Monthly Archives: April 2015

Homemade Ketchup! Thanks Momma!

When I was 2-years old, my mother began gathering church recipe books for her daughters’ cooking future.  In my 20’s, my food problems prevented my use of these books.  However, I still treasured my mother’s recipe books, especially after my mother passed away with cancer.  My mother had highlighted her favorite recipes in each book, which also highlights my memories with her.  Although I have not been using the recipes inside of my home, I have been using some of the recipes for potlucks and family gatherings, in honor of her.

But now that I have a better understanding of my food allergies, I know what works and what does not work for my body.  And because of that, last night I read through every recipe in each book and marked the foods that should work for me.  Excitedly, I found a homemade ketchup recipe, which I made today!  I’ve always avoided ketchup, because it has always bothered me.  I recently discovered why.  The ingredients in store-bought ketchups are loaded with sulfites, which are distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder, and natural flavoring.  But this recipe is preservative free!

HOMEMADE KETCHUP  (I altered it so it is sulfite-free)

  • 1 gallon of strained tomatoes (Pomi strained tomatoes are sulfite-free)
  • 3/4 C vinegar (Rice Vinegar are naturally sulfite-free.  I use Nakano bran)
  • 1 C sugar (Organic cane sugar is low-sulfite/sulfite-free)
  • 4 tsp salt (sea salt is sulfite free) —I added more salt for taste
  • 1 small onion 
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (white pepper is low-sulfite/sulfite-free)

Directions:  Put all ingredients in a blender.  Then, cook for 1 to 2 hours at a boil, until consistency of store- bought ketchup.  Stir often.  When thickened, pour into jars or zip-lock bags.  Optional: freeze for later use.  

IMG_0059I haven’t exactly missed ketchup, because I’ve never cared for the taste as a dip or for a regular use.  So, I questioned if I should even make this recipe, but thinking about my mother inspired me to follow through.  And I am very pleased with the results!  Homemade ketchup is so much yummier!  And now that I have edible ketchup in my refrigerator, I’m open to many more options that calls for ketchup.

Also, while looking through one of the books, I found another recipe, which looks perfect for tonight’s supper!  It is called, “Mother’s Baked Beans”.  How appropriate, MOM!  And one of my mother’s highlighted recipes of meatloaf is calling my name for tomorrow!  THANK YOU MOM!  I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU SO MUCH!

mom and me

Dear My Chocolate. . .

Is there anyone out there who is not obsessed with chocolate? Anyone? Okay, I’m one of those people, which is very rare, I know!  I’ve never been a member of the chocolate fan club.  I remember my mother nibbling on chocolate almost everyday, which I could not completely understand.  However, I’m not claiming myself as a non-sweet lady.  I’ve always loved sweets, but not chocolate, except for every once in awhile.  I only enjoy the dark sweetness a few times a year, compared to you, million-times-per-year chocolate eaters.  🙂

So, what brought me to write about this food that I rarely eat?  Well. . . reactions.  I would have reactions every time I’d eat chocolate. Within every breath, my chest would hurt horribly. (Not heartburn!  Heartburn and chest pain are two completely different feelings.)  After a few years, I discovered that plain cocoa powder would not bother me at all.  I’d make a hot cocoa beverage with water, cocoa powder, salt, and stevia.  Yummy!  I would drink, drink, and drink without ever having a reaction, thankfully!  So, knowing that cocoa was not the problem, I knew it was an added ingredient that would cause my reaction.  But it took me several more years before I discovered the specific added ingredient.  Any guesses on the ingredient I discovered?  Okay, here it is: Sulfites.  Sulfites are not bad for most people, but a few people struggle with the sulfite allergy, like me.  Say what?  Sulfites?  But “sulfites” are not listed on any chocolate-ingredient list, right?  You are right.  Sulfites are hidden in so many ingredients.  Some common ingredients in chocolate products are Artificial Flavor, Natural Favor, Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, and Sugar (from beets), which all are high in sulfites. If you are curious about more hidden ingredients, check out the list on:  Sulfite Foods.

So, have any of you ever had reactions to chocolate?  Well if so, I know the PERFECT brand out there for you!  It is called, Enjoy Life, which is super allergy friendly!  This chocolate is FREE of: wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish, potato, sesame and sulftes.  Throughout today, I’ve been eating a little too much of Enjoy Life chocolate chips, and my only reaction has been my indulging guilt.  🙂  But I can handle my chocolate guilt only a few times a year.  🙂  If you have any chocolate problems, I dare you to try this brand.  Yummy!  

This wheat-allergy lady LOVES Bake Sales!

Okay, I absolutely love bake sales.  I honestly run to them.  In fact, I ran to one today!    Now, most of my friends and family may question my reasons to run to bake sales, because of my food allergies, especially being allergic to wheat!  Now, there is probably a 0.5% chance that I could eat goodies from a bake sale, but I have never ran across to one.  And that is completely fine with me.

So, why do I run to these bake sales?  That’s simple!  I get to bring a dessert to our family gathering, without baking!  But the food is still HOMEMADE!  That’s something to celebrate about!  Of course, I do bring other side dishes, but my family does not seem to enjoy my super healthy sides, which doesn’t bother me, because that means more healthy foods for me.  Plus, thinking positively, I’m bringing a yummy dessert, without having to deal with the too-many-sweets temptation.  Easy for me, more temptations for everyone else!  Oh, please, laugh!  🙂

Happy Easter everyone!