I was asked a few years ago why we made things like ketchup here, or canned our own tomatoes –
after all, they are so cheap to buy, why put in the effort?
Oh my, this person was sooooo wrong! If you have never tried your own preserved tomatoes, or your own homemade ketchup, you just can’t understand. Come December, when we open up a jar of our tomatoes, there is an instant smell of summer!
And the ketchup? No preservatives, no colouring, reduced sugar – and only natural ingredients. You just can’t beat it!
Why do some spell it “catsup”, anyway? I’ve never known, but I had to find out, so if you want to know, check out this article. According to the article, the original “ketchup” was a dipping sauce, and didn’t even have tomatoes in it! (Apparently you have to blame us Americans for adding the tomato – it was probably down to a lady who had a glut of them in her garden!!)
Anyhoo, I thought you might like the recipe. There are loads of recipes for ketchup out there, all good, I’m sure, but this uses what I usually happen to have in my kitchen, and is really good.
Casa Tyr Ketchup
5 pounds ripe tomatoes (a variety of types is even better)
2 large onions
1/2 cup brown or white sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp salt
10 whole cloves
1 small cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground allspice
15 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
black pepper to taste
Cut the tomatoes into pieces; blend (I don’t like to remove the seeds or skin, as I think they add more nutrition). Cut the onions into pieces and blend along with the tomatoes. Put all the spices into a square of muslin and tie tightly with string.
Put blended mix into large dutch oven. Add everything else, including muslin bag and bay leaves, and stir. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until desired consistency; this usually takes 4-6 hours. Halfway through cooking, taste and adjust spices, sugar and salt, if required. Remove bay leaves and muslin bag, and ladle into hot, sterilized jars. Process in hot boiling water in the usual way.
- Tomatoes cookin’ at Casa Tyr (lujos.wordpress.com)