Gourmet Ketchup from your Garden!
Well, it didn't suck!
After scouring the web I found a seemingly easy recipe and tweaked it to meet my lack of patience and "rustic" culinary prowess.
Now, don't go thinking it takes no-time to make this stuff, it doesn't. Allow yourself a good 3 hours to go back and forth stirring the pot to avoid burning. You don't have to stand over the pot for a full three hours, just every few minutes go in and stir it, then continue about your household business.
KimD's Homemade Ketchup
5 pounds tomatoes, quartered.*
2 medium onions, chopped
3 green peppers, chopped
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Paprika
2 Tsp Cinnamon
2 Tsp Celery Seed
1 Tsp All Spice
3/4 Cup Sugar (or more for taste)
1-1 1/2 Cup Vinegar (based on taste)**
Cook tomatoes, onions, peppers in large pot until soft.
Put in food processor and puree. Heads up, know how to work your food processor. I didn't and this is what happened:
Add all the spices, sugar, and salt. Cook on medium to medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring often...sugar likes to burn so stay close. Add the vinegar, I suggest to add 1/2-3/4 cup at first, let it simmer a few minutes, taste it and if the pucker on your face doesn't knock you over it's good. If the sweetness makes your teeth hurt, add a bit more of the vinegar. Now's the time to add more salt or other seasonings. It's all about your personal flavor preference here. Shoot, if you are all about heat, add some jalapenos or chilies now too! Keep cooking the ketchup until it thickens. Make sure there is little liquid bubbling on top.
Pour into mason jars, leaving 1/4" from rim if you are going to process in a water bath to can this for a long shelf life. I knew we'd go through it in no time, so no water bath for my batch. This makes about 1 quart + 1 pint.
*I used all the varieties we grow in the garden, including grape and cherry. Here's my laziness...I refuse to blanch, peel, core tomatoes so I did not. I cut off the stem part and then cut all the tomatoes into quarters. If you want your ketchup to be smooth and bit free, then go right ahead and peel & de-seed them.
I turned ketchup making into a homeschooling practical life lesson of knife work. ANNNND she cut her finger. Lesson learned, on both our parts.
**I used white vinegar but cider vinegar or even red wine vinegar will enhance the flavor, make it more "gourmet" tasting