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Jana Stocks Brown
Homemade ketchup with sweet potato fries.

Tomatoes in the late summer are one of our favorites. They're a must-buy. Tomatoes grow well in Utah, and there are many varieties available — from meaty Romas to colorful heirlooms. These tomatoes begin to appear at markets in late June and early July. While we eat our fair share of them, there comes a point when you start searching for something to do with tomatoes besides making a sandwich or another batch of salsa.

A couple of years ago we discovered homemade ketchup, and it quickly became a family-favorite. This recipe by Bryan Brown (it's good to have a husband who loves to cook!) is easy to make with no added colors or preservatives — just the tangy sweetness of slow, simmered spices and tomatoes. Each batch fills one to two picnic ketchup bottles and is wonderful on everything from hot dogs and hamburgers to morning hash, appealing to the taste buds of children and adults alike. Kept in the freezer, it is good for up to six months, but we've never had any last that long!

Homemade Ketchup from Utah Tomatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup diced red onion

8 locally grown Roma tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon chopped fresh dill

Pinch each of real salt, ground black pepper, ground allspice and celery salt

Two pinches of ground mustard seed

1 tablespoon Ultra Gel (instant thickener, if needed)

Heat oil over medium heat, then add onions and saute until caramelized. Do not turn the heat up too high or the onions will burn. Reduce heat to medium low and add tomatoes and garlic. Simmer for one minute to tenderize and then add all remaining ingredients except for Ultra Gel. Mix and then reduce heat to maintain a simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and add mixture to blender with Ultra Gel. Pulse blender 10 to 15 times to reduce to mostly smooth paste. Store the unused portion in the refrigerator for up to three weeks or in the freezer in an airtight container for up to six months.

— Bryan Brown

Jana Brown is a writer, wife and mother. She is an excellent cook, or so say visitors to her kitchen. She blogs at cornabys.wordpress.com. Twitter: Cornabys.