Time to Catch Up with Catsup. Or is it Ketchup?

I’ll bet that most of you think of catsup or ketchup, according to a site called Differencebetween.net there is no difference. The original according to them was not made with tomatoes or anything like that, “People must be surprised to note that this original ‘kechap’ had no tomatoes ;” in fact it was a condiment made of brined fish, and other spices. The Malay  version of the ‘kechap’ had some sweet soy sauce added to it to make it tangier.
Read more: Difference Between Ketchup and Catsup | Difference Between | Ketchup vs Catsup http://www.differencebetween.net/object/difference-between-ketchup-and-catsup/#ixzz1Vz0Gzjzs .

So today when you use the red stuff in the squeeze packet at the drive-thru remember it could really taste different; it could of been made of fish. The next french fries I dunk will make me give thanks to the people who started using tomatoes.

Bet you didn’t think we were going to teach something            other than jam & jelly did you?

We are going to visit a whole different world of the popular condiment. I know I usually just talk about making fruit this and that. I am not going to change, I will cover Fruit Catsup, but I will also cover a more traditional  Tomato Ketchup, this will include both mild and spicy tomato ketchup.

You never heard of fruit catsup? Well neither have I. Mary Lynn surprised me with some recipes using some of the most popular fruits and peppers. So let’s get started, enough of the history for now.

We are going to start this off with a catsup made with blackberries. They are sweet, juicy. Don’t think that this is something you would ever use except for the novelty of it. Got to looking and found several recipes for ribs and roast as well as chops that all called for blackberry catsup.

I don’t know about you but I dread picking blackberries. They are usually in hard to get to places. Once you get there and start picking, you have to keep an eye on the berries and an eye on the ground. For some reason snakes tend to hang out in blackberry patches. Maybe because small animals and birds love to eat blackberries, or they may like to eat the berries. I’ve never asked a snake. If you find out please let me know. Sometimes we get lucky and find a farm that raises blackberries as well as other fruits and veggies. The berries you see in the photo below came from a place like that. I found them in my states Market Bulletin. It is a publication printed by the state department of agriculture. If they charge, it is just enough to cover postage. Usually $20 or less for a year. The bulletin is full of all sorts of interesting things. Things like farm equipment wanted, or for sale. Livestock for sale or wanted, places for sale or rent, and even flowers. They have both plants and seeds for sale. The section that draws my interest is the Things to Eat section. The things listed included fruits and vegetables for sale, or at a U-Pick-Em farm. Also they have picked items by the pound and by the gallon. Check with your states Department of Agriculture and see if your state has such a bulletin. You might be lucky enough to find a farm that raises the most delicious  blackberries. They added many different varieties of berries and over time they had produced the fruit we picked. The photo is of one box; we picked five containers like this. A lot of work but nothing like hunting in the woods for fruit. If you don’t want to search or pick, you can buy them in your grocers freezer department. You don’t have to look for snakes there. A word of note before we start, do not use an aluminum pot or pan to cook with. The vinegars and other items react with the pots.

Enough talking, let’s get cooking!

Blackberry Catsup

2 pounds blackberries (4 cups), 2 cups chopped fine sweet onions (here in Georgia no one would use anything other than our very own Vidalia Onions), 2 cups malt vinegar (the stuff you put on fish and chips), 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1 1/3 cups brown sugar (you can use 1 teaspoon molasses and 1 cup of sugar here if you don’t have brown sugar).     

Boil the onions in the malt vinegar, cook for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 30 minutes over low heat. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Put cooled mixture in a blender, 2 cups at a time, and puree’. Put the mixture thru a sieve to remove the seeds, you want this to be smooth. Pour into your canning jars, clean rims and put on sterile domes and rings. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes. This recipe makes four 8 ounce jars. Use this on pork chops, duck, chicken, turkey or Polish sausage.

Like most items home-made and canned, this lasted for about a year on your shelf. Don’t double this recipe, you can make more anytime you need more. Use frozen blackberries from your grocer if fresh are out of season. How was that for something unusual and tasty?

Next up how about Blueberry Catsup. Not to be outdone by blackberries, blueberries have a fan club of their own. I belong to this fan club. I grew up in Florida and we did not have much of a blackberry season in Daytona Beach. In fact I can’t ever remember anyone growing blackberries there. We did have blueberry plants that produced huge amounts of the sweet juicy fruit. We used to go over in the Ocala area just south of Gainesville and pick blueberries. There were several U-Pick-Em farms that had only blueberries. I remember driving home after picking with purple stained hands and mouth. I bet I ate at least a quart of berries while I picked. Unlike strawberries, blueberries grow on bushes the are tall enough so that you don’t even have to bend more than just a little. Well enough about picking, let’s get back to cooking.  A word of note before we start, do not use an aluminum pot or pan to cook with. The vinegars and other items react with the pots. A medium size teflon pot will do nicely. If you don’t have a teflon pot, use something else that is not aluminum.

Blueberry Catsup

5 cups crushed blueberries, 3 cups cane sugar, 2 tablespoons fresh or frozen lemon juice (Do Not Use the plastic squeeze thing), 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon salt (canning, kosher or sea salt), 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper (put black pepper in a sieve and shake in a bowl, the large pieces will not fall into bowl), and 1 cup blueberry vinegar (see below for instructions for this).

Bring all ingredients to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let mixture cool and put thru a food mill to make smooth. Use a blender if you don’t have a mill. Pour into sterile jars, add dome and rings. Process in boiling bath for 10 minutes. After they sit over night check for unsealed jars. Reprocess if needed.

Just think if your next order of fries looked like this!

