May 172009

I just watched the “pickles and preserves” episode of Jamie at Home again, because I’m planning something special for my friends and family, and it struck me as odd that the recipe cooked on the show has virtually no resemblance to the recipe that I printed off of the Food Network website – the American broadcaster for the series – a few months ago (on my birthday, it seems.  Didn’t realize that).

I’ve made this recipe once before, following the recipe off of the website, and it took pretty much all day.  Now granted, I’d doubled it, and the recipe involves a fair amount of reduction, but I still felt that it was a lot of work for relatively little return.  The recipe that I transcribed from the show, however, is not only easier, but uses several completely different ingredients, and may take up as little as half the time (by my rough estimate).

I have to wonder how often this happens. Does it really do the show any justice to make the recipes easier (and, in this case, more time consuming) just to cater to your audience?  In my opinion, unless there’s something substantially wrong with the recipe as presented, there’s no need to make any changes.  Especially, in this case, adding a second reduction step, and trading out fennel seeds for fennel bulb (they taste similar, but are botanically COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PLANTS).

That said, Central Market had yellow tomatoes on special this weekend, so I decided to buy a whole mess of ’em, and will be making some yellow ketchup tomorrow (after I go out and buy some bottles).  It’ll be an interesting change from the last time I made ketchup, when I used all canned tomatoes instead of fresh, and about 1/3 balsamic vinegar because the red wine vinegar bottle wasn’t as full as I’d previously estimated.  Hopefully this time I’ll end up with a product that Heather will actually eat; she didn’t really enjoy the last batch too much, because it tasted more like a steak sauce than ketchup.

I’ll try to post pictures and such tomorrow, if I can remember and have had a chance to clean the kitchen well enough that I’m not ashamed of the mess.

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