Amish tomato ketchup

Yield: 1 batch

Measure Ingredient
6 Celery ribs, trimmed
;cut in 1/4" thick slices
2 mediums Onions (abt. 2 cups)
;peeled and diced
¼ cup ;Water
3 pounds Tomatoes, quartered
5 tablespoons Vinegar
1 cup Dark brown sugar, packed
½ tablespoon Allspice berries
½ tablespoon Whole cloves
½ tablespoon Celery seeds
1 teaspoon Ground mace
½ teaspoon Salt

Place the celery, onions and water in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are nearly soft, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the tomatoes in a large heavy nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, partially covered, until they are very soft and almost a puree, about 25 minutes. Add the cooked celery and onions; continue cooking until the vegetables are completely softened, about 15 minutes.

Strain tomato mixture in small batches through a sieve into another nonreactive saucepan, pressing down firmly to extract all of the liquid. Stir in the vinegar, brown sugar and spices. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Continue boiling, stirring often to be sure that the ketchup isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the mixture thickens somewhat, 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the ketchup to cool, then ladle into jars. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 months. Or ladle the boiling-hot ketchup into hot sterilized canning jars. Seal according to the lid manufacturer's instructions.

Yield: 1½ pints.

Loomis writes: "This sweet ketchup comes from Mary Linebach, who owns and runs a produce auction with her [Mennonite] husband, Paul, in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania." [Mary describes the ketchup by saying]: 'The children love it on pancakes...It's sweeter than store-bought and not as tangy...' "The ketchup is good on morning hotcakes (an Amish custom) as it is on Cheddar cheese sandwiches, as a dip for fresh vegetables or freshly baked bread, and as a condiment with roast or fried meat or poultry.

And it has one distinct advantage over the most popular store-bought brand: You won't have any trouble getting it out of the bottle, because it's not thick."

From "Farm House Cookbook" by Susan Herrmann Loomis. New York: Workman Publishing Company, Inc., 1991. Pp. 334-336. ISBN 0-89480-772-2. Posted by Cathy Harned.

Submitted By BARRY WEINSTEIN On 09-14-95

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