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Wednesday’s Whim: Ketchup

Within the last couple years, Julian Elementary School planted a garden.  Along with many other community advocates, Camp Stevens has been on the “advisory team,” helping the amazing Tricia Elisara and Julian Pathways where we are able.  A few weeks ago, families joined Coreen and Ryan for some garden fun before September’s Seasonal Sunday Supper.  Camp Stevens is participating in the school’s first Food Day in a couple weeks.  And, now that I have a kid in the school, I’m feeling much more personally invested in helping the program grow!

Last Monday, I joined Eliot’s Kindergarten/1st Grade class for some tomato education (tomatoes were the harvest of the month).  And what tomato product do kids like more than ketchup?  The day before and earlier that morning, Eliot and I picked tomatoes from the farm and turned fresh tomatoes into tomato paste and then into ketchup.  The students were thrilled and engaged with the garden, the tomatoes, and the treats (they got to dip fresh made potato chips in the ketchup).

Eliot's happy class.
Eliot’s happy class.
Sampling tomatoes the students picked from the school garden.
Sampling tomatoes the students picked from the school garden.
All the ingredients!
All the ingredients!
Using my Grandmother's sieve to process the tomatoes for paste.
Using my Grandmother’s sieve to process the tomatoes for paste.

(Here is the recipe I used.  It came out a bit sweeter than I’d like, so next time I’ll cut down on the brown sugar.)

All of this got me thinking – what other food products do I take for granted?  Ketchup is such a mundane, overused condiment and I’d never thought about how it was made!

Next on my list was Fig Newtons.  They were fresh, fun, relatively easy, and delicious!  (Recipe here.  The only thing I’ll do differently next time is make more!)

Cooking the figs down in agave, cinnamon and water.
Cooking the figs down in agave, cinnamon and water.
Rolling out the dough.
Rolling out the dough.

Have you cooked or baked anything you’d always taken for granted or assumed just magically appeared on the grocery store shelves?  Is there anything you’re intrigued to make from scratch?


Whim: “sudden idea.”  This weekly-ish post promises a number of things: personal thoughts and reflections, showing off Camp Stevens’ programs and staff, announcements for upcoming opportunities, and answering questions or responding to comments “from the audience.” If you have a topic or question you’d like addressed, just e-mail Beth!


2 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Whim: Ketchup

  1. I just recently started making my own yogurt. It’s a long process, but super simple!


    Posted by Bethany TestaAvila | October 9, 2013, 2:33 pm

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