Playing Ketchup

I mentioned
“banana ketchup”
in a post a couple days ago,
and suddenly realized
as I was writing it,
that there actually
were many different types
of ketchup made at one
time or another –

– – and not
just that
familiar sweet, red
tomato stuff
we all like to put
on French Fries
and the like.

While the history of banana
ketchup is more about finding
a replacement for tomato
ketchup because of war-time
shortages, other forms of
ketchup developed much
earlier and for many other

Walnut ketchup, for instance,
was originally one of Heinz’s
’57’ varieties – and shows up
in cook books from the 1860’s.

It was once a common
ingredient in Worcestershire
sauce, as well.

It’s flavor was described
to be nutty, bitter, and
vinegary, and was used
in shellfish dishes like
lobster, prawns, and oysters,
(as well as meat, rice,
and potato dishes).

And the vinegar aspect
should surprise no one –
since the word ‘ketchup’
( and it’s original spelling
variant, ‘catsup’, ) comes
from a Malaysian term
‘kecap’ meaning ‘vinegar
table sauce’ –

— but, the original
version didn’t use tomatoes,
bananas, or walnuts–
— but fish brine.

Sailors are thought to have
introduced ketchup to the
Brits in the 16th century –
and there, it was combined
with fruits and/or vegetables ,
the fish sauce was deleted,
and over the years developed
into a variety of recipes.

Other than vinegar,
the thing these sauces
all had in common was
something the Japanese
call ‘umami’  – a fifth flavor
that is related to a food
chemical family called
glutamates – with an
earthy character that
is said to open the taste
buds up to more intense
taste-bud sensations.

And there can no doubt
that it works –

I know people that put
ketchup on almost anything.

Tell me you’re not putting
ketchup on that hot dog….

Although —
in Belgium, there is
something called a
‘frikandel’ sausage,
which is eaten with
a sauce called “Curry
Ketchup”, and it weren’t
half bad, I must say.

So, anyhoo —
in addition to
banana ketchup,
walnut ketchup,
curry ketchup,
mango ketchup,
spicy fruit ketchup,
and, of course,
tomato ketchup –
there was also
( and if you’re willing
to make it yourself,
still is, I guess ) a
sauce called
‘mushroom ketchup’,
which as one might
imagine, was just
chock full of umami.

And of course,
one might find
(at the local farmers
market, for instance)
– or – make 
all sorts of other
flavors with
fruits and veggies
that might
qualify as a ketchup……

the world’s
your oyster,
ya know.

!!! HOY !!!



No Ordinary Ordinaries

This is a big ole world —

and although I
certainly recognize
that it’s impossible
that we should all
get to know each other ,

( heaven knows exactly
what THAT would
teach a person about
human nature )

— it’s nice to find things
that we all seem to have
in common, no matter
how far you get from home.

And there are a surprising
number of things, once
you start counting.

One of my favorites is
the love of delicious food
is something you will find
in every part of the world.

Sometimes, of course,
how you define ‘delicious’
requires more of an open
mind and things may take
a little getting used to,
perhaps even an adjustment
made to accommodate
your new surroundings.

Just remember —
— if it’s the
spécialité de maison,
smile and say YUM.

It’s true, though –
ingredients can often throw
you even if you ain’t usually
scared to stray out of your
comfort zone.

Another is seasoning –
– what you and
I might think
is ‘too hot to handle’
wouldn’t impress
the average 5 year
old Thai kid —

— and what seems ‘too fishy’
to your Aunt Sally might be
right up the alley for a
resident of the
Hawaiian Islands
in their ‘Poke’.

How do you like salt
in your coffee ?

Folks in parts of Ethiopia
won’t drink coffee without it.

Textures and scents that
you’re not used to can also
throw you —

— chewy drinks like:
Bubble Tea In Taiwan
my friend Juanita’s Orxata —

or that sticky, smelly fruit
from Southeast Asia
called Durian.

Condiments can seem
very strange, too —

Banana Ketchup
is a popular
one in the Philippines —

and in Sweden,
they’ve got
some stuff in a tube they
spread on toast
that’s supposed
to taste sorta like caviar
but is actually cod roe  –
called, oddly enough –
‘ Kaviar ‘ .

And it does beat
eating dry toast, so….

As like we say around
here a lot, it’s all about

Culture is like that too.

And that’s why travel
is so important –

— it exposes and opens
one up to the possibilities
in food,
in clothing,
in life style,
in attitudes,
— in every thing.

