Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Homemade Ketchup...or is it Catsup?

I love ketchup.  I don't care if you call it ketchup or can call it whatever you want as long as it's Heinz.  Store brand ketchup and other major brands just don't cut the mustard. =D  They are just too sweet.  Heinz has the perfect salty to spicy ratio that makes it the ideal accompaniment to french fries.  I found a blogspot that tells you everything you would ever want to know about ketchup:  I am going to share with you a few of the facts I learned.   

Some Random Facts About Ketchup
  • 97% of American homes keep ketchup in their kitchens.
  • Each person consumes about 3 bottles per year.
  • A Tablespoon of ketchup has about 16 calories and no fat.
  • 4 Tablespoons have the nutritional value of a ripe medium tomato.
  • Like fine wines there can be good and bad ketchup years depending on the quality of the harvest.
  • Heinz ketchup was introduced in 1876 as a "blessed relief for Mother..."
  • Heinz sells more than 50% of the ketchup sold in the U.S.    
  • The "catsup" spelling went out of popularity in 1981 after the Reagan Administration declared "Ketchup" to be a vegatable that could be used in school lunches.
  • Public outcry caused a reversal of that ruling, so now ketchup is back as a condiment.
  • Disclaimer:  Heinz does not pay me to "love" their ketchup. =D 
 Homemade Tomato Ketchup
By now your gardens are probably producing a good crop of tomatoes.  They were slow to come on this year.  I still have a lot of salsa and chili sauce left from last fall, so I wanted to try something new.  My good friend, Lynette graciously allowed me to publish her tried and true recipe for ketchup.  She says she likes it better than store-bought.  I think it would be fun to try this out.  Grandma Zetta used to make a lot of her own condiments.

Lynette's Ketchup
3 gallons plus 1 quart tomato juice
4 cups white sugar
3 cups white vinegar (could use part cider)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/3 cup salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper or 1 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. dried cloves
1 and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Carefully boil the juice, stirring frequently, until juice is reduced to about half.  Add 1/2 of the vinegar and all of the sugar and salt.  Cook an additional 30 minutes, stirring frequently, then add the rest of the vinegar.  Just before ladling it into the jars, add spices and mix well.  Until recently Lynette processed it in a boiling water bath.  But she warns that because of the lower acidity of today's tomatoes, it would probably be prudent to pressure process pints at 15 pounds (Highland, Utah altitude) for 15 minutes.

Hope you are having a great tomato harvest this year,


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