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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Because I can't.....I Made Ketchup.....

Because I can't farm/homestead/garden/ranch/urban farm......I made ketchup......mustard...with whey, I might add. I know there sounds like there is no connection, but there is I promise, or don't promise...because you may not connect the dots like I do, as in skipping some, erasing and ignoring other dots and use only the dots I want, or really, in my case...the only dots I have.....and what seems the only dots the Lord is providing me with.

I made ketchup because I read a fabulous recipe AND because I had wanted to make a batch since bottling season before last....from scratch, but it ever happened.  I figured that if and when the time I came I should have enough tomatoes on hand, so I just bottle a majority of the tomatoes and make quite a few batches of salsa....in several flavors (which we have already gone through the picante sauce and we are all mopey about it, it's going to be a long wait until September again!)

But this morning I deemed to be the right morning...that and I didn't want to get out of my lay around clothes, so they worked together. You won't be surprised about how easy either one is to make...it's basically stir, sit and serve.

I had already been on a mission to eradicate HFCS from our diets, and their are a few brands out there with no HFCS....but they still have corn syrup and natural flavorings, which means they still have GMO corn and MSG in them, along with other sugars and preservatives. So as I perused the internet (because I have nothing else better to do!)  I was reminded of the Nourishing Traditions cookbook (where I should have gone first!)  and of this post from Whole Intentions Blog and wahlaa.....a recipe that sounded like my family would eat it, because no matter how much I tell them it is good for them...they won't eat it if they don't like it and would rather eat the crap stuff from the stores.

And while the following is important to me....the kids could care less right now...but someday they will, I know they will!

You can read more of the history of Ketchup here if you wish, but the basics are that it USED to be a fermented condiment from China that was a beneficial digestive aid because of the fermentation. But sadly not any more, if you don't look really, really hard...you're only going to get sugar and probably corn sugar at that along with corn syrup.....

....which, according to all the commercials being ran by the big agri corn growers is the same as sugar!  NOT! My blood boils every time I hear this commercial and I start talking back to the TV, and then my husband gets to roll his eyes. But seriously...follow the money...of course they are going to run commercials convincing everyone that they are your neighbors next door ad that they know better then your body, blah, blah, blah....I still have a lot to learn  about going back to traditional food, but I DO know that corn sugar from GM corn IS NOT the same thing as sugar....

okay...tryin to breathe hear...stupid big companies that want us all to be stupid idiots and just like what they tell us to like...reminds me of a book.....

Anyways, when you make ketchup or mustard with lactic acid as a preservative and not sugar your body will thank you....and guess what? It's cheaper on the pocket book! Double score!

Lacto-Fermented Ketchup

24 oz tomato paste, preferably from your own stock, but if not, from a glass bottle and even better organic
1/4 cup whey (I used yogurt whey, by placing the whole fat yogurt in a strainer over a bowl letting the liquid collect for several hours)
1 tablespoon sea salt (Redmond's Real Salt is what I use, made in my back yard (well not literally but close enough! It's in the same state)
1/2 cup maple syrup (YES, the real stuff, grade B is best!)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup fish sauce (one day I WILL make my own!)

Mix all the ingredients together until well blended, then placing in a quart size jar one inch below the top of the jar.  Leave at room temperature for two days before storing in the fridge.

Three of the kids helping, then licked the spoon and bowl when we were done...it is pretty good! And my dad will get a good kick out of this as he likes to tell them storied of when I was younger and liked to put ketchup on everything, including my mush (but that was so I didn't have to eat it I bet)...but maybe I knew something back then.....he said I obtained my habit in Japan when we lived there for a year.....it was probably fermented!

Nourishing Traditions has a great recipe for mustard too!!!

And if you are still here and still wondering how farming and ketchup go together? Because yet again it seems that we have been "hedged up" (scripture speak for - the Lord wants you to bid your time and have patience...at least this is my interpretation!) as houses come and go...and they don't want to rent to a family of ten....and I totally get that...I do! But until a miracle happens and the economy picks up, we cannot sell  our townhome. So the connection? You ask? I have to feel like I am trying to homestead....so I bake, bottle, cook, clean or do something remotely like homesteading...until I can. It makes me feel better.....for a minute and regroup my patience.

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