Ekstasy in Fernwood and home made ketchup

I was shocked to find myself at a poetry reading in fabulous Fernwood last night, on a balmy summer’s eve; one of the early events offered by local publisher Richard Olafson in celebration of the 25th anniversary of his press, Ekstasis Editions. George Melnyk was in town, reading from his Elegy for a Poem Garden, poems and photographs inspired by a visit to Ian Hamilton Finlay’s original. Yvonne Blomer read from her new poetry collection, A Broken Mirror, Fallen Leaf; and Eric Miller read from his collection of essays, The Reservoir.

Summer’s put me in the mood for bbq foods like smokies and hamburgers, and as I checked my condiments I realised I had no Ketchup, so whipped some up from a recipe I’ve had and tinkered with for years. It beats anything you can buy and is infinitely adjustable to suit all tastes ‘n flavours.

1¼ cups crushed tomatoes (12 oz can) or tomato paste
1 c water
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp mace
pinch cloves
¼ tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/3 c cider vinegar
1 tsp molasses
1 tbsp sugar or honey

  • Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until thick, about 40 minutes. Store in fridge and freeze any surplus.

To guide you as you aim for the right consistency, let us give the last word to that prolific author Anonymous:

Tomato Ketchup

If you do not shake the bottle
None’ll come and then a lot’ll.

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