Out of the Jar: Ketchup

When my siblings and I were kids, we surprised my parents with an anniversary dinner in the hall. We set up a table with chairs and candles and made them a delicious spaghetti dinner. I say delicious, but what I mean is that it was probably undercooked noodles with a sauce made primarily of tomato sauce and ketchup. We have never forgotten it however, and neither have they.

Next month, my wonderful parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. All five of us kids were visiting them for a few days this week and my brother had the brilliant idea of recreating that special anniversary dinner from so long ago. We were so excited to show them how far we have come. We have come far! Five kids have added five spouses and 13 distractions grandchildren so our plan didn't go according to plan and the ones in charge of distracting the parents got distracted themselves by water slides and glorious sunshine. So, my sister, my husband, and I stealthily managed to set up the table in the hall, with candles and flowers and make a stunning spaghetti dinner right under their noses. It was so fun to see my parent's reaction. The minute we all led them into the hall their faces lit up with recognition of what we had done.

It was just like old times, right down to the sauce on the spaghetti! That's right. In my inconspicuous hurry to get the food on the table without being noticed, I heated up a whole jar of  Suzanne's home made ketchup, rather than Raelynn's home made spaghetti sauce. My parents were in the hall politely eating our fancy dinner and not saying a word. My son, however is not so tactful and he took one bite of his and said, "What did you do to this sauce?" We all tasted it and wondered the same thing. Aw man, we are still putting ketchup on spaghetti!  I guess we haven't come as far as we thought we had. Happy 50th mom and dad! Aren't you proud of this crowd you raised?

Although it does not taste especially delicious on spaghetti, you can't find a better dressing for your home made french fries or your eggs and sausage. This is truly ketchup out of the bottle. It contains no high fructose corn syrup or synthetic preservatives. It is good for the gut too! I am excited to try it this summer when I make my own tomato sauce from my backyard tomatoes.

Suzanne's Homemade Ketchup

3 cups organic tomato paste (I used Bionaturae  brand in glass jars)  **Note: Costco has a much less expensive organic tomato paste if that is available to you.
1/4 cup liquid whey (for preservation)
¼- ½ cup Pure Grade B Maple Syrup
Pinch of cayenne pepper (use 1/4 Tsp for a more powerful taste)
1 Tbs sea salt (I recommend Celtic Sea Salt for the best flavor)

3 cloves organic garlic, mashed
1/2 cup fish sauce (from Asian supermarket – make sure to get one with only anchovies and salt as the listed ingredients)

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon mustard powder (could probably use a prepared Dijon mustard if you don’t have powder)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Mix all the ingredients until smooth. You can alter any of the spices to taste. If you want anniversary style spaghetti, heat slowly over the stove  in secret and serve on pasta. But I really don't recommend it!
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  1. What a great story!
    A friend of mine and I decided to make laco fermented ketchup one day. It tasted good, but more like BBQ sauce than ketchup. I think I'll have to give it another go with your recipe.

  2. I've been meaning to make some lacto-fermented condiments for a while now. I just don't think I could go through that much yogurt cheese to keep getting whey. Thanks for sharing at Tuesdays with a Twist (that's where I found your post.


  3. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Janine. I think we would all be so much healthier if we just started to cut out things like corn syrup.

  4. Wonderful story and Happy Anniversary to your parents! Blessings!

  5. What a great story. You made me chuckle. The ketchup sounds good too. Thanks for sharing!

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