The rays of the late afternoon sun are lengthening and what seemed impossible two months earlier is now a reality; there are too many tomatoes to eat and too little time to enjoy them. There has to be a way to catch up with the bounty and savor them now, and later.
The solution is to make my annual ketchup. Be warned: The last time I gave some of this ketchup to my dear friend, Fides Krucker [sometimes known as "The Nursing Diva"], she said that every night, she had to have a hamburger for dinner until the ketchup was gone. You, will also find that the burger is just a vehicle to heap the ketchup on.
Cut 8 cups of tomatoes into eighths
Roughly chop 1 white onion and a piece of fresh ginger about one and 1/2 inches x one 1/2 inches
Place tomatoes, onion and ginger in blender in batches and blend until completely smooth
As each batch is smooth, place in a large stock pot
In a clean coffee grinder pulverize 1/4 tsp mace, 8 cloves,and a 3″ piece of cinnamon [the cinnamon will grind with more ease if it is hit with a mallet before grinding]
Add to stockpot along with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup cider vinegar
Simmer for approximately one hour until thick. Cooking time will vary according to the type and juiciness of the tomatoes. You can also at the end of the 1 hour, leave the pot of ketchup at room temperature overnight and thicken in the morning by simmering again; a trick that is valuable for many kinds of jams, sauces and chutneys.
Place ketchup in a 1 quart jar and refridgerate. It will keep under refridgeration indefinately
Heat grill to prepare for the onslaught of hamburger requests