Amish Homemade Ketchup & Salsa

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Amish, at least the ones I run into, always seem to like sharing.

Besides the stick-to-your-ribs meals and cool drinks of water, I always seem to be getting takeaways from Amish friends–homemade wine, books,gourds, inspirational CDs for the car. Yesterday’s haul comes in the middle of canning season, following a bumper crop of tomatoes–a jar each of homemade ketchup and salsa.

‘Ervin’, my friend and new condiment supplier, remarked that they did pretty well this year in the tomato department–and would probably have a 2-year ketchup supply because of it–around 90 jars.  Yes, Ervin’s wife has been busy.

The salsa, which I’ve tried already, was less spicy on account of their kids not liking it that way, but delicious nonetheless. The ketchup, he explained,would be sweeter than what I’m used to.  When I stopped back today, Ervin added some sandwich spread to my take.  That’s the yellowish substance in the photo.

Why do the Amish can? ‘It really is cheaper’, explained Ervin. It also reflects a tradition of living off the land. Even with a thriving furniture business that takes up 50+ hours a week, Ervin (or at least his wife) maintains a connection with the life-giving earth. Plus it gives the kids something to stay busy with.

A final plus–home grown canned stuff usually tastes a heck of a lot better than Del Monte, doesn’t it?

That ought to be reason enough.

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    5 Comments

    1. amanjo

      What exactly constitutes sandwich spread? I’ve never heard of such a thing where I’m from (Wisconsin and Minnesota).

    2. I can’t tell you yet. I forgot to ask and am not that familiar myself. If I find out I’ll let know. Meanwhile I guess I ought to give it a try. If it’s anything like the salsa it ought to be great.

    3. It looks like the sandwich spread my grandmother used to make and put up. That recipe used ground tomatoes, ground red and green peppers (sweet not hot) and chopped sweet pickles in an egg, sour cream and cheese base. That was my favorite lunch box sandwich filling.

    4. It looks like the sandwich spread my grandmother used to make and put up. That recipe used ground tomatoes, ground red and green peppers (sweet not hot) and chopped sweet pickles in an egg, sour cream and cheese base. That was my favorite lunch box sandwich filling.

    5. Canning

      I remember when grandma used to can over a campfire outside,with a big zinc washtub; while the neighbor canned in a huge iron kettle. It was wonderful to watch. Everything grandma canned tasted delicious. I wish I had her energy to do that! LOL