Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fall is on it's way!!

I did some more researching about homesteading last night, like I seem to be doing every night when the boys are asleep! :)

Last night I learned you can use tomato jars that you get from the store to use for your canning. ( like the vegetables from your garden!) How awesome is that! ) the blog: said the good ones are the classico ones. but if you go to the store take a lid with you and see if the canning lid fits and tada you have a canning jar! Awesome!!

Here is another tip I found out, I never new you could tell I always went off by the expiration date on the carton!

The other day I told you I made homemade ketchup so I thought I would share the recipe I used.

Homemade ketchup

4 qts. tomatoes (about 24) ripe, peeled, cored and chopped.
1 Large yellow onion, chopped
1 Large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 1/2tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. wholeallspice
1 stick cinnamon
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 TBSP. salt
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 TBSP. paprika

1. In a large, non reactive saucepan or Dutch oven over moderate heat, combine the tomatoes, onion, and red bell pepper, and cook until the vegetables are soft. Using a food mill or sieve, press the vegetables through to make a puree. Return the vegetable puree to the saucepan.
2. Over high heat, cook the vegetables puree rapidly until it is thick and the volume is reduced by about half, about 1 hr.
3. Cut a 4- inch square of cheesecloth. Place the celery seed, mustard seed, allspice, and cinnamon stick in the center, gather up the corners to form a bag and secure with kitchen string. Add the spice bag, brown sugar and salt to the tomato mixture. Over low heat, cook the mixture gently for 25 mins., stirring frequently.
4. Stir in the cider vinegar and paprika. Continue to cook, stirring frequently until the mixture is thick.
5. Spoon the ketchup into 3 hot, sterilized pint jars, leaving a 1/8th space between the top of the ketchup and the rim of the jar. Wipe the rims, cover,and process for ten mins. in water bath. Cool and test for airtight seal. Label and date and store in a cool dark place for up to one year; the ketchup will be ready to eat in 1 week. Once a jar is open , store the ketchup in the refridgerator.

**Makes 3 pints.***

My thoughts: It was a long process for 3 pints. It is good we tasted it when I was putting some in a jar, it is very tangy I think would be the right word. I am still waiting for a whole week and to see if the taste settles a little. But we both said it would be great with steak fries! YUM!
So even though it was a long process at least I learned , who knows we could have a ketchup shortage in the US hahah.

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