21 July, 2015

A Glimpse into the Mind of a Foodie

Nothing gets a Foodie more excited than a mid morning trip to the local Farmers Market.  The sun kissing the skins of fresh fruits and vegetables is better than the glitter of diamonds to some.  The buzz of foodies and farmers haggling over the price of Heirlooms.  And best of all... bringing your treasures home!  Foodies would gladly shoot endless Haul Videos of their fresh finds if it was not for fear of ridicule...or more likely the overwhelming desire to get cooking!

I am a Foodie.  Nothing gets me more excited then arm loads of goodies brought back from the local market.  I get so wound up I am known to send pictures of my Hauls to my friends and family.  But I am one of the most extreme types of Foodies because I find the greatest pleasures in Homemade goods like Marshmallows, Crackers and Achiote Paste. Things that most people would never consider making and would be much cheaper if purchased but the satisfaction of making it myself is greater than the expense.  

Some of you may know that I collect cookbooks.  But you cannot bring home Martha Stewarts latest book when you are married to a Chef...  I am pretty sure those are standard terms for an annulment!  For fear of divorce (and utter distaste for Martha) I collect Vintage Cookbooks.  My favorites are those from the  1940s to the 1960s.  I find these books a fascinating glimpse at American History.  These books are as much Americana to me as an Andy Warhol Painting.  And believe it or not but I use these Vintage Cookbooks regularly.

So when we went to a local brewery and I discovered that they made their own Ketchup...well it is not too hard to imagine what happened next!  After a few inebriated texts to my sister about how excited I was to have tasted Homemade Ketchup, I came home, researched the heck out of Ketchup recipes and how it was made, loaded up on tomatoes and spices and got to work.  I have to admit that it was no more difficult than making jam and the results were promising.  

By the way... did you know?
  1. Ketchupcatsup, catchup. Catsup was once the predominant spelling of the tomato-based condiment, but ketchup is preferred in today's English by a large margin.
Today I dug out my favorite  Cookbook: The American Woman`s Cookbook published in 1939 and thumbed through the VARIOUS "Catchup" recipes.  I had to share one of these recipes with you, because it is just too wonderful to keep hidden away on my book shelf....Especially when the recipe forward reads a little something like; "This is a recipe used in the kitchen of General Washington."

Old Virginia Catchup 
1 peck green tomatoes1/2 peck white onions3 ounces white mustard seed1 ounce allspice1 pound brown sugar1 ounce cloves1/2 cup dry mustard1/4 cup water1 ounce black pepper1 ounce celery seedVinegarSalt

Chop the tomatoes and onions, sprinkle with salt, let stand three hours.  Drain well and put the pulp in a preserving-kettle with the other ingredients.  Cover with vinegar, and boil slowly for one hour.  Seal in clean, hot jars. Less mustard may be used if a less hot catchup is desired.

I had to look up what a Peck was:
Peck (pk)A traditional unit of volume, formerly used for both liquids
and solids but now used mostly for dry commodities such as
grains, berries, and fruits. A peck is 2 gallons, 8 quarts,
or 1/4 bushel. In the U. S. customary system, a peck holds
537.605 cubic inches or approximately 8.8098 liters. In the
British imperial system, a peck is a little larger, holding
554.84 cubic inches or approximately 9.0923 liters. The word
"peck", originally spelled "pek", comes from the name of a
similar old French unit; the origin of the French unit is
not known.

If I was to follow this recipe exactly I would use 8 kilos of tomatoes (or 16 pounds) and 4 kilos of white onions (8 pounds), as I have found that a kilo of fruit usually renders me 1 liter of pulp when I make jam.  You may also want to note that 1 ounce is equal to 2 tablespoons.

If you make this recipe or something similar please, please, PLEASE share your pictures and experience!
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