medium on the standard crunch scale. Skins are left on. Pretty good chips. They're a little steep price wise, $3 for I'm guessing about 75g bag of chips. They're an almost sweet(ish) potato. Not a sweet potato, but a regular potato that's slightly on the sweet side. The come in a brown bag that's rolled up on the top with a metal twist(?) tie (like the old school Oreo bags). I'm not sure if every co-op store makes these, but if you're in one and you notice a display with brown bags on it take notice and cop one (I haven't seen them in the actual chip aisle, usually near the deli or at the end of an aisle).
- 5lbs green tomatoes, chopped small (as you prefer for salsa)
- 6 yellow onions, chopped (4 cups)
- 3 jalapenos, chopped with seeds (1/2 cup)
- 4 large red bell peppers, chopped (2 cups)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup lime juice
- 1⁄2 cup vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1⁄2 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne (optional, to taste)
- 1 -2 teaspoon sugar
- Combine everything in a large pot, mixing well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- To continue canning, bring salsa to a boil.
- Ladle salsa into hot sterile jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe lids and jar edges clean before finger tightening lids and placing them back in the boiling canning pot.
- Process (boil) jars for 15 minutes.
- Remove carefully and let sit for 24 hours. Check lids for seal, and refrigerate any unsealed jars.