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Old 07-14-2006, 11:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by skilletlicker
If the goal was to duplicate Hunts or Heinz I guess there wouldn't be any purpose at all. If you wanted to make a smooth tomato based sauce that wasn't as sweet, with a little heat and spice that might appeal more to an adult pallet then I think there'd be a darn good reason.


I've haven't done it but have been tempted for years and local maters are in season here. I'm game if you are.
Now that you mention it, both Hunts and Heinz ketchup both have way to much sugar in them. Seems like something done for kid appeal, like how store-brand corndogs put sugar in the batter. I can't stand that.

I'd like a ketchup recipe too.

Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet. -Julia Child
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Old 07-15-2006, 12:42 AM   #12
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I've looked at several ketchup recipes this evening and there's one in The New Joy of Cooking that might serve as a starting point. It makes about 10 pints so I'd be inclined to halve it and freeze it in pints. It starts with 14 lbs. of tomatoes, 8 onions and 2 red peppers. Once that's cooked soft you'd push it through a food mill and add only 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp dry mustard and a spice bag and simmer that till volume's reduced by half. The spice bag would contain:
  • 1 three inch cinnamon stick
  • 1Tbl allspice
  • 1Tbl mace
  • 1 Tbl celery seeds
  • 1 Tbl black peppercorn
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
After its reduced you'd toss in 2 cups of cider vinegar and salt and red pepper to taste.

As I type this I'm thinking it needs:
  • cumin and corriander instead of the celery and mace
  • about 10 more cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 5 or 6 pasilla or ancho chiles
  • 1 Tbl cocoa and skip the mustard
This is still based on the 14 lbs of tomatoes and I'd still halve every thing. Anybody have any thoughts or suggestions?

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Old 07-15-2006, 05:15 AM   #13
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My Mom and I made ketchup all the time as I was growing up. It is far superior to anything you will find at the market. We used the recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I would post it for you but I'm moving soon and it is boxed up.

It is nice and thick and full of spices. A wonderful recipe. Folks would always beg us for a half pint after taking a taste. Yes, it takes work and it is a hot process, but sooooo worth it.
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Old 07-15-2006, 08:56 AM   #14
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When my kids were little, I had a big vegetable garden, and one year I put out 100 Roma tomato plants.
I made my own catsup that year. Let me tell you, it is a LOT of work! Back then, I only had the old fashioned cone shaped food mill, and it took a lot of elbow to run through all those tomatoes. It also used a lot of expensive spices. Then there's the cooking process...you have to stand and keep it stirred so it won't scorch, and it "blurp, blurp, blurps" all over the place. I even had catsup on the ceiling when I was done.
The finished product was delicious, but the kids and husband didn't like it because it didn't tasted like "regular catsup".

Now I have a food mill on my Kitchen Aid, which sure would make things easier. If I were going to make catsup again, I think I'd do it in the crock-pot or the oven. I made apple butter in the oven one year, and it turned out great. You still have to stir it, but not as often.

I made chili sauce almost every year. It was very good, and not such a pain in the butt to make.

If you have a lot of tomatoes, you might also try making sweet tomato preserves. I tasted some at a friends house last winter, and it was delicious. It had some citrus and lots of cinnamon and spices. Great on a biscuit!
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Old 07-15-2006, 09:13 AM   #15
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I agree, it is work! But the best ketchup IMHO. And the smell while we were processing was out of this world. We didn't have central air nor a Kitchen Aid either. We would stand at the sink and peel and cut bushels of tomatoes for the ketchup, but I loved that flavor. Mom and I would take turns stirring the stock pot.

Made wonderful memories and I wouldn't change the experience for anything!
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Old 07-15-2006, 11:42 AM   #16
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I'm going to assume that by ketchup you mean tomato ketchup. If you are looking for organic tomato ketchup you don't have to make it yourself - there are some available on store shelves. Although you might have to spend a little time calling around to various stores (someplace like Whole Foods, Central Market, Trader Jo's, Health/Organic Food stores should have at least one of these) to locate them - it will be a lot less time and effort than making it from scratch!

Here are 3 recipes from the National Center for Home Food Preservation, and here is a plethora of other recipes from a google on "tomato ketchup recipes".

Of course, if you are into canning - nothing say's lovin' like a jar of homemade no matter what the time or effort it takes!
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Old 07-15-2006, 02:26 PM   #17
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It may be more "organic" (a term that gets thrown around a lot these days), but quite frankly I have far far far better ways to spend my time than making my own ketchup - especially since I don't use it very often.

And there may very well be "horror stories" about the processing plants where it is made, but I doubt they're any more horrendous than any of the other processing plants that put out processed food products. And you'd have to know ALL the horror stories before you could claim that ketchup was any worse than the others. (I'm sure most of the most horrible horror stories are the ones we'll never hear about.)

Yet, I've managed to reach the age of 50 in a fairly healthy state - even after eating commercial ketchup on my burgers & franks all these years. Go figure.
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Old 07-15-2006, 02:59 PM   #18
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I have made ketchup with my mother when I was much younger and it is a lot of work and mess. You need a food mill and as Constance said it splatters and you need to use a lot of elbow grease. We used no vinegar or preservatives so it tasted good but it would go bad (even in the refrigerator) after a week or so because it was so hot in India and humid.

I don't think I would go through the trouble of making it now given I am on the same page as Breezy, I am not a huge fan of the plain old ketchup.

I read a lot of people wanting an adult like taste in ketchup instead of the sugar so I wanted to let you know that Maggie makes some good ketchups and where I live in Chicago a lot of the farmer markets carry it. I also can buy it easily at an Indian store. There is a Chilli, Garlic Ketchup and there is a Masala Ketchup. They both taste really good and have a kick in them which goes well with the Indian appetizers I make.
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Old 07-15-2006, 03:01 PM   #19
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It seems to me the posts in this conversation separate themselves into two camps.
  • Camp 1
    • Why make it if you can buy it already made?
  • Camp 2
    • It might be better home made, but it's too much time and effort.
Camp 1,
I understand completely and that's how I feel about most things; clothes and furniture for instance. I've no interest in talking you into doing anything you don't want to.

Camp 2,
I enjoyed reading dollop's and Constance's posts. Both reminded me of canning experiences in the 60's and early 70's. I'm wondering if cutting back the scale from bushels to a few pounds (that's roughly equivalent to a batch of marinara) and using the freezer instead of canning wouldn't take most of the work out of it without sacrificing any flavor. In fact, since we won't be exhausting ourselves picking, prepping and canning such huge quantities we could probably produce a more flavorful result.

The part that you'd be left with Constance described poetically, "Then there's the cooking process...you have to stand and keep it stirred so it won't scorch, and it "blurp, blurp, blurps" all over the place. I even had catsup on the ceiling when I was done". I'm thinking that you could reduce the reduction time and improve the flavor by first roasting the tomatoes, onions, peppers and garlic.

Any feed back from either camp?
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Old 07-25-2006, 02:56 PM   #20
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yes put it is Fun and there is no junk in it have you ever looks to see what is in some of this stuff!!

Originally Posted by GB
From what I have heard, everyone who tried to make it finds out it is much more work than it is worth and does not taste anywhere near as good as store bought.

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