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Culinary Content: Preserves, Homemade Ketchup, and Dangerous Dessert

Updated on August 31, 2007

Culinary picks from my travels online.

I should just include a note first, to explain the changed name of this feature. The old title, it turns out, was already being used as a trademark! Hence the new name, "Culinary Content." I'm sorry for any confusion.

This time in Culinary Content we have a beautiful reflection on canning food for the colder months and an article that's all about making and using brandied fruit. Next, homemade ketchup from heirloom tomatoes, and for a fitting end, a dangerous dessert! Enjoy.

Autumn is approaching, and with it thoughts of the harvest. Be sure to read this beautiful article on canning by Jennifer Savage: Message in a Bottle: The Taste of Summer, Preserved in Glass (from Culinate). I still vividly remember the canning process from when my mother did it when I was young, and Jennifer captures it perfectly here, from collecting the jars to the sound of lids sealing:

"I find myself collecting glass jars of all sizes from yard sales, thrift stores, and various shelves in my kitchen. I inspect the seals of thin metal lids I find at the bottom of drawers; I force screwtop bands that time has bent into awkward ovals back into circles. I count the jars, the lids, the bands. I try to guess how many pints I'll need, how many quarts, how many tiny jars for jam and apple butter."

And on a slightly different note, Potent Combinations: Preserve Summer Fruits with Alcohol is a useful article from Kelly Meyers (also at Culinate) about creating brandied fruit, with some great tips on how to use them once you've made them. The post is beautifully written, too!

I have never tried to make homemade ketchup before, but this recipe using heirloom tomatoes from Dinner Party looks incredible. Star anise? Cloves? Cinnamon? These ingredients are a far cry from the high fructose corn syrup and chemical preservatives you'll find in the commercial varieties. And you know how I feel about heirloom tomatoes. Maybe I'll try this recipe next time we harvest tomatoes from our garden, if there are enough.

I keep finding these incredible recipes that all call for ramekins to bake in, and I've been keeping an eye out at thrift shops ever since. When I finally do find some ramekins of my own, I have a feeling we are going to be eating entirely too many unhealthy but divine treats like this Gooey Chocolate Pudding from The Mood Food Blog. Look at all of that butter! Apparently, ramekins are very dangerous. Who knew?

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