Friday, September 23, 2011


'Tis the season that "Baseball, Apple Pie, Hot Dogs, and Chevrolet" will be pushed aside for "Football, Hot Dogs, and Homecoming." Today, high school homecoming is being celebrated in my small town. Alumni are returning in droves, and the streets are overrun with green and white football jerseys and horses. If you aren't from here, you are probably wondering why horses? We are the Cowboys. Horses have to be a part of homecoming. What else would the royalty ride in the parade?

It doesn't get more All-American than small town celebrations. It also doesn't get more All-American than a couple of garden creations I canned up this year, Homemade Ketchup and Dill Pickle Relish. Facing baskets and baskets of tomatoes to use, I added Homemade Ketchup to my tomato repertoire. A friend dropping off a black trash bag full of various sizes of cucumbers led to a day of pickle making and some jars of Dill Pickle Relish. It's been a busy canning year for me, and my pantry shelves will soon be full of lots of All-American staples for winter.

(adapted from Simply Canning)

12 cups chopped tomatoes (I don't peel or seed, because I run through a food sieve {food mill would work, too}.)
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped sweet pepper (I used green peppers.)
1 1/2 cups of vinegar
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick of cinnamon

Combine tomatoes, onion, sweet pepper in a large stock pot.
Simmer until vegetables are soft.
Press tomato mixture through a food mill or sieve to remove seeds and/or skins.

Add vinegar, seasonings and cinnamon stick.
Bring to a boil in a stock pot. Continue to boil rapidly until thickened, stirring often. 
Reduce quantity by half. This may take an hour or so. (I have a ruler that I place in the pot to measure how deep the sauce is...just keep measuring until it is half of starting quantity.)
Reduce heat and cook until thickened to your desired consistency. Again stirring often. This may take another hour or even several hours.
Remove cinnamon stick.
Ladle into jars (I used half-pints.) and seal.

Process for 10 minutes in hot water bath.
(If you are unsure of the canning process, there are many informative sites online. I am not a canning authority.)

(adapted from Tasty Kitchen)

3 pounds cucumbers
1 whole large sweet yellow onion
1/4 cup pickling salt
3 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dill seed
2 teaspoons mustard seed
2 teaspoons celery seed
1/2 teaspoon tumeric

Finely chop the cucumbers and onions. (I used my food processor.)
Place the chopped vegetables in a large nonreactive bowl and sprinkle with the pickling salt.
Stir well and allow to stand for 1 hour.
Drain the cucumber mixture in a colander; rinse with cold water and drain well. (You might have to push or "wring" out the extra moisture.)
In a large pan, bring vinegar, sugar, garlic, dill seed, mustard seed, celery seed and turmeric to a boil over medium high heat.
Add the drained cucumber and onion mixture and return to a boil, stirring frequently.
Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Ladle into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space and seal.
Process for 10 minutes in a water bath.
(If you are unsure of the canning process, there are many informative sites online. I am not a canning authority.)

1 comment:

  1. I can only dream about having baskets and baskets of tomatoes. But if that ever happens to me, I'm definitely going to make this ketchup.


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