(This was a post written to accompany one that Nicole wrote on our old blog about my making a whole lot of preserves one Sunday… I’ve since added the photos but didn’t have any of my catsup)
I made a Jamie Oliver recipe two years ago from my flatmates’ cookbook (it was the one about Jamie living the good life on a bit of land) and though I haven’t seen the recipe since, I’ve had no trouble replicating the proceedings but making the rest up. Nicole’s recipe bible calls ketchup ‘Catsup’ and as I think this is a far more awesome name, henceforth it shall be known thus.
I had about 3kg of tomatoes, five onions, a garlic bulb, coriander and cumin seeds, peppercorns, some chilli flakes (helpfully labelled HOT SHIT), fresh parsley and fennel, dried oregano and basil, black and yellow mustard seeds. I put everything but the tomatoes and garlic into a large pan with some oil, put the lid on and cooked on a low heat until the onions were soft. I then added the garlic.
In the food processor I blitzed all the tomatoes and added them to the onions as they were emptied from the processor. I also added a can of tomatoes for their colour. I put the lid back on, and just simmered it for ages until everything was more or less amalgamated and mushy. At some stage during this, I grated in some ginger and added salt and more basil because I decided that these things neede to be done. Then I got out my wee whizzy-wotsit – the sticker blender – and pulverized the sauce. I then had an hour or so of fun pushing it through the sieve. Turns out I had made quite a lot of sauce! I returned it to the cleaned pan, it was about half-full, which would equal about 5 litres.
I returned it to the heat, with two cups of vinegar and 3/4 cup of brown sugar, and simmered it for what seemed like ages until it had reduced to a ketchup-like consistency. Part of what took so long was that I had to take the bottles out of the oven for some cupcakes to go in, then my Anzac Slice went in, then we cooked dinner, and then finally the baby went to bed and I was able to properly concentrate on what I was doing. It made one 1 litre bottle and four smaller ones, plus a half-full 1 litre for the fridge. Hopefully the tops have sealed well enough that these babies do not need to be kept in the fridge… they were old V8 and Chantals juice bottles, with poppy-tops.
Os delicious. Meanwhile, I made these other things:
Oh, more delicious. Made from what was on the tree in the backyard – probably a kilo or so. Boiled, strained in a jelly bag and the juice boiled with sugar. I ended up with a litre of juice, so used 500g of sugar. Hang on, the correct ratio would be 900g sugar to a litre of liquid. I wrote this a while ago, and as the jelly worked, I’m assuming I used more than 500g. Anyway, it boiled to a wonderful ruby-red colour, and I got six wee jars of it. Time to make some scones.
Louis’s mum and sisters were going tramping somewhere for the school holidays. This seemed like the ultimate opportunity to make them feel awesome with some tramping appropriate baking. I had wanted to make them ‘Scott’s Farewell Slice’ but didn’t have the ingredients, but by then the idea had well and truly stuck, so I had to do something… the recipe is from A Second Helping: More from Ladies, A Plate, and for once I will transcribe the recipe. It’s so quick and easy and delicious and I want you to make it, now. And then I want you to go out and buy the book for yourself, childrens…
1/2 cup flour*
1/2 cup coconut*
1 cup rolled oats*
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp golden syrup
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C, line a shallow 30x21cm tin with baking paper, and cross your fingers. Then uncross them, combine the flour, coconut, rolled oats, walnuts and salt in a bowl. Add the sugars and mix well. Put the butter, golden syrup and sifted baking soda in a saucepan and melt gently together over a medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture begins to froth. Pour into the dry ingredients and add the vanilla essence.
Stir until everything is combined and press the mixture evenly into the prepared tin and bake for 15-20 minutes. Rotate the tin after ten minutes, and pull out when golden brown (I kept it a bit pale and regretted it). Cut into bars while hot, by pushing the knife down rather than dragging it across the tin (another thing I learnt). Cool in the tin and store airtight. Makes 24.