Friday, April 7, 2017

9 O'Clock Ketchup

So my husband was out of town and we were out of ketchup.  Gladly, I had a lot of cans of organic diced, canned tomatoes in the pantry and an instant pot pressure cooker.  Hey, why not make some ketchup, because running to the store with five kids (one who is a busy one year old) sounds like more work than cooking.

I looked up a recipe for ketchup online (this one) which said ketchup must cook for 10-12 hours in a slow cooker.  Forget that.  I'm not going to wait that long.  I have things to do and people to see, five kids to raise.

Someone gifted me an instant pot a 6 months ago.  I've used it mostly for cooking recipes with beans, which is helpful during fasting seasons.  I found a recipe (on the internet. I do not know how I would do anything without the internet) that said to cook the ketchup in the instant pot for 5 minutes and then saute to reduce the liquid by half.  I did not like the ingredients in the second, instant pot recipe.  It was less traditional.  I used the first recipe in the instant pot. Then I blended the heck out of it in my nutri-ninja blender.

The results were splendid.  The ketchup is so delicious and old fashioned.  I might have to start making my own ketchup regularly.  I might try a low sugar recipe next time.

I call it 9 o'clock ketchup, because that is the time I started cooking it, when I was lonely because my husband was gone.

I made a few subs in the recipe, because I almost always adapt recipes to my taste, or ingredients I have available.  Below is my recipe:

·       2 (28 ounce) cans diced organic tomatoes
·       1/2 cup water
·       2/3 cup brown sugar
·       3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
·       1/4 onion
·       1 clove garlic
·       1 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
·       1/8 teaspoon celery salt
·       1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
·       1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper


  1. Put all ingredients into a high power blender and blend for 1 minute on high.
  2. Pour the mixture into the pressure cooker.  Cook high for 6 minutes.  Let it depressurize afterward.   
  3. Then (saute simmer) in the instant pot until mixture is reduced by half and very thick. 10- 20 minutes.
  4. Smooth the texture of the ketchup using an immersion blender or in a high powered blended for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Transfer the ketchup to a clean glass container.
  6. This ketchup will last 6 months.  
May God grant you many years!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Just Simple

Like I have said before.  I would like to eliminate a lot of my children’s things, especially clothing.  I cannot bring myself to do it.  However, I did recently give away several church dresses.  I replaced them with one simple dress per daughter.

I have one child who marches to the beat of her own drum.  She often complains about going to church, saying that is boring.  She needs to have something she can do at church.  I am sure that once she learns more about how to participate in liturgy, she will like it all better.  

In the last six months, when I ask her to get ready for church, she puts on everyday play clothes.  I explain to her that she needs to look nice for church because, “It is a way of showing respect for God and show Him how important you think He is.  Also, it is less distracting to others when we are all clean, neat and tidy.” 

I do not want to get into an argument with a child on Sunday morning.  We usually make some sort of compromise.  She wears play clothes under a dress and then gets to take off the dress as soon as liturgy is over.  Clever kid.  But, she looks like a mess with the dress over play clothes.  It is not my idea of a win-win.  I still lose and I feel like she does too.

One thing she expressed to me is that she was finding the church dresses itchy and uncomfortable.  The girls used to like getting dressed up, but now it seems unappealing to them all. 

I splurged and bought them each a soft, pretty dress in a favorite color from  I am very happy with this solution.  I think the girls look nice.  I eliminated some stuff from our lives. The girls know exactly what they will wear on Sunday.  This is a relief not having to decide. They were also very happy with how comfortable the new dresses felt.  They thanked me for the new dresses.

Bonus! For Primary’s second anniversary they gave away free hoodies with a $50 purchase.  My oldest son scored a red hoodie.  He has not taken it off in three days.  He is very happy with the softness.  I like the jersey material a lot and the simple designs.  I can see our family buying a lot of the jersey products.

I previously tried out the flannel dresses.  I do not like the muted color and stiffness of the material.  The material is soft.  But, it does not have stretch in the seams, which one of my children dislikes.  It’s not a bad product.  It is just less desirable for my children.

 Hopefully, this is the beginning of helping my kids to live more simply.  I keep telling my kids that when I was a kid I had one pair of sneakers that I wore for every occasion.  I also had a pair of snow boots.  I did not have multiple pairs of shoes.  Every so often I would have a pair of dress shoes, but not always.  I had one week’s worth of clothing.  When summer came, we just cut the pants off and had shorts.  In times gone by people had even less.   I know life can be simpler.
I am trying to be brave enough to live simple with my family.  By no means am I succeeding at my goal.  But, I figure if I keep taking baby steps, eventually I will make some gains.

 May God grant you many years!