It's rhubarb season and if you're not going to make the best Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie ever, or RhuBerry Jam (Rhubarb-Blueberry), or Rhubarb Crostata, then you must make Rhubarb Ketchup! It's the best thing you can put on your buns...or on your weenie...snicker-snicker...buns/weenie...I crack myself up.
This is so easy because everything goes into the pot at the same time and then it simmers for an hour, filling your house with the most delectible aroma! You will have to stir it occasionally but other than that, it pretty much takes care of itself. When the ketchup is ready just pour it into sterilized jars and keep in refrigerator until you're ready to use...it's sweet, with just the right amount of tang, not biting like fresh rhubarb. Really, you'll like it - you will!
The girl and the grands were here for a week, and my niece Heidi came, too! It was great fun - we played tourists for 5 straight days! Heidi had never been here before so we had to go to the Space Needle and ride the Monorail and Pike Place and the ferry...it never gets old but I did collapse every night into my bed! It wasn't all fun and games though, I made the girl work while she was here - she had to take pictures of some of my quilts for a super-top-secret-project I'm working on...can hardly wait to tell you! Just look at my Elsa's face! Isn't she the cutest little thing?!?! And she is super smart and so, so sweet - talks like a big girl, and never makes a fuss over anything. Never! And neither does Max! He is getting so big - and like most six year olds, he makes it very hard to get a good picture!
We went on a couple of Sasquatch Hunts while Max was here, alas, we didn't catch one - yet - and we spent a night outside star-gazing. I asked Max if he loved seeing the stars and he said, "Well, actually, no, I don't love it but I like it."
You will need a spice bag or some cheesecloth to make this because you won't want peppercorns, bay leaves or lemon seeds to be floating around in your ketchup! The lemon seeds provide some natural pectin, which helps thicken the ketchup.
Love the legs and feet in the background! Elsa and Max did NOT like their dogs...can you believe it?!? But they did like dipping their naked dogs in the ketchup...I thought these were so cute but my two little creatures are creatures of habit and they don't really like new and different! If you want to make dogs in dogs for your kids - buy some Crescent rolls, wrap two pieces, one big rectangle, around a hot dog, shaping the tail and the head on each end. Take one piece of crescent roll and shape it into an oval and drape over the top for the ears, and use two more pieces, shaped into ovals, and put them underneath the dog for the legs. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. I cut circles from mozzarella for the eyes and pushed in two currants and used a currant for the nose. Cute, no?
(This recipe is actually a combination of about 7 different recipes - I just kept adding things until I got the taste I was after...a little sweet, just the hint of cinnamon, with a yummy tomato-y taste.)
4 large stalks rhubarb, chopped, about 3 cups worth
1/2 cup white onion, diced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (depending on how much cinnamon taste you want, I used 1/2 teaspoon and thought it was perfect but the mister would have like it better with a bit less...whatever!)
pinch Cayenne pepper
1 can (28 oz.) petite diced tomatoes, with juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon allspice berries
1 teaspoon whole cloves
seeds from 1 large lemon (no juice)
cheesecloth or spice bag
Put the peppercorns, bay leaves, allspice berries, whole cloves and lemon seeds into a spice bag or cheesecloth and secure. In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, put in all remaining ingredients and stir. Add spice bag, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes or so. After one hour, remove spice bag/cheesecloth and discard. Blend ketchup with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender, until smooth. Pour into sterilized jars, keep in refrigerator. Will keep for two weeks. Makes about 3 1/2 cups. Use on anything you would use regular ketchup with - it will be SO much better!