Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Month of Gratitude - Day 14 (Ketchup)

 Ah, that bright red stuff that flows through my boys' veins.

No, not blood.


The three most common answers to "What's for dinner?" are:

1.  "Stuff you'll put ketchup on."

2.  "Does it matter?  You're going to drown it in ketchup anyway."

3. "We're having <food>.  Don't worry, you can put ketchup on it."

I like ketchup on scrambled eggs, scrapple, and cheesesteaks.  That's about it.  I used to tease Neal about how he liked "a few fries with his ketchup," or "a side of meatloaf with his ketchup."  Then Matthew came along and put it on everything.  There was nothing that couldn't be made better without ketchup.

Then came Jude.  When he was little, he needed to take a pancreatic medication that had to be swallowed as a capsule (not happening with a 1 year old) or sprinkled onto an acidic food; usually we would put it on applesauce.  Then one time we caught him with a spoon, eating ketchup from a little condiment cup like soup.  He wins! From then on, we gave him his meds on a spoonful of ketchup. Perfect for on the go - every restaurant and convenience store has ketchup packets.

Doesn't everyone carry an emergency bottle ketchup in the car?  Often we will stop at a grocery store and get bread and ham to have a picnic lunch.  Rather than having to buy a bottle of ketchup every time, I just keep one in my car.  It also works well for the drive-thru burgers where they remember "no cheese" but forget "ketchup on both buns," which is why it lives up front and not in the picnic bag in the trunk. (A bottle is easier to pass back and squirt than trying to rip open all the packets without decorating the car.)

One of Jude's favorite breakfasts is ketchup toast.  It was the first "meal" he ever "cooked" on his own.   Last winter, he helped me write a tutorial on how to make it.

If it wasn't for this condiment, there would be a lot of skipped meals here.  I'm very grateful for ketchup.

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