I did extensive research (one wikipedia page) and discovered a tradition of “dinner on the ground” picnic on memorial day. Kinfolk would come together in the family cemetery, usually have a religious service and (of course) eat. There really isn’t any escaping the traditions of food. From baptism or briss to the funeral buffet, we celebrate, mourn, commemorate and kvetch over food. No matter the occasion, we’ve got something special to eat. You gotta eat! Right?

This Memorial Day please join me in preparing a “dinner on the ground” and take a moment or two to remember the fallen. The courage, bravery and commitment that our men and women of the military make so we may have our freedoms can never be taken for granted. And when a soldier makes the ultimate sacrifice, we can never thank them enough or pray for their families enough. If you see a soldier, give them thanks, give them a handshake, give them your seat. They are willing to give their lives for you.

Ketchup or Catsup or Catchup, a tangy, tomatoey, spicy sauce by any other name would be the same. I also looked up the derivations and will not bore you with the details. The spellings are all correct and the most common one that all of the manufacturers have settled on is Ketchup. The amounts, ingredients and processes are as many and varied as any sauce that has made it this far through history (at least 400 years). I happen to love the one that I grew up with, but have no idea how it is made so I winged it. Here is what I ended up liking:


  • 2 Lbs. Ripe Tomatoes
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • Dash Tabasco Sauce
  • Olive Oil
  • Pinch or two of Salt
  • Two Twists of Black Pepper


  • Blender or Food Processor
  • Strainer
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Heavy Duty Pan
  • Ovenproof Dish
  1. Pre heat oven to 350.
  2. Core and quarter the tomatoes.
  3. Arrange them in the bottom of the dish.
  4. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Sauté the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until translucent. Then let cool.
  6. Puree onions and garlic in the food processor.
  7. Wipe pan clean and return onions and garlic to pan.
  8. Let tomatoes cool.
  9. Puree tomatoes in the food processor.
  10. Pour puree through a strainer into pan. Use the back of the wooden spoon or rubber spatula to force all of the liquid out.
  11. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan.
  12. Bring to a boil for a about 5 minutes.
  13. Turn down to simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Let cool.
  14. Cover and refrigerate for up to a month.
Some people recommend storing in a sterilized jar. Since you are refrigerating right away I don’t bother. 



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