Tuesday, July 24, 2012


According to Wikipedia, the tomato is botanically a fruit, but is considered a vegetable fI or culinary purposes.  It originated in South America and was spread by the Spanish during their colonization of North America.  It is thought that the tomato was introduced into the Carolinas via the Caribbean.  For many years, England and its American colonies thought the tomato was poisonous and only good for ornamental uses.  Fortunately, we now know differently.  The tomato is very good for you, containing lycopene, a very powerful natural antioxidant.  It also helps the skin's ability to protect itself against harmful UV rays.  There are many other medicinal and nutritional benefits from this wonderful fruit/vegetable.  

One of my favorite memories of growing up in rural Western Kentucky is eating fresh tomatoes, straight out of the garden.  Wash off the dirt, and pack a small tomato around like a little snack.  Sometimes, we had those little Morton's salt shakers to add a little flavor, but really, salt is unnecessary.  Tomatoes are great on their own.  

Sadly, the supermarket variety isn't as flavorful or juicy as home-grown, but often we have to make do with those.  While in Kentucky last week, we hit up a few produce stands, hinted to a few relatives, etc.  Unfortunately, I never found the corn I was dreaming of, but we bought 25 lbs. of tomatoes at Luke's Town & Country Flea Market in Greenville, KY.  Yes, I said 25 POUNDS!!  A good blogger would have taken a picture, but I started in on them before I thought of it.  So far, I've made salsa and Mamaw's Homemade Tomato Catsup.  Today's absolutely wonderful, farm-fresh, home-grown recipe is for the tomato catsup.  When I was young, this was on our table every night.  Oddly enough, we never used it for catsup.  We put it on beans and cornbread mostly.  That's what I cooked for dinner tonight, and topped it off with the catsup.  Yes, my friends, it was good.  Since Superhubby needs to see meat on the table (maybe it's a man thing?) I also made Baked Salmon Croquettes.  I decided to try a little catsup on the croquettes; even better!  

Anyway, here's the recipe:

Adapted from my grandmother's recipe

9 tomatoes, chopped 
1 C sugar
1 C apple cider vinegar
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 onions, medium size, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cornstarch, optional

Put onions and half of tomatoes in food processor.  Blend until onions are diced small and tomatoes are juiced.  Add to all other ingredients in large stockpot. Bring to a boil; cover and let simmer.  Cook down until thickened.  If sauce does not thicken to your liking, add cornstarch and stir until blended.  Sauce will also thicken in refrigerator.  Remove from heat and store in refrigerator. 

This can also be canned, if  you want.  If you only want a small batch, the recipe is easy to cut in half.  


"In My Father's Field"  - John Cowan Band 

Until next time, Happy Cooking!  : )

Swallow your pride occasionally; it's non-fattening.  - Unknown



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