Homemade Ketchup, Mayonnaise, and Mustard from Haute Dogs

condiments on Haute Dogs

Some months back, I got an email from my friend Eric. Ages ago, Eric and I were co-workers and our desks were right next to each other. This was in the days when I was just starting this website and would often go off on a tear about my latest batch of jam or pickles. Now Eric is successful writer who also happens to do all kinds of fancy marketing and social media stuff for Quirk Books.

cover of Haute Dogs

Thanks to those days spent as co-workers, Eric was well aware of my deep obsession with homemade spreads and toppings and so, was writing to invite me to participate in a blog tour for a book called Haute Dogs: Recipes for Delicious Hot Dogs, Buns, and Condiments.

The idea behind the tour was that each participating blogger would make one or two components necessary to assemble the Ecuadorian Street Dog, so that at the end of the tour, a reader could hop from site to site in order to prep and build the entire dog on their own. If I chose to accept it, my assignment was condiments. Mustard. Mayo. And Ketchup. I was in.

condiments overhead

While I was all excited to try my hand at someone else’s condiment recipes (when you spend a goodly chunk of your life inventing recipes, it’s always nice to take a break and let someone else do the heavy lifting), I’ll confess right now that I wasn’t particularly jazzed by the idea of a hot dog book.

However, when this one arrived, I could immediately see that Haute Dogs wasn’t just a book about hot dogs. It is a love letter to the humble dog in its many forms. And that’s something I can get behind.

condiments together

So, let’s talk recipes. My assignment was to make three of the most classic summertime condiments around. Yellow mustard. Mayonnaise. And ketchup. No summer cookout is complete without this triad and for the diehard DIY-er, it just makes sense to make your own.

These are easy recipes that are meant to be made and used within a few days or a week. Though you’ll see them pictured in jars throughout this blog post, do know that those are simply the vessels I chose to stash them in. I don’t have canning instructions to offer for these recipes. With that, let’s get on to the condiments!

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Hibiscus Concentrate Recipe

hibiscus flowers

When I was a kid, there was a small chain of healthy Mexican restaurants in the Pacific Northwest called Macheezmo Mouse (they’ve been closed for at least ten years, but I hear there’s a movement afoot to bring back the Mouse).

They served brown rice, black beans, and whole wheat tortillas long before anyone other fast casual restaurant was even considering the idea of adding whole grains to their menu. They had a location just a mile or so away from our house in NW Portland and so it was a regular stop for us on nights when my parents weren’t cooking.

hibiscus in a jar

The soda fountain at Macheezmo Mouse was a serve yourself situation, and in addition to the regular corporate offerings, they always had a drink available that they called Cactus Cooler. It was deep red, super tangy, quite sweet and I adored it.

measuring hibiscus

It wasn’t until years later than a friend served me a glass of iced and lightly sweetened hibiscus tea (also known as agua de Jamaica), did I realize that the Cactus Cooler of my youth was nothing more than an infusion of hibiscus flowers, made on a very large scale.

hibiscus and sugar

Recently, I picked up a bag of dried hibiscus flowers at an international grocery store. At first, I made large batches of hibiscus tea, but as so often happens to me, quickly ran out of space in my refrigerator for a two-quart jar of the stuff (I dream of having a larger fridge on a near-daily basis). So, I used my skills as a small batch maker and scaled down my hibiscus operation.

concentrate in a measuring cup

Instead of making an iced tea, I opted to make a concentrate. Each batch makes just two cups of deeply red, sweet, tangy liquid. I pour a tablespoon or two into either sparkling or flat water, and have even used a couple drops as a sweetener in a mug of hot herbal tea (it works gorgeously). It also is a nice addition to cocktails and I plan on making it a regular player in my warm weather kitchen. Hibiscus-ade for everyone!

hibiscus in soda water

Hibiscus naturally contains a goodly amount of acid (according to Wikipedia, it contains 15-30% organic acids). I’ve not done a pH test on this concentrate, but my sense is that it is probably high enough in acid to be safe for boiling water bath canning.

However, at the moment, I’m opting to make small batches that I can keep in the fridge and use relatively quickly. I do plan on giving it a pH test in the near future and will add canning instructions to this recipe if it passes muster.

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Upcoming Events: Broomall! Drexel! Greensgrow! Occasionette!

PbtP stack

I’ve got a hearty handful of events happening this week and I hope some of you will come to pick up a book or two. You probably know this already, but both Preserving by the Pint and Food in Jars make excellent Mother’s Day gifts.

On Tuesday, May 6, I’m doing a small batch jam demonstration and book signing at the Marple Public Library (2599 Sproul Road) in Broomall, PA. The demo kicks off at 7:30 pm and I’ll have samples for tasting and books for sale.

This Wednesday, May 7, I’m doing a small batch canning demo for the Women’s Studies program at Drexel University. Oops! Just learned that this one is for members of the Drexel community, only. If you’re affiliated with the University, I’d love to see you there!

