By Ginger Isham
I know I have shared this family recipe in the past, but it is worth repeating at this time of year.
Right now, my whole house smells of “Mama’s catsup” cooking on the stove. I used some of my first batch in place of barbecue sauce with spices to cook a thick steak in my crockpot. First, I browned the steak in the cast iron fry pan.
Wash, core and cut up 10-12 ripe tomatoes. Place in a kettle on stove over low heat and cook until tender. Cook on low so tomatoes will not stick to bottom of pan, then turn up heat to medium when they start to boil. Stir now and then. Put through blender. To each quart of blended tomatoes add:
3/4-1 cup sugar
3/4-1 cup cider vinegar
1 small chopped onion—I put onion chunks in blender with measured tomatoes
1 teaspoon EACH cinnamon, black pepper and dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste—recipe calls for 1 tablespoon
Stir all together in kettle and cook slowly on top of the stove for 2-3 hours. I cook the sauce for an hour or so one time; shut off the stove and finish cooking later. The Isham family grew up eating Mama’s catsup on hamburgers, hotdogs, homemade hash, baked beans (every Saturday night) and macaroni and cheese.
Tomato pesto frittata
From “Tomatoes Love Herbs” by Ruth Bass.
4 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, diced
pinch of salt and fresh pepper
3 ripe tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon pine nuts, chopped fine (optional)
2 tablespoons butter
Heat oil in pan and add onions and salt. Cover and cook on low 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and garlic, simmer 15 minutes, drain oil. Beat eggs in a bowl and add tomato mix, pepper, basil, parsley, cheese and pine nuts. Stir well. Place butter in a 9- or 10-inch cake pan and put in oven that is heated to 400 degrees until butter melts. Swirl melted butter until pan is coated. Pour frittata mix into hot pan. Bake 15 minutes. Loosen edges and slide onto a serving dish or serve from the pan in pie-shaped wedges.
Ginger Isham lives with her husband on a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road.