I picked the first tomato today! It was a tiny little thing; most of the others are grass green. It will probably be a month until I am truly harvesting tomatoes - but I can still rejoice in this summer milestone of the first ripe tomato.
The priority of my tomato harvest is tomato soup and pizza sauce. These are two things my family thinks they can not live without. I don't mind purchasing other tomato products.
But last year my sister-in-law gave me several bushels of tomatoes. Since I had the tomatoes, and the time, I decided to try making ketchup and barbecue sauce again. I tried new ketchup and barbecue sauce recipes. And my family loved them. The barbecue sauce was gone in a short time and I'm hoping that my tomatoes produce well enough that I can try making some more this summer.
The ketchup and barbecue sauce recipes came from a friend who adapted them from her famil's recipes. I further adapted the recipe, since I can't seem to let even a great recipe alone. I'll share the recipes as I made them.
The ketchup recipe was very similar to the ketchup recipe I made another year. I might need to make a batch of each so I can do a taste comparison.
2 1/2 gallon thick tomato juice (I used the freezer trick for thick juice.)
2 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 large onions, chopped
1 T mixed pickling spice
2 cups brown sugar OR 1 1/2 tsp stevia
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 T. salt
Place tomato juice and vinegar in large pot. Place pickling spice in a cheesecloth bag and place in juice. Boil for one hour. Saute onions in a little tomato juice. Place in blender and blend until smooth. Add to juice. Add sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and salt. Boil for fifteen more minutes. Remove cheesecloth bag. Place in jars. Water bath can for ten minutes.
Disclaimer: This recipe has not been tested for safety by experts.
Tomorrow I'll share the barbecue sauce recipe.