12 November, 2008

Was It Really Worth It?

Some things are just more trouble than they're worth. I now put homemade ketchup in that category, along with transplanting houseplants you already hate, arguing with a toddler over green socks versus white ones, and trying to keep the dog hair off the new couch. Is it better than your bottle of Heinz? Hell yeah, but it still isn't worth the expense or the effort.

I blame you, Jamie Oliver. You and your ridiculous enthusiasm for gardening, food, and making sure people eat well. I blame you, Safeway, for having Jamie at Home on sale in the book bin. I blame you, Calgary weather, for making sure I had loads of tomatoes ripening in stages on my kitchen counter in September and defeating my efforts to make a large batch of tomatoe sauce. I even blame the Monster - just a tiny bit - for having the common desire of any toddler to dip everything in ketchup. In that case, I blame you, Hubby, for fueling that desire in her by never growing up yourself.

Ultimately, however, I have to blame Michael Pollan. He and the Slow Food folks are encouraging me to reduce the amount of processed foods coming into the house. We go through a lot of ketchup and I thought I was being a good mom/wife by introducing another homemade staple.

The recipe* itself was time-consuming, but not difficult. The toughest part was reading through the Jamie Oliver style of recipe writing. And there were a ridiculous number of ingredients! Who knew?

So I spent an afternoon chopping, simmering, reducing, and pureeing. The house smelled wonderful. Two pounds of tomatoes and I got little more than 1 bottle of ketchup. Then the Monster decided that she liked mustard better. Seriously, every time I tried to serve it to her she cried for mustard instead.


Now the ketchup sits in the fridge. This is good stuff. I can't wait to try it on Hubby's famous hamburgers. For now, and post root canal, I will savour it on some scrambly eggs. But next time I'm just making tomatoe sauce.

*Let me know if you want the recipe and don't have the book. I followed it exactly so I won't repeat it here.

7 comments:

Betsy said...

I love the new blog Cheryl! The photos are to die for as well. Well done!

Anonymous said...

so funny. I can relate. every time I eat a homemade pickle or roasted pepper I think to myself.. $4 for the jar, $6 for the organic produce, $45 in labor at 15 bucks an hour.. omg I am eating a five dollar pickle! but there is no arguing with how much better than store bought they are... although I am with you on the ketchup. I tried tomato paste this summer and it was ridiculous. I'll bet it's good ketchup though :)

janelle said...

LOL I agree!!! I made ketchup AND Mustard from scratch from Christina's cookbook (Orcas Island in the San Juans off the coast of WA state). Yikes what a lot of work:). But at least your ketchup in Canada doesn't have corn syrup!!!

Dana McCauley said...

Good for you for rolling up your ketchup making sleeves! You'll enjoy it when the burgers come off the grill.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

root canal - ouch! Hope it's feeling okay now.

The tom sauce looks like good stuff but all those tomatoes and ingredients for one bottle - I'd be a bit fed up too.

Aimée said...

Just got the book and LOVE it! Sounds like the stars were aligned for you to make this ketchup. Too bad M didn't love it. Kids are funny!

Julie said...

Hilarious post! I loved your ketchup. If your goal is to minimize sugar/processed foods (did you know purchased ketchup contains more sugar than ice cream does?) I often cut it half and half with tomato paste. W doesn't seem to notice...