Friday, August 13, 2010

Take That, Rationing!

I just did a kung-fu roundhouse kick to the rationing chart. KA-POW!

Okay, maybe that's more figurative than literal...

But, I MADE KETCHUP (or, actually, catsup since that's how the recipe was labeled).

Ketchup is ridanculously expensive as far as ration points go (so expensive I had to use an imaginary word). One 14 oz bottle of ketchup will set you back more than one person's weekly allowance of blue/green points.

But having kids in the house means ketchup is a required condiment. They tell me, after all, that one can't possible eat hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries, onion rings, chicken strips and such without ketchup - to do otherwise would being considered abusive.

So ketchup we must have.

Using peeled, cored and pureed Roma tomatoes grown in our Victory Gardens (little hands are great peelers), I followed this recipe (adapted from the canonical Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving).

1. Combine 2 quarts pureed tomatoes, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/3 cups vinegar in a large sauce pot.
2. Add a spice bag containing 2 TB whole allspice, 2 sticks of cinnamon and 1 tsp whole cloves.
3. Add 1 1/2 tsp paprika (I used Hungarian), 1 tsp dry mustard, 1 tsp salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
4. Cook slowly until thick, stirring frequently.
5. When desired thickness is reached (took about an hour for me), ladle hot ketchup into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.
6. Add caps and rings and process in water bath for 15 minutes.

The recipe said it would make 2 pints and that held true, although I used some half-pints for shelf-life considerations once individual jars have been opened. In all, I think this adds up to about 35 or 40 points worth of ketchup. Not too shabby.

The final product is nice and thick, although a bit sweeter than I expected - I think I'll reduce the amount of sugar in any future batches. The girls both like it, although Sissy remarked that it was more of a hot dog ketchup rather than a dipping ketchup. Whatever that means. TMOTH said it was a very tomato-y ketchup, which I believe was a compliment.

I think I'll try to make at least one more batch before the end of summer. Combined with what we already have in the fridge that should give us more than enough to make it through the winter.

--Rational Mama


  1. Yum! This looks like a must make :)

  2. Looks great! I've always wanted to can up ketchup - maybe this is the year for us. :)

  3. Today's the day! I have the pureed tomatoes simmering on the stovetop. I decided to add pureed green peppers and pureed onions to the mix.

    If you had to estimate what the right amount of sugar would be for you, what would it be?

    I think I'll take it slow in adding the sugar and do a taste test as I go.

  4. Kari - I would guess 3/4 of a cup of sugar would be about right for me, but I don't like overly sweet things (unless it involves chocolate). I like your idea of slowly adding the sugar until it tastes right. Good luck!