The Ozark Homestead

The Journey to a Simplier Self-Sufficient Life


Save Money and Increase Self-Sufficiency by Making Your Own Condiments and Sauces

Homemade Ketchup with Local Potato Fries

Homemade Ketchup with Local Potato Fries (Photo credit: Chiot’s Run)

Rural living has many advantages, but being able to make a quick trip to the corner grocery isn’t one of them.  Out of necessity, I have had to improvise when cooking to substitute ingredients or make my own.  While cooking dinner yesterday, I discovered that I was out of ketchup.  Since a trip to the store takes an hour roundtrip, I decided to make my own.   I actually liked my homemade ketchup better than the store-bought brand I have purchased for over 20 years.   I started looking at other items that I purchase that I could make from scratch.  Making my own condiments and other ingredients could save my family money as well as reduce the amount of plastic and glass I throw in the trash.  Also, I like that if our electricity goes out or something happens where we are unable to purchase the things we need from a store, that I can still make the dishes my family enjoys like tuna sandwiches and meatloaf.  In addition to saving money and reducing the waste my family sends to the landfill, I like that I can know what ingredients are in the food I feed my family and where those ingredients come from.

I encourage you to open your refrigerator, spice cabinet and pantry and see how many items that you purchase that you could make yourself.  Try these recipes to get you started.

Homemade Ketchup

1 cup tomato sauce
½ cup sugar
2 T vinegar
1/8 tsp cloves
dash of salt

Wisk items together. The cloves add the flavor of like the name brand ketchup.

Homemade Hellman’s Mayonnaise

1 egg (room temp)
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
dash cayenne pepper
1 cup vegetable oil
3 T. vinegar

In a blender on low-speed, blend first 5 ingredients. Slowly add 1/2 c. oil. Add the vinegar and the remaining oil. Blend until firm. Use immediately or store in refrigerator for 1 week.

Homemade Mustard

1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
Dash of salt

Soak mustard seeds in vinegar and water at room temperature for 2 days. (Make sure seeds are submerged, if not, add just enough additional water to cover.)

In a food processor, purée soaked seeds mixture with sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt about 2 minutes or until almost smooth. Add additional water to thin to desired consistency. Add dash of salt.

Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

2 cups apple-cider vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup light-brown sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground yellow mustard seed or dry mustard
1 tsp. onion powder
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to a simmer and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or clean pantyhose and let cool completely before using. Worcestershire sauce may be stored in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 months.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

3 cups whole milk
1 cup whole cane sugar OR 3/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, warm milk over low heat. Using a wooden spoon, add whole cane sugar or honey and stir until combined. Let the mixture warm up over low heat until steam rises. Do not overheat or milk will curdle and separate.

Reduce the mixture to half of it’s volume, about 4 hours or more. A skin will form on the top of the mixture. You can remove it occasionally, if desired.

When the sweetened milk has reached the desired consistency, skim the top of the mixture and pour into a clean glass jar. Add the butter and vanilla, if desired. Place lid on jar tightly and place into the refrigerator to let cool completely and thicken. Use immediately or refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Homemade Soy Sauce

1-1/2 cups boiling water
4 TBS beef bouillon granules (or 2 cubes)
4 TBS cider vinegar
1 TBS dark molasses
1 tsp sesame seed oil
pinch of black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together until dissolved and pour into a bottle with a tightly sealed top. Use immediately or refrigerated indefinitely. Makes 2 cups.

Homemade Beef Bouillon

3 cups celery, minced
3 cups carrots, minced
2 onions, minced
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 lb ground beef

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cover and cook over very low heat for 1 hour. Pour into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.


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Amp Up Your Bread With Sprouted Grains and Multigrains

A while back I purchased a five gallon bucket of Ezekiel Grain Mix.  My first attempt to make bread with it wasn’t very tasty.  I am still experimenting with different recipes to get it right.  I read some reviews of different Ezekiel Bread recipes that suggested  adding sprouted grains to the recipe.  I found an interesting article about that at Mother Earth News.

Make homemade bread even more nutritious and tasty by adding a variety of  whole and sprouted grains, including nutrient-dense sprouted wheat.

Bread chemistry expert  Emily Buehler, author of Bread Science, says sprouted breads have a longer keeping  quality and a pleasantly subtle sweetness.  Fermentation expert Sandor Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation, explains how this works: “The main difference in using sprouted grains [versus flour] is that enzymes digest complex carbohydrates (starches) into simple carbohydrates (sugars). This makes bread sweeter and more easily digestible,” he says. In addition to added nutrition, sprouted grains contribute acidity to the final dough, which contributes flavor and acts as a natural preservative.

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