Saturday, September 26, 2009

Homemade Ketchup

Yes, I made homemade tomato ketchup!
I have to say, that for years we've joked about it. I've heard more than just a couple people say that their moms made homemade ketchup once when they were kids. And they made a bit of an 'icky face' when they said it. LOL And, if you've ever watched the "Vacation" movies with Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, there's the scene where they are having a picnic with Cousin Eddie & his family. Ed is fixing hamburger helper (on the grill!) without any hamburger, & Ed's daughter Vicki is stirring the cool-aid with her hands. Trying to be polite, yet showing a bit of sarcasm, Clark fixes his "hamburger" & as he dips a thick red substance from a jar he says, "Reeeal tomato ketchup Ed?" LOL!

I found a recipe & I thought I'd just try making it once. It's a small recipe (& I even halved it so it would be smaller), so I figured it wouldn't be too much work or too many tomatoes wasted if we didn't like it. But, if we did like it, well, great!
I found this recipe here.
It's a nice link that tells about canning tomatoes. It's also where I got one of my spaghetti sauce recipes, but that's for another day...or two.

Tomato Ketchup
24 pounds ripe tomatoes
3 cups chopped onions
3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
3 cups cider vinegar (5 percent)
4 teaspoons whole cloves
3 sticks cinnamon, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
3 Tablespoons celery seeds
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup salt

Yields 6 to 7 pints

Wash tomatoes. Dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split. Dip in cold water. Slip off skins and remove cores.
Quarter tomatoes into 4-gallon stock pot or a large kettle. Add onions and red pepper. Bring to boil and simmer 20 minutes, uncovered. Cover, turn off heat, and let stand for 20 minutes.
Combine spices in a spice bag and add to vinegar in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to boil. Remove spice bag and combine vinegar and tomato mixture. Boil about 30 minutes. Put boiled mixture through a food mill or sieve. Return to pot. Add sugar and salt, boil gently, and stir frequently until volume is reduced by one-half or until mixture rounds up on spoon without separation. Fill pint jars, leaving 1/8-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process.

I processed mine in a hot water bath canner for 15 minutes.
Also, I really wasn't sure how I felt about using so many tomatoes for this in case we didn't like it, so I halved the recipe. My yeild was 5 pints.

Here is a picture of the juice. This is after you have cooked the tomatoes & have added the vinegar that has been seasoned & then run it through your colonder or food mill, so it's actually ketchup flavored juice.

And here it is after it has cooked down by half. It took me a few hours of simmering to get it to cook down by half & become thick enough. I couldn't get a good picture because of the steam.
My 5 pints are in my new water bath canner in this next picture. One of my very best friends sent this to me. I actually have no idea which one sent it, but I do know that it was 1 of 8 lovely ladies that have been my very best friends for years. Or maybe all of them sent it! Thank you ladies!
(There's some jars of tomato juice next to my stove that I hadn't found storage space for yet. And behind those jars sits my jars of my dried herbs. )
I forgot to take a picture of all my pints of ketchup until we had already opened one, it's the one in the middle with a different lid.
And here's a close-up. See, it does really look like real ketchup.
Oh! I forgot to mention this, & it's really important!
We really like it!
The first time our daughter tried it, she dipped a french fry into some. I watched her with intent anticipation. As she ate, I said, "Well????"
And she paused, took another bite, & then said, "It tastes like....ketchup."
To which I threw my arms above my head & yelled, "YAY!"
So, I am glad I made this ketchup. Since I halved the recipe, I only used about 12 pounds of tomatoes. It does take a lot to cook down to get 5 pints. But, it tastes good, so it was worth it.

Now while eating supper somebody just has to say, " Reeeeal tomato ketchup?"


1 comment:

Claire said...

Well, you HAVe been busy with tomatoes! 24 POUNDS???? That's a lot! Glad y'all liked it.