Saturday, May 10 is a two-fer. From 10 am to 1 pm, I’ll be at Greensgrow Farms (the original, Kensington location) to sell/sign books, answer canning questions, and do a small batch strawberry jam demo (probably around 11 am).

Later that day, I’ll be at Occasionette in South Philly for E. Passyunk Avenue’s monthly Second Saturday avenue crawl. I’ll be there from 5-8 pm with preserves from my pantry and books to sell and sign. I’m also doing a small batch demo that we’ll start around 5:30 pm.

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Links: Tonics, Rhubarb, and Preserving by the Pint Coverage

Sampling honey sweetened strawberry jam at Headhouse for just one more hour!

I’ve been home for nearly a week, but my apartment is still a mess (I didn’t finish cleaning out my car until Friday and everything I packed for the tour is all over my living room). Happily, I’m finally start to feel like my brain is back in the game and I’ve got lots of good blog posts in the hopper for the coming week. Now, links!

Now for a few links to people who have been writing about the new book. Many of the giveaways have already closed, my apologies for that!

 

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May Sponsors: Cuppow, Fillmore Container, Mrs. Wages, and Preserving Now

Did I mention that the Food in Jars stickers are in? They are free with every book purchase!

May has arrived (my birthday month)! It’s time to welcome local strawberries and say thanks to the companies that help make it possible for me to do what I do. Please shower them with your love (and business)!

First up is perennial Food in Jars favorite, jar accessory maker Cuppow! They are the creator of the original mason jar travel mug topper and, more recently, of the BNTO, a cup that fits into a wide mouth mason jar and transforms it into a lunch box.

Next comes our friends at Fillmore Container. They sell all manner of canning jars and lids, as well as a handful of books and jar accessories. They’re a family-owned business based in Lancaster, PA and they happily work with home canners and commercial producers alike. Visit their blog for lots of good canning tricks and tips.

New to the sponsorship rolls is Mrs. Wages. I’ve written for them for the last three summers and this year, we’re teaming up for an official partnership. They make all sorts of pectins and canning mixes. Make sure to sign up for their newsletter for monthly installments of canning goodness.

Last, but certainly not least is Preserving Now! Operated by Lyn Deardorff, Preserving Now is both a website and school dedicated to helping people expand their canning and preserving skills. If you’re in the Atlanta area, make sure to check out her schedule of upcoming classes and events! Lyn helped set up all my Atlanta book tour events and she is just the best ever!

If you’d like to be a sponsor, there are lots of spots available, starting at just $75 a month.
Please visit my sponsorship page for more details! 

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Home Again, Salsa, and Upcoming Book Events

quick homemade salsa

I landed in Philadelphia right around 12 noon on Tuesday afternoon. It was almost exactly two weeks to the minute since I’d left and while the book tour was gloriously fun, returning home is always the best thing of all.

I’ve spent the last day and a half reacquainting myself with home, unpacking bags and folding laundry. I also have done quite a lot of cooking in the last 48 hours. I made a goodly amount of jam and pickles while on the road and helped assemble a meal or two in the company of friends, but there was little true cooking and I missed it.

overhead salsa

And so, I’ve made several rounds of breakfast eggs. I roasted every sad bit of vegetable in the fridge and made soup for dinner last night. I prepped a batch of whole wheat chocolate chip cookie dough for the freezer (we bake them a couple at a time in the toaster oven as an after dinner treat). And I peeled two wrinkly tomatoes that I’d left to ripen several weeks ago and made a little batch of salsa.

For lunch today, I toasted a couple of corn tortillas and folded into them black beans, cheese, avocado, sour cream, and generous scoops of the salsa. If a batch of spring salsa sounds good to you (Cinco de Mayo is Monday, after all), the batch I made is essentially the same as this one, only with shallots in place of the onions, and some red chili flakes instead of jalapeño (we didn’t have any). Remember, homemade salsa always tastes better if you make it at least an hour or two before you plan on serving it.

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Just because I’m home doesn’t mean that the book tour is over. Truly, things are only just picking up. Here’s where I’ll be over the course of the week and a half!

  • May 3 – Philadelphia: Demo and book signing at Fante’s Kitchen Shop, 1-3 pm.
  • May 4 – Philadelphia: Tasting and book signing at Headhouse Square Farmers Market, 10 am – 2 pm.
  • May 6 – Broomall, PA: Demo and book signing at the Marple Township Library, 7:30-9 pm.
  • May 10 – Philadelphia: Demo and book signing at Greensgrow, 10 am – 1 pm. Demo and book signing at Occasionette, 5-8 pm.
  • May 13 – Manhattan: Strawberry jam class at The Brooklyn Kitchen’s Manhattan location. 6:30-8:30 pm. $65.
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