I grew up in a suburb of Montréal. The house was sitting on a nice property and the backyard was the playground for the kids in the neighborhood. It was also the playground for my father who enjoyed his garden. We grew many vegetables and herbs along with tomatoes. At one point, he had five different varieties of tomatoes. For every meal there were some tomatoes on the dining table. When family and friends were coming to visit my parents, they were all leaving with a bag filled with tomatoes.
My mother made so many recipes with them and always tried to add more to her list. When the season was over, the kitchen counter was covered with tomatoes along with other fresh produce from the garden. One recipe my mother made each year and barely lasted until Christmas was her Homemade Ketchup. This was and still is my favorite condiment using tomatoes. We were using it on pork chops, grilled chicken breasts and even on fish… that’s right! This ketchup is that good!
Years ago I asked my mother for the recipe and somehow she couldn’t find it but was able to give me a rough list of the ingredient amounts and directions. My first attempt was good but still not close to what I remembered from my childhood. It took me a few more tries before it finally came out the “right way”. Eureka!
Without a garden of my own, I was making my Sweet & Savory Homemade Ketchup every fall. It was some sort of “family tradition” I wanted to keep alive. I also started – which I should have never done – giving some to my friends. What a big mistake that was!!! Each year, the orders for these little jars filled with yumminess got bigger and bigger. At one point I had to stop making them… it was getting ridiculous!
When David and I started our little garden, my first thought was to make some homemade ketchup so he could try it. At first he was hesitant – most of the time he’s like that! – , but when he finally tried it on hot dogs, he said “Wow!”. He totally loved it! Of course, the ketchup disappeared as fast as it always did in the history of this particular condiment and in the middle of winter, I had to make another batch.
Besides David eating this condiment like no tomorrow, he called it “relish”. Oh sweet Lord! It was almost blasphemy to me! Until recently when I forced him to google it and read what the difference between ketchup and relish is, this argument was going on for several years… I finally won! What a stubborn creature he can be sometimes… lol! Anyway, it really doesn’t matter what you want to call it unless you are standing in front of me… then we’ll have a debate! It is different from the regular Heinz Ketchup but I can guarantee that you’ll really enjoy it compared to the commercial one! Bon Appétit!
Warning… if you start giving jars away, please be mentally and physically prepared for huge orders in the future!