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Tomatoes, tomatoes!  What would I do with them all?  It was such a great year for tomato yield with just the right amount of sunshine and rain, we gathered several bushels full.   I canned the usual stewed tomatoes and spaghetti sauce, tried my hand at salsa, and still had tomatoes left over.

One year I decided to try making homemade cream of tomato soup.  My mother always made it and it was wonderful, but she said there was a certain secret to adding the tomatoes to the hot milk – or was it the hot milk to the tomatoes?  I could never remember which way made the milk curdle.  It was still edible, but did not look too desirable or appetizing for that matter.  Some fresh tomato soups call for chicken broth instead of milk.  Some use maple syrup as a sweetener instead of sugar.  These can be more watery and not as creamy.  Everyone has their own taste when it comes to a good hot bowl of tomato soup. (See how to make it the right way under “Grandma’s Way” tab)

I decided to try something new instead of soup – homemade ketchup.  I hoped it would work. Searching through my mother’s hand-me-down written recipes, I discovered a recipe for homemade ketchup.  It looked doable.

Now, I am not one for measuring ingredients too well.  I like the taste and tell method better.  Add a little more of this, some of that…taste…  Works for me.  Some would rather be more precise in their cooking ventures.

Step-by-step instructions with pictures.

How to Make & Can Your Own Ketchup with Fresh Tomatoes



Quite a simple recipe – handed down from my mother.  Serves 1-2 people.

Dried Beef Gravy over Toast
Dried Beef Gravy over Toast

Cut up 1/4 stick of margarine in a frying pan.  Cut the dried beef into chunks into the butter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour over the meat and stir to mix well.

Add 1/2-1 cup milk and whisk into the pan.  Keep stirring to eliminate any lumps.  Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over hot buttered toast.


The hard-boiled egg gravy is the same idea; just make the white sauce first.

Mix together the flour and milk first, then add to saucepan with butter.  Whisk to a creamy consistency.  Add chopped hard-boiled egg whites.

Put the hard-boiled yolks through a sieve to get a fine sprinkling for the top of the toast!  Serve over hot buttered toast.