Monday, 3 September 2012

Ham, eggs and homemade tomato ketchup

I was on a pickling, canning and bottling frenzy this weekend.

Ham steak and eggs for breakfast this morning - not a normal Monday breakfast for me, but definitely a good one for a long weekend.  And the real highlight?  Tasting the homemade tomato ketchup that I made on Saturday!  It was surprisingly little effort (although it didn't half make the kitchen hot!!), and the results are amazing.  I can highly recommend it if you have access to some good, ripe tomatoes.  I followed a recipe from, which was a real cinch.  I may make another batch on a cooler weekend in the fall to give away as presents.
Following a tip on, I broiled my tomatoes to remove the skins, before canning them.  Much easier and quicker than the boiling water method.
I was also very pleased with a previous auction purchase this weekend.  A year or two ago, for no particular reason, I bought a massive copper pot in an auction.  The interior tin lining is still there, but probably not intact enough to be safe to cook in directly, and it's so gargantuan, it didn't seem worth the money to have it relined because I don't intend to boil 10 chickens simultaneously at any point in the near future.   However, when I discovered that my normal process of using my stock pot as a boiling water bath when canning wasn't going to work with quart jars because they are just too big, I suddenly remembered that old copper pot.  It weighs a ton, and by the time I had filled it with water, it took two of us to get it on the stove, and about an hour to get the water to a rolling boil, but it did the trick admirably.  I knew I must have bought it for a reason!
I don't know how many litres this copper pot holds, but you could boil about 10 chickens in there, and probably half a sack of potatoes as well.
For a sense of scale, to the left is my standard stock pot, which I normally use when canning....don't normally do anything larger than a pint jar.

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