It doesn’t mean
that you’ve
got to put yak butter
in your tea the
rest of your life,
if you don’t like it once
you’ve tried it –

— but it does
mean that you recognize
that people have
the right to like it
the way they like it.

And why would you
have it any other way?

!! HOY !!


The House of Bourbon

Image result for whiskey postcard vintageIf you know much
about history,
you might have
some stuff written
down in old notebooks
about the
“House of Bourbon”,
which was once a
ruling dynasty
in both France and Spain
at one time or another.

( Not to mention
Navarre, Parma, Sicily,
etc, etc. )

Well, you won’t need those
crusty, dusty notebooks for
this post, so I’d suggest you
throw em out and make room
for some bottles of good booze.

Cause the kinda Bourbon
I’m talking about might be
powerful, but it ain’t gonna
cause a revolution or anything.

( A rebellion, possibly,
although the original American
‘Whiskey Rebellion’ probably
involved ‘Rye’ ) .

Well, anyhoo….
my old friend Mrs. Fever
suggested the topic and since
I never go anywhere without
my favorite Bourbon, it seemed
a pretty good subject to write
about while I was on the road.

I’ve been known to pop in
on Bourbon Distilleries
while I’m in the neighborhood —
like Wild Turkey in
Lawrenceburg, Kentucky,
Maker’s Mark in Loretto,
and of course, Jack Daniel’s
in Tennessee.

( YES, of course,
Jack Daniel’s is Bourbon —
and was Motorhead Lemmy’s
favorite. )

Visiting a distillery is quite
an interesting way to spend
an afternoon — and the
perfume of the production
process will definitely make
an impression on you………

— even if you don’t drink
(perish the thought).

While the differences between
types of whiskeys are often
a little obscure–
( did you know that most
whiskeys are spelled with
an ‘E’, but Scotch
‘Whisky’ is not…. )
— the flavor should always
tell you, when it’s a quality

But, obviously, there is a
lot of cool trivia about it,
and the other
whiskey/whisky types.

Here’s one I’ll bet you
I get you on –

Is ‘Southern Comfort’
a brand of bourbon ?

Answer: No.
It’s technically a bourbon
flavored liqueur.


Can you name all the
types of whiskey?

Answer: There are a
surprising variety
of whiskeys made in the United States alone –
but about 80% fall into
one of these categories:

Bourbon (51% corn mash,
and aged in new charred
oak barrels)

Rye (51% Rye mash)

Corn Whiskey (80% corn mash)

Malt Whiskey (51% malted barley mash)
(‘Scotch’ would be in this category,
but must be made in Scotland
to qualify for the designation)

Wheat Whiskey
(51% wheat mash )


Question: Does “Sour Mash”
refer to the flavor of a whiskey?

Answer: Although some might
argue that it does add flavor
notes, “Sour Mash” refers to
a process that some distillers
— they introduce an older ‘mash’
to a new batch to jump start the
fermentation process — very much
like bakers do when they make
‘sour dough’ bread.

Jack Daniel’s is an example of that.


I read in an old notebookaprhib
that the name Bourbon
for whiskey comes from
an old French line of kings.
Is this true?

I told you to throw
those notebooks out, man.
But it is true indirectly,
because the Bourbonsc
were the inspiration
for the name of the county in
Kentucky where several large
distillers had settled, and
for which the whiskey style
is named.

I know.
Clear as mud.


Question: I have a bottle
of Bourbon I’ve had since
1970. Does it get better
if I let it sit around?

Answer: Bourbon no longer matures once
it is bottled, (out of
the barrel) so the
answer is that it only gets
better if you drink it.

Grab me a glass.
I’ll help you.

!!! HOY !!!

Today’s Serial On Cereals

A New Year comin’?


There are issues,
let’s face it.

For one,
damned if I know
how long it’s gonna
take for me to start
writing ‘2018’
instead of ‘2017’..

.. last year it took
until April.

And the gym thing–
newbies crowding all
the equipment,
dropping weights,
and generally making
a nuisance of themselves
all because of some
nebulous new years
resolution to lose
7/8 of their body fat
and get muskularized –

— that they’ll keep
just long enough to get
a shiny new membership
tag for their key-chain.

(or their neck chain. )

And every new year puts
more distance between
the time when ‘recording
artists’ actually TRIED to
sing a song,

—- instead of using
a computer auto-tuner to
modulate it for them.

I remember somebody
in the early days telling
me that technology would
make things better .

What a crock-o-shit
THAT was.

so I’ll stop bitchin.


