I regret that I never met my mother’s maternal grandmother, Rena Alberta Griswold. She must have liked language because many of the stories Mom told about her involved words. Grandma Griswold had fun with the word “ketchup” or “catsup,” and called it “get behind.” As a child, I contemplated her play on words, and knew that if she had asked me for the “get behind” that I would have giggled as I passed it to her.
I wonder what kind of “get behind” was Grandma Griswold’s favorite? Several years ago I learned that catsup isn’t just about tomatoes. I marveled over recipes for grape catsup and mushroom catsup that I found in one of my canning and preserving cookbooks.
Today I added prune or plum catusp to my cache of catsup condiments. The following recipe is from a 1940 cookbook published by the The Austin Woman’s Club.
Wash and boil prunes, including skins, until tender. While the fruit is boiling weigh out 6 pounds of sugar to each 9 pounds of prunes. Strain the fruit through a colander, add the sugar and boil slowly until quite thick. Then add 1 tablespoon each of cloves, cinnamon, allspice, a scant tablespoon of black pepper, and one pint of vinegar. If the catsup is thinner than desired, let it boil again slowly, stirring constanly. Bottle, cover with paraffin, and seal.
When plums become plentiful at the grocery store, I just might have to make a batch of “Prune Catsup,” but I’m going to call it “Plum Ketchup” because it sounds more appetizing.