You must, once in your life, try homemade catsup/ketchup. It is eons away from the bottled crap you buy in the stores. And the bonus is that you can adjust it to how you like, tart, sweet, spicy… whatever you can imagine. And you don’t have to make gigantic vats of the stuff either. Buy a few pounds of tomatoes and spend the day in the kitchen with a few pint jars. You will be very happy with the results.
Most folks peel the tomatoes. If you have a food mill, don’t bother. A food mill is the best way to get an even, smooth consistency. If you don’t have a food mill, sometimes you can get away with pressing the cooked ketchup through a colander. Otherwise, make a small cross on the bottom of the tomato, slip it into boiling water for about 45 seconds, and the skin should come right off. But remember, this ketchup is not cooked. It might be closer to what we would call a salsa today. Either way, I’d sure try it.
Cold Tomato Catsup
Our Old Recipe
1 peck ripe tomatoes, chopped into course pieces
3 pints good cider vinegar
1 teacup salt (start with ¼ cup and adjust to taste)
2 teacups sugar (start with 1 cup and adjust to taste)
1 cup mustard seed
2 teaspoons ground cloves
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground black pepper
4 roots horseradish, grated (start with a small 4-6oz jar of prepared horseradish if you are not brave enough to try fresh… it is potent)
2 onions, chopped
6 green peppers, chopped fine
4 red peppers, chopped fine
Drain as much juice and seeds as possible from tomatoes. Add all ingredients to tomatoes and stir to mix well. And you are done. This is not cooked down at all, but just as easily could be put into a non-reactive pot and boiled down for about an hour. Keep refrigerated.