Blueberry Vinegar is not ketchup or catsup, but I thought I would just throw this in as a bonus. It is made by mixing 2 cups white wine vinegar with 2 cups crushed blueberries. Put into a glass container. Let sit in a cool dark spot in your kitchen for 2-3 weeks. Shake the mixture occasionally. After the shelf time, strain thru as fine a strainer as you have. In a non aluminum pan add 3 tablespoons sugar, add a long strip of orange peel or lemon peel (no white membrane on the strip, just the very top part of the peel). Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is completely dissolved, usually 3 -5 minutes. Remove the citrus peel and pour into sterile jars or bottles. Seal and store in a cool dry place. This vinegar lasts about 1 year, like most home-made products. Again don’t over make, it is not hard to remake.

You can make Blackberry Vinegar by using blackberries in place of blueberries. And again I know it is not what this blog is about. But I write it and I want to throw a curve ball ocassionally.

Well how is that, 4 recipes of things you would not have thought of. Let’s see what I can come up with next. How about Sour Apple Catsup (not a Sour Apple Martini).

Clean, peel, quarter and core the apples. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook till apples are soft. When most of the water has evaporated remove from heat and let cool a little. Force apple pulp thru a sieve or food mill. To 1 quart pulp in cooking pot, add 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon finely ground pepper, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon mustard powder, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 onions very finely chopped and 2 cups cider vinegar.

Bring back to a boil, after cooling strain mixture. Prepare your bottles by putting in boiling water and let drain. If you are using canning jars, prepare the jars. Pour or ladle catsup into containers. Water bath the jars 10 minutes. If you use bottles, seal while bottle is still hot. You now have Apple Catsup.

How about homemade Tomato Catsup to close. This is more the type of Catsup we are used to, but the others might work in some recipes. Experiment, maybe you might come up with an award winning recipe that will make you famous. Well here is tomato:

8 quarts ripe tomatoes, 1/4 cup salt, 2 cups sugar, 1 tablespoon mace, 1 teaspoon celery salt, 2 tablespoons cinnamon, 2 quarts vinegar and 1 tablespoon cayenne powder.

Cut tomatoes into small pieces in a large cooking pot. Add other ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 2 hours, while stirring. Remove from heat. When cooled somewhat, force thru a sieve or put thru a food mill. If you have a very good quality blender you can puree’ small amounts then put thru a sieve to remove any pieces or seeds. Sterilize bottles and drain, if you are going to use canning jars prepare the jars, and domes. Pour or ladle your catsup into their containers. Obviously you are not going to use this amount in any big hurry, so I suggest putting most into canning jars; to be poured into catsup bottles in the future. Keep bottles in the refrigerator when not in use. This is more like what we expect when we hear the word ketchup. Our fries look like this

For a couple of variations on the same recipe try: Garlic Tomato Catsup adding 6 cloves of peeled and finely minced garlic at beginning. Would be great on a burger!

For Hot Catsup add at the start of cooking about 6 Jalapeno’ peppers that have been finely chopped without seeds , stems or membrane. Lots of ideas for this one.

For Killer Hot Catsup add finely chopped Habanero Peppers as well as the Jalapeno. If you want to make all the different types just divide the tomato mixture into smaller batches. Use smaller amounts of peppers and garlic. Make 4 different types of catsup with just one recipe. You have to be a “Hot Head” to love this one. We all know there are thousands of us “Hot Heads”.

One last thought about all the different types we have here. Make a couple and put them in traditional ketchup containers and serve them.

See what type of reaction you get. Might be fun, might be….. interesting.

I think the list above should keep you busy for at least a few days……. right? Well I hope that you do try some of the recipes, you will be amazed at the taste and the compliments will come your way. Let’s face it. You cook like you do to please your family and please yourself. Thank God Mary Lynn and I grew up around people who took the extra steps to make the regular into something special. Think how proud you will be someday when your son or daughter ask for your recipes so they can do the same think in their homes. That is the greatest compliment you can ever get. All the ribbons and medals pale when your family tries to do things the way you have done. Stand up and be PROUD of what you do. They may not say much now, but later you will see what you did was right.

On this note, I close in my usual way. I ask for you to pass on my blog to friends and neighbors and to subscribe at the bottom of the page. Looks like you are coming back to read, but nobody subscribes. I will keep on writing even if you don’t click. But it would be more fun if you did.

Another thing, sort of like house cleaning. If you read this and the lines break at odd places. It is not my falt. It is the way WordPress works. I look and try to make it even. So that when you are reading evrything stays together. Well just want you to know why it looks add sometimes.

Also coming in the future…. Mary Lynn and I are going to start selling some of our most requested items from a website. The site www.austinhouse.biz is not ready yet. I will let you know when we are up. If you like you can purchase something from us and compare it to what you have made. See how things match up against us.

Please let me know what you would like to make or any ideas you have for the next blog. Just drop me a note at jellymanga@gmail.com

Don’t keep my blogs a secret, and pass the word on to your friends, neighbors and family members. They just might make something and share with you.

Don’t forget, if someone asks you can you can it.

Say Yes I Can, Can It!

About Pete Austin & The Austin House

My wife, Mary Lynn and I had a very sucessful canning business for over 15 years, called The Austin House Jams & Jellies. We had to close it due to pure health. I will be writing a blog about some of the recipes, and how to use them. Also some of the interesting, funny, weird things that have happened in our traveling with the business. If you follow me, you will see that I look at things just a little different than others. If you look at the header at the top of the page, you see that I am looking at things. Making sure eveything looks as good as possible.
This entry was posted in Apple, Blackberry, Blackberry Catsup, Blackberry Vinegar, Blueberry, Blueberry Catsup, Blueberry Vinegar, Chipolte Peppers, Cooking, Food Preservation, Habanero Peppers, Home Made, No artifical ingredients, No preservatives, Old Fashioned, Recipe, Spicy Catsup, Tomato, Vinegars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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