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Updates: Pizzicato, gardening and salsa-making

Update #1: I was happier than usual to pick up my Pizzicato pizza last week. I noticed the new recycling info printed on the lid:

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You might remember when I posted about my email exchange with Pizzicato. Previously their boxes simply encouraged customers to recycle them, even though Portland's curbside recycling guidelines clearly state pizza boxes are not acceptable. I questioned this, which led Pizzicato to work with the city to determine under what conditions a pizza box might qualify for recycling. As long as there isn't any food attached to it (melted cheese, greasy sausage, etc.) then it's OK to recycle. Otherwise, throw the food contaminated parts in the garbage.

Update #2: I posted this photo a few days ago, envisioning an ivy-depleted area for tomato-growing in the front full-sun yard (wow, that was a lot of hyphens):

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The next day I made it a reality:

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Three tomato plants in the bottom bed, peppers along the top. I won't plant until next summer, but I needed to get it ready now so I wouldn't forget or find excuses next summer. This will be my salsa garden. I've been thinking about salsa ever since I posted my love of a certain store-bought salsa, wondering why I would trouble myself to make it. Which leads to...

Update #3: A few days ago I made a small batch of green salsa because my CSA provided all of the fresh ingredients and a recipe. It was so stinkin' good. I mean, really, really good. And not hard at all. Hello? Chuck everything into a food processor! Here's the recipe:

1/2 lb fresh tomatillos, husks discarded

1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, chopped finely

1/2 large white onion

2 garlic cloves, chopped finely

2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Boil the husked tomatillos for 7 minutes; the skin will turn a darker, richer green. When they've cooled, coarsely chop tomatillos. If you have a food processor or blender, put the tomatillos in with the rest of the ingredients and puree to your desired consistency. Add water if it's too thick. Refrigerate.

Mine, because I only had 3 tomatillos and had to guestimate the quantities of other ingredients, turned out too salty for chips but perfect for a huevos rancheros topping.

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In fact, next time I would start with just a small amount of salt and gradually increase it until I like the taste. The other day Renee and I were talking about making lots of salsa and canning it. This is such a murky area for me, but I've been thinking about canning more and more. Heck, I've been thinking about it for a couple of years now. Sometimes that's just how long it takes. Throwback at Trapper Creek wrote about canning salsa at Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op recently, and she knows her stuff. There are risks when canning tomato-based foods, but she seems to have really done her homework. I'd hate to poison the family.

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