September 21, 2008

What’s Cooking

Tomato Ketchup
8 pounds ripe tomatoes, skins removed, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon, crushed
1 tablespoon celery seeds
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt

Combine the tomatoes, onions and cayenne in a large stock pot or kettle. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Combine the spices in a spice bag or tied up in a piece of cheesecloth and place in a small saucepan with the vinegar. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let stand for 20 minutes. Then, remove the spice bag and combine the vinegar with the tomato mixture. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Put the mixture through a food mill. Add honey and salt, boil gently, and stir frequently until the volume is reduced by one-half or until mixture rounds up on a spoon. Fill pint jars, leaving 1/8 inch headspace, tighten the lids, and process in boiling water for 20 minutes.

Butternut Squash Butter
6 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash
3/4 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Place all the ingredients in a 3-quart pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Uncover and simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer, stirring occasionally and mashing the pieces of squash, until mixture is thick enough to leave a path on the bottom of the pot when a wooden spoon is dragged through it.

For a smooth butter, place the mixture in a blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until smooth. This can be store in the refrigerator until used or you can place the butter in an oven-proof container and heat in a 300F oven. When hot, spoon it into hot, sterilized canning jars and process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.
Makes 2 1/2 cups

© Betty Levine, An Endless Harvest (Manorville Publishing)

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