Time to Ketchup with All These Tomatoes!


The Campsie garden spaces being limited, we grow tomatoes for immediate slurping in season, and do not have enough room for the workhorse paste/plum/Roma types that are useful for saucing. I bought a lot of meaty heirloom Roma tomatoes from Henkle's Herbs and Heirlooms to make homemade ketchup.

The marvelous homemade ketchup that graced my parents' table either had no written recipe, or that recipe had been transcended long before my first memory of the look and heavenly smell of tomato juice evaporating slowly in a giant stainless steel dishpan in the oven, a little cloth bag filled with onions and spice floating around in it. Like the Hershey's chocolate taster who can tell when a mix of ingredients tastes like Hershey's and is ready to pour and harden, Mother knew how to make the ketchup taste the way she wanted it to taste. So I'll be trying to re-create a taste I believe I could pick out of any ketchup lineup blindfolded, but do not know just exactly how to deliver.

I believe these recipes will be a good guide. I plan to start with the "Standard Ketchup" recipe and taste and adjust as needed. I remembered from childhood that the tomatoes need to be "dead ripe." So I let the Henkle beauties ripen -- or at least redden -- for six days on newspaper on the back porch. The photographs show a bit of the change, though it is subtle.

I'm ready to start the ketchup. Wish me luck!

P.S. My apologies to email and RSS subscribers who received an earlier, quite unfinished post called "update2" today. I inadvertently published a draft.

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The world is coming to visit central Kentucky this year for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. To help our visitors know more about Kentucky's food and food ways, Savoring Kentucky is rolling out 116 Savory Kentucky Bites, one for each of the 100 days before WEG begins, and 16 for the days during WEG, September 25 - October 10. Today's Savory Bite is number 77.