PBJ, Ketchup, and Maple Syrup: [Real Food]

Day One started something like this:

What am I supposed to use in my PBJ today?

There’s apricot jelly in there. Or orange marmalade. Both are made with 100% real food.

But I don’t like those. I want strawberry.

Well, then cheat. It’s up to you. You already put sugar in your coffee.

So D left the house with unapproved strawberry jelly in his sandwich and unrefined sugar in his coffee. Me – well, I stepped out of my comfort zone and put maple syrup in my coffee. And man – it was so good I made a second cup! I don’t think I’ll ever put regular ole’ sugar in my coffee again.

Lunch came and I put approved apricot jelly in my sandwich … with my unapproved Jif peanut butter. We had peanut butter in the grocery cart that had nothing in it but peanuts, but as I remembered the two GIANT size Jif containers in the pantry I thought it went against simplicity to buy a different kind. So we agreed it would be alright to use up our Jif.

Mid-afternoon … Baby girl went down for a nap and I decided to mix up the meatloaf for dinner so all I had to do was pop it in the oven. I opened the recipe to find that one of the key ingredients was … ketchup! I could either cheat and use the organic ketchup in the fridge or I could find a different recipe for dinner.

So I did what anyone would do …

Using this recipe as inspiration, I made homemade ketchup! I had some tomatoes from Nature’s Garden hanging out in my fridge just waiting to be made into something delicious. I think they were quite pleased with the outcome … D & I certainly were.

As D ate meatloaf covered in my homemade ketchup, he looked at me and said:

This tastes so fresh. So light. Delicious. Thanks for spoiling me.

I’d say day one was a success.

If you want to try it yourself, here’s how I made the ketchup:

Homemade Ketchup
Adapted from Kiss My Spatula

4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1 stick cinnamon
1/4 tsp dill
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 pounds tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
3 tsp maple syrup
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

Wrap cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon, dill, red pepper flakes, and allspice in a layer of cheesecloth (I used pantyhose); tie into a bundle and put into a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat along with tomatoes, salt, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and onion. Cook, stirring very frequently, until the onions and very soft (About 30-40 minutes).

Remove spice bundle; put sauce in food processor or blender until smooth. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened (About 20-30 minutes). Add more salt, maple syrup, or vinegar to taste (I added a little bit of garlic powder).

Transfer ketchup to a glass jar. Set aside; let cool. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

Crystal Rowe

wife to D, mama to A & E, sister, daughter, niece, aunt, follower of Christ, writer, book lover, beloved child of God

  • allen

    Ok, now you have made me hungry! That sounds so good.