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8/29/23: Making homemade Ketchup!

I am excited to announce my new series: Weekly Recipes with Sue Tiger from Tiger Gardens! I'm going to make one recipe per week and post the entire how-to video, the recipe, a printable guide for what the recipe pairs with, and any other information I can find about the recipe.

First things first: we will have ketchup at the Farmer's Market in Urbana this Saturday, August 29th, 2023! The reason for this post is that you can expect many more batches of ketchup to come! I need to make this stuff all year. There's a story here ...

Second, I would also like to teach you how to make ketchup, so look for more videos later this evening added to this blog post.

And third, this is going to be a journey, i.e., a very long blog post in the end with many recipes and tweaks. I need to perfect this stuff, and in the process, you will learn *a lot* about how to make ketchup.

So when I get home tonight from work, I'll roll the camera and then update this blog post with short videos taking you through the entire ketchup-making process from start-to-finish, including the pressure-canning process. Tonight's recipe will be the Mrs. Wages Ketchup recipe. It's fantastic. Or at least, I think so. I'm not bitter ...

Then later, I'll make another recipe from scratch and post it. And then over this next year, I'll make other versions, and we can narrow down and learn what works and what doesn't. We can learn together how to make ketchup, and I'll end up with many jars to sell at the Market, so it's a win-win! It used to take me 4 days to make a good ketchup, but now, I have it down to one day. But clearly, whatever I'm doing is working at the Farmer's Market, but not for the State Fair.

And I want to win the Illinois State Fair next year. For my ketchup. I mean, I already won a Blue Ribbon for Raspberry Jam:

And a Second Place red ribbon for my Mrs. Wages Bread & Butter pickles, *and* this incredible gift box. SCORE!! There were 25+ packets to make various Mrs. Wages products:

So what was the deal with my ketchup entry???

HERE'S THE STORY: A few weeks ago, my husband and I were anxiously awaiting results to come in from the Illinois State Fair. I was particularly interested in the results for ketchup, because I was proud of my ketchup entry. I thought it tasted like a winner, our customers certainly enjoyed it, and I was confident. After what seemed like forever, the results finally came in. No winners for ketchup. Wait ... what??

How can that be? There were entries, I saw them when I brought mine. There was at least mine and one other entry. So how could nobody win? Or even place?

I am always one to ask, so when I went to Springfield to pick up my ribbons -- yes, I, sorry *we* -- my husband and I -- won several ribbons in other perfectly good categories. So why not ketchup? I asked Terri, a trusted State Fair organizer, if she knew anything about the ketchup entries. I have to say in advance of her words, that Terri is very nice and extremely helpful.

And it turned out that yes, she knew. "They were terrible." I actually didn't hear what she said, so I asked her to repeat it. She repeated it. She also said, "They had to call me over because they were so surprised." So I asked her if she could tell me why it was so terrible, "(thought bubble) when my other entries clearly -- were not terrible," and she just repeated her awful statement.

So. What's a girl to do? What every good canner would do. Sob uncontrollably for weeks lamenting the Illinois State Fair committee, and then start learning how to perfect my technique.

So here we go ...

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