The phrase
always drink your Ovaltine
was, for some reason,
ear-worming in my
sub-conscious mind
all weekend long —

I hate that stuff, 
but I do , on occasion,
eat breakfast —

I went looking in my
kitchen pantry for
some breakfast cereal
this morning, and
after plenty of digging,
finally found a box of
Lucky Charms.

I remember those from
when I was a kid, so I
poured a bowlful out..

… and got nothing but a
couple of pieces of cereal
and a whole mess of
marshmallow ‘surprises’.

One of my kids had
apparently decided that
there weren’t enough of
those sugar bombs in the
box already, and had
added some –

(and by some,
I mean a shit-load) —

Yep, you can indeed buy
just the colored marshmallow
shapes separately…

and then add as many
as you want back to the box.

I dunno….

Just throw out the cereal
altogther and eat them
marshmallows instead.


Magically delicious.

No wonder parents today
can’t keep their kids from
climbing the walls at the
local Walmart.

it got me to
thinking back
about some of
the breakfast
cereal brands that
have come and gone
in the last 50 years or so.

Talk about flash
in the pans,
most of them
didn’t survive
more than a year or two.

Though I purposely avoided the
more obvious ones like those
based on Star Wars,
The Simpsons,
or the Flintstones

— still, I think you’ll find this
assortment a pretty vacuous one

And they’re
all gone, now…

— except that
Uncle Sam stuff
that we led off with —

And that one
wasn’t really
a cereal geared
toward kids,
if you know
what I mean.

Prunes, anyone?

!!! HOY !!!








Liver Soup

It’s a natural, man.

Feasting around the
holidays, I mean.

It’s the one time
of the year when I
have access to all
my favorite foods
without any
whatsoever —

— for caloric content,
nutritional information,
difficulty of preparation,
etc, etc, etc.

If I love it-
somebody in my family
is going to be making it,
or buying it,
or bringing it–

— and all I have to do
is be there to consume it.

if that ain’t a holiday,
I don’t know what is.

Perogies and kielbasa-
— hot from the pot ?

Yes, please.

Did you say
another Guinness ?

Well, sure –
why not ?

Irish scone?
Love one.

any of those
pretzels left ?

Oh, I already
ate all of them.

No worries –
my sister will be
arriving with
any time now.

My son is coming
in the door with a case
of Blenheim ginger ale —

– that’ll be history
by tomorrow.

Yes, of course,
the red cap , man.

There’s nobody scared
of a little ginger
around here.

several friends of mine
(thanks, Katie, Jen, Syn)
were nice enough to
send me pictures that
relate to food in some way-

– and I can’t think
of a more
perfect day to post em.


Liver Soup ??


Christmas is getting closer
and closer, and the cookies
are piling up already ……….

So I’d better get going and
do my part to make
some space for more.

!!! HOY !!!

Garde Your Manger

fareObscure title, huh?

Not if you work
in the restaurant biz,
it ain’t.

I was having
(or trying to have)
dinner at my local
greasy spoon —

— and it was taking
long enough for Caesar
to have grown his salad
from seed –

– so I inquired about it-
(very nicely, I might add-
— always be kind if you a2
expect to be able to eat
what you order, and
without any ‘special sauce‘).

The manager went back to
find out what was up-
and I heard the cook
yell at her that the wait
couldn’t be helped,
cause he was agnmae
quote: “In The Weeds“.

(We were obviously seated in
the preferred seating section,
(AKA: “Bob Uecker’s table”
— right next to the kitchen ).

She shouted back at him
that she needed that
‘Blue Plate‘ ‘on the fly‘ ,
and to ‘86 the B.S.’ ! ”

Uh huh.
So, what about
MY meal,
I wondered….
— cause I didn’t order
anything blue, or with
flying insects on it.

Further, I didn’t know
diners had combination
plates like the Dragon Palace,
cause I always order
the number 23 there.

Of course, I’m saying this
with some tongue planted
firmly into cheek —

(and that’s a pretty good
arrangement in the right await
kinda company…. )

— since my daughter works
in a restaurant – but, it is
genuinely funny how
different the language
can get in the heat of
the professional kitchen.

Assuming your local
diner qualifies –
which in my case,
I’m not all that sure of.


And, yes, bute
thanks for asking,
I did finally get my
Chicken Caesar salad–

— although just what the
hell I was thinking in
ordering anything fancier
than a scrambled egg
on toast (otherwise known
as ‘wrecked chicks on a raft‘)
or a baked potato
with sour cream
(‘a blonde hot Murphy‘ )
in that dump is beyond me.

