If you have ever had experience with canning, you are probably familiar with the term boiling water baths. These baths are used to process and preserve fresh fruits, vegetables, and other foods. There are times in life when we go through our own boiling water baths – a spiritual cleansing.
Canning with Boiling Water Baths
Canning and preserving fresh food can be a lot of work; it is quite a process. However, one of the benefits to the labor is having an abundance of home grown food throughout the year. The process of canning your food starts with preparing the food. Each type of food can have a different method of preparation.
Once you have the food prepared, it goes into clean Mason jars with clean lids fastened tightly. You place the filled jars in a large pan of boiling water for a certain amount of time, depending on the type of food you are canning. Once the time is complete, you carefully remove the jars and let them cool. The lids should be inverted due to the pressure the boiling water put on them.
The Importance of the Boiling Water Bath Process
It is very important that the water covers the jars and continues to boil the required amount of time. If the water level becomes too low, you have to pour more boiling water into the pot. If this process is not done properly, there can be all sorts of contamination in the food.
My Canning Experience
I became aware of boiling water baths several years ago when I decided to can a few items. Although I have enjoyed canning, it is quite a chore. Several summers ago, my dad had a huge crop of tomatoes, onions, and jalapeño peppers out of his garden. We thought it would be fun for the first time to make our own picante sauce. After lots of trial and error, we came up with a delicious recipe and set aside an entire day to do this. Every minute of the day was needed!
The boiling water baths were the most time consuming part of the whole process. However, they were also the most important. Who wants food poisoning??
Spiritual Boiling Water Baths
This process made me think about our lives as Christians and the different trials and struggles we go through. Have you ever felt like your circumstances plunged you right into a boiling water bath? I know we have all felt the “heat” at some point in our lives. Let’s examine how this whole process relates to us. The Bible says,
“This third I will bring into the fire, I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’” Zechariah 13:9
It is clear that many of the trials and struggles we go through are a purification process – a spiritual cleansing. They remove the contamination in our lives, just like the boiling water baths remove impurities from the food being preserved. There is no way we could ever understand everything we go through. God’s ways are just so much bigger than anything we understand. However, He uses all situations to bring about refinement and spiritual growth.
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.’ This is the Lord’s declaration.”
A Refining Illustration
Many years ago, a lady shared an example that has stuck with me all of these years. She explained about the refining process of silver. The silversmith turns up the heat so that all impurities rise to the top. At that point he can remove them easily. He continues to keep the extreme heat going, constantly checking and removing the impurities – never leaving it alone or turning away from it. When asked how he knows when the silver is completely purified, the silversmith answers, “When I look at it and can see my reflection.”
What a powerful analogy for our own refining process! The heat may rise, but the Lord never leaves us. He is always watching and removing the impurities, waiting to see His reflection in us. The next time you feel like your circumstances are almost more than you can handle, think of purified silver or canned homemade salsa. Either way, let it be an encouragement to you.
If you are up for the challenge, I’m sharing the homemade salsa recipe my dad and I came up with that summer. It makes 18 pints, and I have to say that it is delicious!
Homemade Picante Sauce
- In a food processor, puree the tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cilantro.
- Place all ingredients in a large pot and cook for 30 minutes or longer, depending on how thick you want your sauce.
- Put the sauce in sterilized canning jars and affix the lids tightly (which also need to be sterilized.)
- Process in a hot water bath for 30 minutes.
One of My Other Favorite Salsa Recipes
The whole family loved our freshly made picante sauce, but after a few years, we decided it was just a little too much for us. I discovered another way of making Fresh Roasted Salsa that is so much easier. Since it is not canned, you have to eat it within a reasonable time, but that has not been a problem for us.
If you are not wanting to take on the job of canning and preserving but still want a homemade salsa, See the link below for the Fresh Roasted Salsa full recipe. It is a very easy salsa. You literally cut the vegetables up and place them on a baking sheet to roast. Then you put them in a food processor, season, add lime juice, and enjoy. The roasted ingredients give it a smoky flavor, which makes it the best part.
I hope you will enjoy at least one of these recipes. You can always buy store-bought salsa, but the fresh has the best flavor.
Homemade Salsa Tips
- Serve with a variety of tortilla chips.
- For a milder salsa, remove the jalapeño seeds before adding the peppers.
- Leave the seeds in the jalapeño peppers if you want a spicy salsa.
- For the best salsa, use fresh ingredients in these recipes; they taste best. However, if you don’t have your own tomatoes from the garden, find a farmers market or head to your local grocery store.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- You can use garlic cloves or garlic powder in both of these recipes, if garlic works well for you and your family.
- Use within 5-7 days.
If you do not get my posts each week, I would love to have you join us! I am also sharing 5 of the Easiest Candy Recipes you will ever find. These are perfect for Christmas! Enjoy!
My Favorite Products for Making Salsa
Large Baking Pan
Large Pot for Boiling
Canning Jar Lifter
If you have never given canning a try, it is worth doing at least once. It is a lot of work, but the benefits are many. I hope you will see the analogy of our spiritual cleansing and refinement as you boil the jars. Whether it is fresh homemade salsa or our spiritual lives, there is no room for contamination! Be encouraged and remember this analogy when you feel like you are being plunged into the boiling water baths.
Until next week,
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6