This Ain’t Your Daddy’s Catchup

When I was young boy growing up on a 160 acre farm in Iowa we didn’t have a lot of disposable income for fancy store bought groceries. We had eggs from our laying flock, milk from a few cows, chicken from a broiler flock and spent layers, beef from the steer lot, pork from the small herd of pigs and vegetables from the garden. Our treat for the week was wieners  on Sunday morning for breakfast. We didn’t have Heinz or Del Monte Ketchup from the store to dip the wieners in. Dad had his own recipe for homemade catchup and boy, it tasted homemade. Not in a good way homemade. Rather in a way that said, “Take it or leave it.” I gave dad a hard time about his homemade catchup until he passed. He would always come back with, “It wasn’t that bad, was it?”  I’d change the subject so as not to have to admit that it might not have been all that bad. I wish I had come across this recipe sooner and had been able to share it with him. I’m sure he would have been game to try it. Elderberries seem to grow wild all across the country, so if you don’t have access to tame berries, look for a patch of wild ones.

Elderberry Catchup

2 qts elderberries
Vinegar to cover
1 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp allspice
1 Tbsp cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Cook the elderberries in the vinegar until the berries burst. Put the berries through a food processor or sieve. Add the sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and cayenne pepper. Simmer until desired consistency is reached. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.

Keep your fork

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