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.