"He had never seen so many things he liked to eat on one table: roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, sausages, bacon and steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, fries, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup, and, for some strange reason, peppermint humbugs" (Sorcerer's Stone 123).
So... making ketchup. Not really something I ever thought I'd be doing at home. But, Ms. Bucholz does have a recipe for English Tomato Ketchup in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, so today, we shall attempt that recipe.
You Will Need:
2 pounds (about 4 large) ripe tomatoes, cut into quarters (or even eighths!)
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
2 cloves of garlic, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (I used a tiny bit more than that)
1/2 cup white wine vinegar or white distilled vinegar (I used distilled)
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 stick cinnamon
5 whole cloves
5 whole allspice (I used a pinch of ground)
5 peppercorns (I used a pinch of ground black pepper)
1. Place all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the tomatoes are very soft (or if you're like me, until they have completely fallen apart), about 30 minutes.
3. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the mixture through a sieve into another bowl, and smush through with a rubber spatula, squeezing out as much juice as possible. Note: I don't have a sieve big enough to do this, so I used a collander and then "sieved" the mixture in smaller batches. Discard the pulp and whatnot.
4. Return the retained juicy-ness to the pot and boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally until reduced and very thick, about 30 minutes (yeah, that's a dirty lie. It'll take an hour, and you'll maybe have 1 cup of liquid left).
So here's the deal: yes, we just made ketchup. And yes, it really does taste like ketchup and is pretty tasty. But I just lost 2 hours of my life making 3/4 cup of ketchup, and those tomatoes were AMAZING tomatoes and I basically boiled out the juice and threw the rest away.
So in case you couldn't tell, my suggestion is to go to the market and buy yourself some blasted ketchup.