Roots & branches & all~

conifer’s catch-up

jars in my kitchen
  • the girls came & went & the jars were left…

conifer’s catch-up

  • 3 cups canned organic tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup whey
  • 1 Tbl. unrefined salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (+/-)
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce (thai)
  • Mix all ingredients & place in clean, quart-sized wide-mouth jar, leaving room for expansion.  Leave on counter at room temp for 2+/- days & refrigerate for up to two months.

Did you know that ketchup, catsup or ke-tsiap, derives from a fermented fish sauce?  Used not only to flavor food but to assist with its digestion, ketchup was a side dish to assimilation!  Adding tomatoes to this fermented concoction was an entirely American idea; most likely they grew prolifically & fermented easily, improving the rather smelly brine with nightshade’s blood red offering.  Since we Americans consume about half a billion bottles of ketchup a year, I’d say it caught on.  In fact, ketchup is so darned American that Garrison Keillor created a series of popular “ads” on his famous (or is it infamous?) radio show “Prairie Home Companion.”  The ads are sponsored by the Ketchup Advisory Board & always end with a happy ketchup  jingle:

These are the good years
As good as life permits.
A home in Atlanta
Another on St. Kitts.
Life if flowing like ketchup on your grits.

GK: Ketchup, for the good times


These are the good times, the colors of the trees,
Campfires and wild geese and lovely memories,
Life is flowing like ketchup on your cheese.

GK: Ketchup…for the good times.

Thank you, Garrison Keillor & everyone at Prairie Home Companion!  We Love You!

However, what we once got, is not what we now get.  During the infamous industrial revolution, one of the things revolutionized, was the pickle industry, which included condiments such as mustard & our hero, ketchup.  In order to facilitate equitable distribution of acid, which is difficult to maintain in a live-fermentation environment, recipes began to add vinegar instead of the notoriously unstable (& alive!) whey that had been traditionally used for years beyond counting.  Now your ketchup is industrialized, standardized, more acidic, and certainly not alive.  Does it help you digest your food? Not likely.  So, in order for the revolution to be successful, we must eat food we can digest & to aid in this digestion we can choose live foods like real ketchup & it’s pal real  mustard, live yogurt & (sssshhhh, you did hear it from me) raw milk!

For more information on this revolutionary way of eating go straight to or pick up the cookbook by Sally Fallon, NOURISHING TRADITIONS. (Thanks, Sally, for the ketchup recipe & helping me find a source for raw milk.)



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