Anyhoo– let’s talk about
a couple of the morea1
interesting idioms..

Eggs seem to have several
special terminologies
dedicated to them
depending on the region
and who/what’s cooking:

‘Cackle berries’

‘Hen Fruit’

And you can get them
in a large variety of styles –

‘Wreck Em’
(scrambled )atip

( really scrambled)

‘Shell Angels’
(hard boiled)

‘A Hub Cap’
(sunny side up)

(breaded, stuffed,
and then deep fried)

‘Puddle in a Golf Ball’
(soft boiled)

‘Dead Eye’
(1 poached )

‘Adam and Eve’
(2 poached)

‘Flop Two’
(fried over easy)

( add hamburger) —

‘ Doing The Eggman ‘
( umm– you’ll have to look
that one up for yourself
——  hint: Eric Burdon.
Sorry, I’m got side-tracked)


Hot dogs, too,
as you might expect,
have more than
their fair share —

‘Coney Island Chicken’
‘Bun Pup’
‘Tube Steak’
‘Ripper’ (a deep fried hot dog)

And once you start
adding condiments,
well, better bring a
local cook or
at least a lexicon —

Breathe On It ” –
add onion.

Pitch In The Hay ” –
add sauerkraut.

With Frog Sticks “-
add French Fries.

Give It A Hemorrhage ” –
add ketchup.

Paint It Yellow ” –
add mustard.

On The Hoof ” –
cooked rare.

Pittsburgh Style” –

Waxed ” –
add American cheese.
Pull Me A Shot
From Hotlanta
” –
add a Coke.

Save The Slush ” –
Ugh, no ice in that Coke.

And, as you can quite
plainly tell, there’s way
too many of these1905
things to list em all….
which, of course,
means you’ll be seeing
a sequel about the
subject soon enough
right here on this
channel, so stay tuned.

In the meantime,
keep yourself
Sunny Side Up ” !


!!!! HOY !!!!!




Postum Partum

I love coffee.

I drink about a
gallon a day,
and cannot
conceive of a time
or a place
sane people
feel the same
about it that I do.

there are

you know, —
the ‘unleaded’ ones..

— who drink
de-caffeinated coffee
like it’s the
most natural
thing in the world,
when actually they’re
disturbing the fine-line
balance of the universe
even suggesting such
an irresponsible and
inconceivable concept.


(Ok, so I’m being a bit
snarky, I know,
but I haven’t had
my morning cuppa yet. )

Bitterness ?

Well, I mean,
I like the flavor
of coffee ok- I guess –

– there are certainly
things (and people)
that I’d rather taste-

but without that
wonderful ‘hit’ or ‘jolt’
I got from coffee,
I just don’t know
why I would even
bother going to the
trouble of making it.

I literally don’t do
anything before
some coffee gets
down my gullet .

(damn it, what’s taking
so long for that Java ? )

I’m not even sure
that my eyes would
open wide enough
to go anywhere or do
anything without it.

(oh, there it is. 
ahhhhhhhhhh… )


so what?

A guy’s just
gotta have
after all….

Talk about
making sacrifices.

I already had to
give up scratching
myself in public,
didn’t I ?

So, anyway —
once upon a time,
there was this evil
ad campaign to
make people think
that coffee
was somehow
bad for ya —

— it would interfere
with your sleep
(which of course,
is the point of Java)

— and that it would
‘stunt your growth’.

The product ?

A roasted cereal
product called “Postum”.

And their ads, which often
featured a character named
“Mister Coffee Nerves”,
were designed to create
doubt and fear in the
minds of coffee drinkers
of it’s safety —

— ultimately for
the benefit and profit
of the makers of
of course.

As you can see
from the featured
print ads on today’s
post, all kinds of
insinuations about the
comparative healthiness
of caffeinated versus
decaffeinated beverages
were made —

— and the ads are a case
in point for how
‘down and dirty’ sponsors
are willing to get in order
to sell their products.

As far as flavor
was concerned,
it required a certain
adjustment when
used as a coffee

— but since the primary
selling point was
that it was a hot drink
that contained no caffeine,
(and was a ‘healthy
nerve food’)
many people really
did make the switch
in the 1930’s,
and even more in the
times of coffee rationing
during World War II.

The 1950’s and 1960’s
were a struggle for Postum,
and the last spike in sales
occurred in the 1970’s,
during a sudden increase
of coffee prices.

After that, Postum
became all but
forgotten, and
today, it’s been
by the original
to a small company
relegated to specialty


Long may coffee shine !!!

!!! HOY !!!!