“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sunday, April 11, 2010

From Garden to Table ... the Tomato

Last year's garden produced an abundance of tomatoes.  However, I failed to make enough canned salsa to sustain my family ... even with heavy rationing.  I used a considerable amount of the tomatoes making ketchup ... and then watching it sit on the shelf month after month wishing it had been made into salsa.  We have a ketchup fiend in our home.  A small boy that was not expected to survive infancy.  He was not even expected to eat by mouth .. according to his GI doctor.  But this mom decided to take the (MAJOR) effort to get food consumed the optimal way .. by mouth .. and finally off tube feedings.  At age four the transition finally took place.  In order to help things along, salsa was used to waken up his taste buds ... and ketchup was used to dip finger foods into to make them more kid appealing.  This plan worked and today I have to chuckle as I often tell him NO MORE FOOD until the next meal.  We have been trying to ween him from Heinz ketchup ... and then on to an organic variety ... and now on to mom's homemade product.  Today was the day.  We were out of Heinz ... and organic ketchup (on purpose).  I sprang the homemade sauce on him this morning and told him it was BBQ sauce ... and that's all we  have to dip his home fried potatoes in.  I think a convert was made this morning ... and I can kiss the store bought version goodbye for good.  Let's hope my eight pints of ketchup aka BBQ sauce will last until this summer when I can once again labor over a hot stove to make the little fellow a healthier treat to the big ag alternative.  BTW .. just what exactly are 'natural flavorings' in store bought organic ketchup ... I fear it may be some MSG type additive as it makes me break out in hives.

Here is a good website regarding the production of organic farm tomatoes.  Although this is for large scale production, there is some good information you could apply to a home garden.

Picture ... Nathan .. my ketchup fiend! ... and possessor of an extra chromosome:)


Sandy said...

I have a ketchup fiend, too.
Actually all three of my guys
love it. We've tried the organic
kind and they didn't care for
it at all. Then what I tried
to make was not eaten by any
of them. So, unfortunately I
have to buy Hunt's brand. I
rarely eat it and wish they
didn't either. What's a mom
to do?


Dear Nathan: I too am a catsup/ketchup fiend. In fact, I bet I love catsup/ketchup more than you. I dip my carrot sticks in catsup/ketchup. Beat that! Do you like barbecue sauce (real BBQ sauce) on fried chicken? Oh yes. It's great. How old are you? You could probably enter some ketchup YOU make in your county fair and win a ribbon.

Mrs. Mac: My salsa canning didn't even make it into fall 2009. This year, I have increased the number of pepper and tomato plants and plan to can the living daylights out of myself in the kitchen 2010. By the way, I could probably eat salsa plain I like it so much.

Mrs. Mac said...

OK ... I'll top your carrot sticks dipped in ketchup Mabelline:)... how about pancakes ... eewww! Nathan is a salsa lover too! Better plant twice the tomatoes this spring!

Mr. H. said...

We still can't get the grandson to eat our homemade ketchup...it's so good but he just doesn't like it, we will keep working on him though.

I love that you have to tell your boy "no more food.":) It sounds like he has a very healthy appetite.

Mrs. Mac said...

Sandy and Mr. H. I think the Ball recipe I used contains too much clove perhaps. I made one batch without it and added chipolte (smokey peppers). The problem I'm having is that it's not as thick as store bought ketchup. This summer I'm going to experiment a bit by adding some organic tomato paste .. and see how that works. The ketchup I made is GREAT with homemade Boston baked beans!

For Nathan .. I mixed a little soy sauce and garlic powder in a small bowl with the homemade ketchup ... which made it taste good enough for him to eat.

I'm hoping to find a good ketchup recipe (kid friendly) to try this summer.