When I was a kid, my grandmother used to make tomato ketchup and I never really understood why it was called ketchup when it wasn’t anything like what I had with my fries. In the past, Scott and I have tried to make some and failed miserably. This summer, with more tomatoes than I can could possible use, we decided to try again. I found a recipe on a website I use all of the time, but it didn’t quite suit us. For one, it said to run the stuff through the blender. After making a batch that way, I realized why what my grandmother had made was called ketchup. Those were the ingredients and the blending created what you put on your fries.
After that, I decided I didn’t want mine done that way. I wanted to have good, old fashioned ketchup or what I prefer to think of as relish. So I stopped blending it. And I made a couple more minor adjustments to the recipe as well. So I’m putting it here for safe-keeping because I’m sure this is one we’ll use over and over again.
12 pounds of tomatoes – blanched, peeled, chopped
1 pound onions
1/2 pound red (or yellow) bell peppers
1/2 pound green bell pepper (or banana peppers. Hey, I use what I’ve got)
2 cups apple cider vinegar
4 cups of sugar
2 tablespoons salt (in the last batch, I left the salt out completely because we try to stay low sodium)
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1/2 tablespoon ground red pepper (I use a tad less than that)
1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
You can do this part however you want, but this is what works for me, and creates that old fashioned taste I wanted but cuts back on cooking time. Place the chopped tomatoes into a big pot and heat them to a boil. Then, drain off the juice into another pan. You can take the juice, strain it, then cook it a bit to give yourself a little tomato juice. I usually get around a quart. Return your tomatoes to the pot and add the peppers, onions, vinegar, sugar, and spices. You can cook that on low until it gets to the consistency you’d like or you can put it in the crockpot and cook it on low there. We’ve just been using our big pot we got for such projects.
When you’re done, put it into sterile pint jars. I get 4-5 depending on how thick I let it get. Process them in a waterbath for about 20 minutes.
It’s wonderful on homestyle hashbrowns, eggs, peas, sandwiches.