Of puppies and preserves

Kittens and puppies and jam, oh my!

March 22, 2013

Hmm, I said to myself a few months back, what would make the intensive work of building my new gourmet food business much simpler for me? I know: we’ll get a puppy!

And tomorrow we welcome Finley to our little home.  He’s almost 9 weeks old and, you could say (with a note of irony you’ll soon understand), he’s a Heinz 57: part boxer, American bulldog, roti and flat-coated retriever.  One blue eye, one brown and 100% adorable. An-tic-i-pa-a-tion, he’s making us wait, but not much longer.

IMG_00000086Now I use the word “welcome” loosely because our household includes six-year-old Leo and Leah, our much-loved but incurably feline housecats. When we set up Finley’s crate in the dining room this afternoon, they inspected it routinely…little knowing that the hulking black cage foreshadows the day their tidy predictable lives went to hell in a handcart.

This week, in addition to getting puppy things in order, I made a test batch of a new product —and here comes the irony pay-off:  Ketchup for Grownups. Rich with Ontario San Marzano Tomatoes I bought last September at Plank Road Market (a great little grocer five minutes from my house) and froze for just this purpose. Whereas conventional ketchup is a one-note taste experience—that note being sugar, if you’re lucky, high fructose syrup, if you’re not—my Ketchup for Grownups has sophisticated flavour. Because it’s made of real food, no garbage.

The flavour begins when I sautee two pounds of San Marzanos in olive oil, along with chopped onions and garlic.IMG_00000054

Then I add spices—cardamom (which is a fun word to say, by the way) and allspice, and cook it a good long time.  Here’s another photo that I include mainly to show you how artsy I am. (Note the cardamom pods, artfully scattered.)IMG_00000063

Next I whirl it all in a blender and then cook the sauce down for another whack of time. In fact, my two pounds of Marzanos yielded only four 250 mL jars!  But look at my thick and luscious Ketchup for Grownups! Wouldn’t that be great on your burger?

IMG_00000070

I’ll find out for sure tomorrow night, when we test Ketchup for Grownups at a dinner party.  I’ll report back soon…and I’ll post some photos of Finley!

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2 thoughts on “Of puppies and preserves

  1. Joanne Roach says:

    Goodness that sounds good! Those tomatoes look heavenly sauteing in the pan–one can only imagine the fabulous “ketchup” they turned into. Glad to see that your family is expanding and that Finley has found a great home. Ah, a puppy–good luck with that! 🙂

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