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Super Good Catsup
Rosalinda Smith, Boyd

8 lbs. ripe, firm tomatoes
1 cup sliced onions
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 3-inch stick cinnamon, broken

1 tsp. whole cloves (25–30)
10 whole allspice beads
3/4 tsp. celery seed
1/3 cup plus 1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt

   Wash tomatoes, cut out stem end, and squeeze to get ride of seeds and some liquid. Combine quartered tomatoes with onions and pepper in large kettle; cook uncovered 20–25 minutes, stirring occasionally. While tomatoes are cooking, combine in small saucepan: vinegar, cinnamon stick, cloves, allspice, and celery seed. Bring just to a boil; remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes. Put tomatoes through food mill, allowing them to sit first to drain off excess liquid; discard liquid. Blend puree in blender on high speed 30–45 seconds. In 2-quart kettle, combine puree, sugar, and salt. Strain vinegar and spice mixture through fine strainer or cheesecloth; stir into puree. Boil slowly, uncovered, until thick as commercial catsup, 30–45 minutes, stirring frequently.

   To test for water content, put a tsp. of catsup on a cold plate. If too watery, the water will separate from the puree right away. Continue cooking. If it continues to be too watery, stir in a bit of corn starch and water. Pour into hot sterilized jars; seal. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Makes 2 pints. Note: Stir frequently as it’s apt to scorch; keep heat medium-low.

 

 


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