An ode to ketchup and mustard…

We all know that ketchup and mustard are the king and queen reigning the condiment world, while we know there is something nostalgic about commercial brands, don’t leave it in the hands of Heinz and French’s.  Embrace making your own handcrafted customized concoctions.
Ketchup by Modern Day Forager


Making ketchup is really quiet simple, and the flavor combinations are endless.  So why not?  If you have an abundance of tomatoes from your garden this summer, why not use these juicy orbs of goodness and build a better ketchup?

MDF FARM FRESH KETCHUP

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 small bulb fennel, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds fresh tomatoes (experiment with your favorites)
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar (3/4 cup if you don’t want ketchup tangy)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Place the first 12 ingredients in a large pot over a medium-low heat for 15 minutes stirring often.
  2. Add the tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups of water.  Turn heat to medium-high stirring often, until liquid is reduced by half.
  3. Pour mixture into a food processor and process until smooth, then pour mixture through a mesh sieve into a clean pot.
  4. Over medium heat stir in red wine vinegar and brown sugar, and reduce to the thickness you desire.
  5. Cool and then store in refrigerator.

If you prefer a chunky style, just omit the sieve step.

Stout Mustard by Modern Day Forager

Don’t hold the mustard or cut the mustard, make mustard!  This top dog condiment is surprisingly a cinch to make.  However, there are a few basics you need to understand about the process for making really good quality mustard.  First, the seeds need a good crushing and grind, and the key here is to add cold liquid (cold stout in this recipe) to add moisture to the mustard seeds.  Mustard gets its bite when the cracked seeds release volatile oils, much like capsaicin, the “hot” in chile peppers and when mixed with the liquid, the result is pungent and spicy.

Second, heat will temper the chemical reaction (much like cutting a onion) so, hot mustard, cold liquid, warmer liquid a more mellow mustard.  Also, in addition of the cold liquid remember that adding an acid is crucial to the recipe.  If you don’t add the acid, the mustard will lose its bite over time.  Adding vinegar, for instance, will stop and set the chemical reaction in place.

Mustard is extremely versatile, with many variations, it livens up and pairs well with sandwiches, cold meats, cheese, greens, burgers and hotdogs.  Rj and I are from Chicago and the only way to eat a dog is with mustard, sorry ketchup.  It also is a great emulsifying agent/stablizer for salad dressings, marinades, dips, sauces and spreads.  By making your own, you avoid all the goop of artificial flavors, fillers, colors and homemade just tastes better. 

MDF Extra Stout Mustard

 Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds, crushed
  • 1/3 cup Cold Guinness Extra Stout
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mason jar, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Pour the ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until the seeds are broken down and you reach your desired consistency, it will thicken the more you process. (You may also use an immersion blender right in jar)
  3. Store in your refrigerator, for up to 2 weeks.
Recipes by Rj of Urban Table
Photo Styling & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table
Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography
Modern Day Forager
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Shop Girl for Ice Cream

As we wrap up our week of ice cream we wanted to give you a few things we love for making this wonderful treat.  Memories come flooding back about summers of our youth.  Many a summer was spent gathering up supplies to make our fresh churned ice cream. Boring but was always the favorite, vanilla.  Sometimes adding miniature chocolate chips.

It was never super hard and would melt very fast on a hot summer day.  It always seemed at the time to take forever to make it, adding the crushed ice around the outside of the aluminum freezer.  Adding rock salt to help it melt and then adding more.

The first bite was so satisfying and worth every minute of the time it took to make it.  This first item reminds me so much of the summers when my daddy would say, ‘Let’s make some ice cream.”

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We found this on Wayfair.  There are many newer and less labor intensive models to choose from but this reminds me of what we used growing up.  This is sure to add many wonderful memories for you and your family.

If you need inspiration about what flavor of ice cream to start with, we would like to suggest a few books on ice cream.

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Chronicle Books

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Amazon

Not only are the photos fun to look at but the recipes are delicious as well!

If you want to jazz up your homemade ice cream offerings you can get fancy with what you serve it in.   We love pretzel cones.  The Chocolate Stout Ice Cream would be so wonderful in these cones.

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Joy Cone

There are so many special memories about ice cream for us.  I can remember visiting grandpa and him making peppermint ice cream.  He would take the giant candy canes and smash bits of it to add to the sweet vanilla cream.  I haven’t had anything like it since.  We would love to hear about your ice cream memories.

Celebrating Stone/Summer Fruits

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Summer and stone fruit go hand-in hand, so we decide to take to advantage and celebrate these fruits brimming at our farm stands and markets.  So what is a stone fruit?   Well, simply put, it is a indehiscent fruit with flesh or pulp that surrounds the stone or pit.   Indehiscent what?   Simply put, ha!  Indehiscent means that the fruit does not open or split at maturity to release seeds when ripe.   Some unusual suspects that you would not think would be in the stone fruit family are almonds, elderberries and olives.
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In preparing for all of this merry making, we carefully picked, grilled, roasted, sauteed, macerated, dried, poached, churned and pickled all of  these ripe blush pink peaches, succulent nectarines, golden rich apricots, deep tart plums and plump burgundy cherries.  We look forward to sharing some of our favorite savory and sweet recipes, along with how to select and store them.

So roll up your sleeves, get your hands on some of these mouthwatering fine drupes with all of their diversity and appeal and let the merriment begin.  Please share with us what you doing with your aromatic and fragrant beauties, we would love to hear!

Olive Tapenade

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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This is a lovely addition to any party.  Just thin slice a baguette and toast or grill after brushing with olive oil and serve.

Olive Tapenade

1 cup kalamata olives, pitted

1 cup large green olives, pitted

1 cup black olives, pitted

1 red bell pepper, roasted, seeded and chopped

4-5 cloves of garlic

1/2 oz parsley, chopped

1/2 oz basil, chopped

3 teaspoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons capers

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Lemon Zest (as garnish)

Italian Flat Leaf Parsley (as garnish)

  1. Put the olives (all 3), capers, garlic and bell pepper into a food processor.
  2. Pulse in 1-second intervals about 8-10 times.
  3. Add the herbs, lemon juice and olive oil.
  4. Pulse another 8-10 times.  Be careful not to over process.
  5. Garnish with lemon zest and parsley.

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Modern Day Foragers

Violets + Prosecco = A New Favorite Drink

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Food Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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We hope you enjoyed Zucchini Week last week.  If you didn’t get a chance to read those posts, go check them out here.  We are going to start this week off with a bang!  We really hope you don’t have to wait until the weekend to try this drink.  We already loved Prosecco and with the addition of Violette Liqueur its divine!  Here is what you need:

4 oz Prosecco

1/2 oz Creme de Violette

Lavender sugar

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With the lemon, wet the edge of the glass.  Gently roll the wet edge in the lavender sugar.  Careful not to get inside the glass.  Add 1/2 oz of Creme de Violette and top with Prosecco.How easy was that?!  You can use unflavored sugar if you can’t find lavender sugar.  You don’t want to use regular table sugar with this.  Look for fine sugar, not powdered, just fine grain sugar.  Prosecco is sweeter than Champagne but Champagne would work as well.  We love Cupcake Vineyards Prosecco.

Thank you for join us again!  We would love to connect with you here.  So leave us a comment or connect with us on Facebook.  Happy Monday!

Modern Day Forager