Ketchup. Nine times out of ten, you'll find it on our dining table, in pride of place between our Imperial War Museum place-mats and mismatched crockery. Because I am miserly, I buy the cheapest one I can find at Asda. It compares favourably to Heinz and is popular with the children, but there's a whole lot of sugar in that 23p bottle.
Mandi Ehman's recipe for tomato ketchup was the first thing I tried in Easy. Homemade. Homemade Pantry Staples for the Busy Modern Family ($3.99, available here) and it has encouraged me to look closer at my shopping basket and see if I can't create some of the sauces, seasonings and snacks myself, instead of buying them.
2 tbsp olive oil
4 small onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 x 400g can tomatoes (I bought the posh Italian ones as they were on special offer). As you can see, I have had to label these - and the tomato puree - with PLEASE DO NOT USE stickers or they would have been sacrificed by the King before now.
170g tomato puree
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
In a large saucepan, sauté onion in oil until golden.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 45-60 minutes, or leave on the top of the woodburner for an hour or two.
Puree in the pot with a stick blender.
Transfer to a sterilized jar - I used an old tomato sauce bottle and an old jam jar - with a tight lid and store in the refrigerator or freezer, leaving about an inch of headspace in any jars that will go into the freezer.
Secundus' verdict: "It tastes like cold pasta sauce."
Prima's verdict: "Please may I have the normal tomato sauce?"
My verdict: I could get to like this Easy Homemade sauce, mainly because I know exactly what is in it, and I would swap it for the less healthy Smartprice ketchup, but it doesn't really taste the same. It looks good in the bottle and I am going to make my own "homesteady" label.
The ketchup will last a month in the fridge and 6 months in the freezer. If we don't get through it in time, I can always transform it into pizza topping or pasta sauce. Worth doing and easy to make, but (as I expected) not a hit with my ketchup-loving kids.
Find out more about the Easy Homemade e-book from the author herself: