Cold Weather Canning

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This is 2 gallons of tomato sauce, it is for the ketchup recipe I make.  The sauce is frozen in the summer and I thaw it out later when I have time to make it.  Which is of course way later, in winter, after I’ve had several months of digging around the massive frozen block of red ice in the freezer when some other frozen food was needed out of  it.

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These are the other ingredients that goes into the ketchup.  Vinegar, sugar, onions, salt, and spices.

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There are some odd spices in this old recipe.  Ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper make up the magic combo.  Sounds more like a pumpkin pie or something.

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The onions are blended up with some of the vinegar until it is pretty fine.  This is the way my mother-in-law does it, the recipe instructs you to put the onions in a bag to pull out when done.

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Here is the onion/vinegar mixture being poured in.

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Next goes in the rest of the vinegar.

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I put the salt and the spices in with the sugar and poured that in as well.  Now is the hard part, no just kidding, you just stir together and wait.  And wait.  And stir some more.  And wait.  And stir. Alllllllll day long.  Hours and hours and hours.  Stirring and waiting until that moment when you can say, “I think it is thick enough!”  And then you pour your now dark, thicker, fragrant goodness into waiting clean jars, and seal.

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It is helpful to use a funnel to guide the sticky stuff into the jars.

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Here is what I ended up with.  I keep any jar that has a sealable lid.  I reuse them  four or five times.  We are warned not to do  this because we could get sick.  But we have never, not once, notta, nill, gotten ill from anything canned in a used jar.  If it smells bad, explodes, or the seal is broken, guess what, we don’t eat it!!  Our brains (and noses) are capable of detecting bad food.

I use this ketchup for meatloaf, meatballs, pork  chops, chili, soups, or for dipping.  This is not the smooth ketchup we use on hotdogs, it has a texture from the onions and it has a dark red color.  This is a favorite recipe handed down from my husband’s grandma to my mother-in-law to me.  And I will pass it down to my daughter and daughter-in-laws.  Love  it!!!

Love life and breathe deep,

Angela

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