After I mentioned in this post that I had accidentally erased all my Stowe family vacation photos from my memory card, I got a comment from a reader named Sarah. She stated that the photos weren’t actually gone, and that I should look into recovering them with software that’s available online. I have to admit I was pretty skeptical about the possibility of getting my photos back…after all it had been days since I erased them and I had already put additional photos onto the memory card.

I decided to try, however, and I am so happy that I did! With this software, I was able to recover most all of my photos. Without Sarah’s comment, it would never have occurred to me that this was even possible. Sarah: I really can not thank you enough…it means so much to me to have my photos back.

So in case this ever happens to any of you out there, I suggest you file the link to the software…you just never know when it might come in handy for you, too :)

Now about this salsa. It’s not something we ate in Vermont (though we did have excellent Mexican food at Frida’s), but it was inspired by Vermont because it’s made with maple syrup. I adapted the recipe from From the Cook’s Garden: Recipes for Cooks Who Like to Garden, Gardeners Who Like to Cook, and Everyone Who Wishes They Had a Garden, a book that’s associated with the excellent Vermont based organic seed/plant company: The Cook’s Garden.

I adore maple syrup and use it in a lot of my recipes, so trying it in salsa was a no-brainer. As it turns out, it works beautifully…I hope you give it a try, too.

We ate some of the salsa fresh, and I canned the remainder so I’ll have 2 jars to bust open in the dead of winter. I was a little apprehensive about the canning part, because I am not yet a seasoned enough canner to know for absolute certain when a canned tomato recipe has enough acid in it to be safe. In this case, the acid is provided by the lemon juice, and I am trusting that the author of the book would not recommend canning this salsa if it wasn’t okay. For more information on safely canning salsa, though, please see this excellent piece.

Vermont Inspired Salsa

Yield: about 8 cups fresh salsa or 3 pints canned

Ingredients:

*3 pounds ripe, plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced (should equal 5 cups; you can also use 5 cups of drained, chopped canned plum tomatoes)
*2 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced
*2 red bell peppers, trimmed, seeded, and diced
*1 large jalapeƱo chile, minced
*2 fat garlic cloves, peeled and minced
*1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
*5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
*1/3 cup maple syrup
*1 1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a large ceramic or glass bowl. Taste and add more maple syrup or more salt, if desired.

2. If serving fresh, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight (this allows the flavors to develop). Drain off the liquid before serving (I suggest drinking it- it's delicious- and I won't tell anyone if you splash in a little vodka).

3. For canning, transfer salsa to a stainless steel pot and bring just to a boil over medium heat. Ladle hot salsa into hot (clean and sterilized) jars leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Place lids on jar and hand-tighten the ring around them. Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.