One of the things I love about old recipes is the process of decoding them. Whilst having a quick scour through Google Books, I came across a very authentic recipe for genuine American 1800's tomato ketchup straight from Dr. Chase's recipes; or, Information for everybody; an invaluable collection of about eight hundred practical recipes
The recipe is credited to Mrs Hardy of the American Hotel, Dresden Ohio and according to Dr Chase is 'The best catchup which I have ever tasted'.
The history of ketchup is quite extensive so, as usual, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketchup to get the background.
The quantity is a tad large. I did some research, mostly Google based, and the recipe calls for 1 'bushel' of tomatoes. According to common law, that equates to 53 lbs which is by anyone's standards quite a bit. So this recipe is quite ready for a little bit of adjustment.
What do you need then?
1 bushel of tomatos, washed and clean.
Salt to taste,
2 cups of allspice
1 tea cup of ground cloves
1 quart of best vinegar
1. Wash and clean the tomatoes, chop them and boil them and then remove once reached boiling point.
2. Allow the tomato to cool and then rub them through a wire sieve.
3. Add salt to taste, the allspice, cloves and vinegar to the stuff that comes through the sieve.
4. Cook the mixture for an hour over a moderate heat, stirring constantly.
So here is the original text. You can view it here too
"CATCHUP Tomato Catchup
Take perfectly ripe tomatoes 1 bushel (53lbs) wash them clean and break to pieces then put over the fire and let them come to a boil and remove from the fire when they are sufficiently cool to allow your hands to them rub through a wire sieve and to what goes through add salt 2 tea cups allspice and cloves of each ground 1 tea cup best vinegar 1 qt Put onto the fire again and cook 1 hour stirring with great care to avoid burning Bottle and seal for use If too thick when used put in a little vinegar If they were very juicy they may need boiling over an hour
This recipe is from Mrs Hardy of the American Hotel Dresden 0 and is decidedly the best catchup which I lwve ever tasted the only fault I have ever heard attributed to it was I wish we had made more of it We have not got half enough of it &c But there are those who cannot use tomatoes in any shape such persons will undoubt edly like the following."
Credit for the photo goes to the Neo-Victorian Blog, which I found during the research for this recipe.