Old Fashioned Tomato Butter

Wow. Where has the time gone? January is almost over and my poor blog (and followers) are probably wondering if I’ve been kidnapped. Rest assured, I’ve been thinking of you over the past few weeks when I was a bit slammed at work and during the past couple of weekends. No rest for the wicked, as the saying goes.

I am celebrating a birthday this week and such occasions always make me a little sentimental. Lately, I’ve been craving things from my childhood – Ding Dongs (which went away with Hostess), Marathon Bars (anybody remember those super long, ooey gooey braided bars of chocolate and caramel?), and my mom’s tomato butter. Since I can’t and shouldn’t eat the first two, I thought I’d give mom’s tomato butter a try, since I had some hothouse tomatoes languishing in my fridge.

My mom’s tomato butter is a sweet, spicy concoction of goodness that she would make while canning all of the vegetables she grew when I was a kid. It is the perfect thing to make with tomatoes that are going soft or if you have excess tomatoes from your garden. Ironically, I was never a big fan of tomatoes as a child but seemed to make an exception for tomato butter, which I usually ate with toast or as a substitute for jelly with my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Strangely, I have not had my mom’s tomato butter since I was kid so I had to hunt down a recipe online that sounded similar to how her’s tasted. I found one that comes pretty close and my inner child is happy once again.

Tomato ButterIngredients
1 lb. Tomatoes
1/4 cup Vinegar
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
1 tsp. Ground Cloves

Place peeled and sliced tomatoes in a deep cast iron skillet or sauce pan.

Place peeled and sliced tomatoes in a deep cast iron skillet or sauce pan.

Add the sugar and vinegar.

Add the sugar and vinegar.

And the spices.

And the spices.

Cook over medium low heat.

Cook over medium low heat.

Until the tomatoes break down into a thick sauce.

Until the tomatoes break down into a thick sauce.

Pour the tomato butter into hot canning jars. Let them sit on the counter top until they become room temperature. Refrigerate.

Pour the tomato butter into hot canning jars. Let them sit on the counter top until they become room temperature. Refrigerate.

Serve on your favorite bread, with peanut butter or try it on chicken, fish or pork ribs as a sweet tangy marinade.

Serve on your favorite bread, with peanut butter or try it on chicken, fish or pork ribs as a sweet tangy marinade.

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