I am saying that simply to remind myself that it is, and will indeed be, a happy Monday.
Why am I having to remind myself of this? Well, mostly because it is 2020 and things just keep…well…going.
Here in the great state of New Mexico we are entering into another 14 day (to begin with) full shut down. This means all non-essential businesses are being required to close their doors again. Schools are, for the most part, still closed so I am thankful that we have made the decisions throughout our parenting that we have. Hospitals and medical facilities are seeing overwhelming cases of not only Covid, but also we are entering flu season and the isolation that has come from this world situation is taking its toll on many.
When our governor made the announcement that we would be shutting down again Dusty and I made a short list of items we would need to get us through another couple of weeks without really going to the store. He then donned his coat and mask, braved the chaos that is shopping during a pandemic, and purchased the items we were in need of. One of those items was a new bottle of ketchup.
You see, in this house ketchup could probably be its own food group, especially for my middle child and youngest children. I’m pretty sure they would just drink the stuff if given the chance. The problem is as I was preparing dinner I realized that some how the one item that didn’t make it home from the store was the bottle of ketchup. Under normal circumstances I probably would have done one of two things. Either I would have asked Dusty to run back to the store and see if we could remedy this problem OR I would have told the girls they would be fine without it. The problem is we were having hot dogs for dinner, and around here we just wouldn’t have made it without the ketchup. Sending Dusty back to the store for just that seemed silly so off to Pinterest I went. Luckily I was able to stumble across a quick and easy recipe for homemade ketchup that I happened to have all the ingredients for.
Tracy from the blog “Served from Scratch” has this recipe posted on her blog and let me tell you it was so quick and easy.
5 Minute Homemade Ketchup
- 10-12 Oz Tomato paste (I had a 1 can stashed in my pantry!)
- 1/8 – 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar add 1/8 cup first – the full 1/3 makes a tangier ketchup (which we like). If you want more tang, add a little more at a time. White vinegar can also be used.
- 1 tablespoon of sugar***
- 1/2 teaspoon salt***
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder*
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne**
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon celery salt*
- pinch of ground all spice*
- Water (optional-this can be used to thin out your ketchup if you like a more saucy sauce without adding the extra tang from the vinegar)
- In a large bowl add the tomato paste.
- Pour in the vinegar and mix well
- Add the spices and mix until completely incorporated
- Use immediately or store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
* This recipe calls for a variety of different spices and seasonings BUT that is not set in stone. I did not have any mustard powder, celery salt, or allspice on hand so I left them out. The flavor of the ketchup was still just fine.
** I also did not have any cayenne on hand (or if I did have I couldn’t find it and wasn’t in the mood to search too hard). What I did have was chipotle so I use it. And guess what…it worked out just great.
*** I almost always use less sugar and less salt than most recipes call for. The sugar helps to counter balance some of the tanginess of the vinegar so it is helpful to have it in there but I don’t know if you need the whole tablespoon. Tomato paste or really tomatoes in general to me are already pretty good on the salt factor so again I reduce that down a lot. I like to boost the flavor of things with other spices and seasonings that contain less sodium.
Why I Will Always Use This Recipe From Now On
My grandmother hand wrote out the recipe for barbecue sauce that out family has always used. It’s quick, simple, and I know what all the ingredients in it are so I don’t have to feel guilty for feeding it to my kids. It requires a bit of focus since you mix everything in a pot and cook it, stirring constantly, until it thickens up and becomes what you want it to be. This ketchup recipe is similar to the barbecue sauce recipe with the exception of one thing-no cooking time.
This is the quickest thing to make and it doesn’t require any stove top time. You just mix it all in a bow and stir until you reach the desired consistency. Use, store, keep on hand for the next time it is needed. And again, I know what is going into the jar so I don’t have to question the health factor.
Pair that with the fact that the seasonings as well as the amounts in the recipe are really just a guideline makes this one a fun thing to experiment with. Add a bit more vinegar for more tang, chance up the seasonings to get a different flavor. Add more cayenne or chipotle in our case, to get a spicy taste. Want a sweeter ketchup? Add more sugar. I think the next batch I make we will be using honey instead of the sugar to a) add another layer of the health factor rather than using the sugar and b) play around with the flavor profile.
No matter how you like your ketchup to taste, this recipe is one you will have to try. It’s cheaper, healthier, quicker, and probably will save you a ton of stress from going to deal with life at the grocery store!
Let me know if you try it out and how you like it! If you change things up share in the comments what adjustments you made so I can give them a try too.