I made ketchup this weekend.
And I wondered, as I simmered the tomatoes into a sticky, red paste, is making your own ketchup the point at which you pass out of semi-reasonable, food preservation hobby-est to full fledged whack job?
It reminded me of how when I was eight my best friend Emylena and I would choke down mouse-sized bites of her mother’s appalling curried kasha and then flee to her bedroom to make paperdolls and nibble multi-colored Necco Wafers, which seemed to undo some of the damage of her mom’s unpalatable meals.
And so I can see how my kidlets look at a box of Annie’s mac’n’cheese like I might look at an airplane ticket to the Hawaiian islands. When I serve the kids my homemade “cheesy noodles,” Rose sighs and asks “is there lettuce and chard and broccoli in here?” (Except she says “chard” like “chawd” and “here” like “hee-yah,” which makes the exchange somewhat cuter). And the answer is always “yes, there are vegetables, eat what you want and leave the rest behind,” which is ignored and results in a small, sticky pile of broccoli teetering on the table beside Rose’s pleasingly homogenous bowl of noodles.
But, I do believe that with exposure, time and maturing taste buds, these kids will grow to love vegetables even earlier than my dad, who was still convinced at 23 that canned peas and corn constituted the full complement of the vegetable food group. (And for the record, Col is a very respectable veggie eater, and these days so is my dad).
But what I’m trying to say is it’s September for goodness sakes, and if you’re ever going to make your own ketchup or pickles or peach salsa, now is the time. Go here to read the latest installment of San Juan Table and learn why spinning the September harvest into December gold sometimes has the funny side effect of Rose developing dreadlocks.
And, go here to enter my Blog-o-versary Giveaway, it’s better than curried kasha!