Did you ever think about how all the colors got their names? Some cave person (to be politically correct) held up a green apple and said, "Red."
Since "red" indicated harvest time all the tribal members ate the green apples thinking that this was a good thing. Not so!
By morning the restrooms were jammed to the hinges and sometime around 3 a.m. they ran out of toilet paper. What a mess! It was not a pretty picture. The only survivors were those standing upwind.
When I was a kid, Saturday night was "Italian Night," at our house. Now Italian Night could consist of any of a wide variety of vegetables served with No. 9 thin spaghetti and ketchup as the sauce. That's it, no meatballs or sausage or anything else _ just plain old ketchup straight from the bottle. Yum, yum good! In today's parlance I was a culturally deprived child.
When my children were old enough to appreciate the finer things in life we would have "Italian Night" and pass the tradition, along with the bottle of ketchup, around the table. Ketchup was put on spaghetti, ergo ketchup was spaghetti "sauce."
Turn the clock forward a number of years to when my joyous new wife, Diane, announced that on the weekend we would celebrate "Italian" night.
Commencing on Wednesday, Diane started gathering ingredients. Sweet Italian sausage, hamburger, cans of tomato sauce, tomato concentrate, crushed tomatoes, celery, onions, spices, and seasonings were stacked either on the floor or in the refrigerator.
The kids looked on in awe because all they had ever seen was a bottle of ketchup. Before Diane, life was so easy; unscrew the cap and thump the bottle on the bottom.
For three days the aroma in our house was indescribably delicious. Caramelized onions, baked sausage, baked hand-formed meatballs, and the sauce became acquainted in a huge 22-quart cooking pot that was kept on the stove with a very "low heat," setting which ensured a constantly bubbling sauce. It was to die for! The only thing that required attention was to ensure that the sauce would not catch on the bottom of the pot.
Saturday arrived and the kids were sitting at the table. Diane brought out the homemade spaghetti sauce and with just the hint of a drum roll and a fanfare of trumpets sat the sauce, the meatballs and sausage with the angel-hair spaghetti in front of the family.
We said "grace" and then my children looked frantically around and in chorus stated, "Where's the ketchup bottle?"
I grabbed the spaghetti bowl put some on my plate and proceeded to add the meat filled sauce onto the spaghetti with as much fanfare as I could muster.
The kids took my hint and did the same.
I wish I could say that the meal ended with cheers to the cook but ketchup verses homemade spaghetti sauce must be like scotch, an acquired taste.
I must confess that I wouldn't eat several of the Italian dishes that my wife cooks without the homemade sauce. In fact her sauce has become the standard that all other sauces are measured against and most of the time you will hear, "almost as good as your sauce, Mom."
For years now, everything has been going along smoothly without snags. This winter, while my mother-in-law was visiting us, Diane purchased some very unique ear-shaped pasta and some spaghetti sauce which contained vodka as a base. (The concept of mixing spaghetti sauce in vodka seems like a "natural".)
I am not flexible to change but if I had been an explorer we would still be in Europe.
Diane cooked up the pasta "ears" and the vodka sauce and placed it on the table. I said in a sincere voice "Where's the ketchup bottle?" There was dead silence. Then Pat, my wonderful mother-in-law and champion spaghetti sauce maker said in a voice dripping with incredulity "Ketchup? You want ketchup?"
Faster than you can say "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," I responded with "ketchup is an important food source and once-upon-a-time was touted to be nutritional by a U.S. President." Her response was, "I bet you believe in the tooth fairy also?" (Tooth fairy no, Santa Claus, yes.")
Since that episode I have been trying to get back into the good graces of "Grandma Pat."
I have been running exhaustive tests on the curative phenomena of ketchup. Deep research indicates that ketchup is much like aspirin. The whole effect has not been found yet but here is what I found out to date:
BAD KNEES: Rub ketchup into the knee that hurts the most. Don't be shy rub them in real good until you start to have a ketchup sensation in the back of your throat _ this will tell you that you are full of it just like me.
If your ketchup starts to wear off you can either add more and go back to sleep or the option is go outside and let all the dogs and cats get a whiff of you.
They will smell the ketchup and think that you are a McDonald's burger or a Wendy's hot and juicy and will chase you as long as your knees hold out. You are guaranteed to lose six pounds of fat this way.
DANDRUFF CONTROL: Use ketchup as a hair shampoo and when you have it all over your head go to a neighbor's house and knock on the door. When they answer tell them you have a "splitting" headache. You will not be able to stop laughing.
I tried it out and my neighbor lost total control of her bladder and every other thing "South of the Border." Unfortunately we were standing in my foyer.
KETCHUP PAINT: Use ketchup instead of paint. Smear it on liberally. This way in case a tornado rips your house apart you can take the splinters of wood-ketchup and by boiling them make delicious tomato bisque. Afterwards you can dry the splinters for the next fire.
Don't forget that ketchup has NO CALORIES. (If you rip off the label).
Remember ketchup has nutritional value _ because a politician and I told you so. If you can trust politicians you can trust me.
Henry Geerken is a three-time NYSUT award-winner writing humorous articles addressing retiree and senior citizen concerns. Geerken also writes for Sail-World, World Cruising Newsletter, regarding his many humorous sailing episodes through the years. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. 'Senior Scene' columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/seniorscene.
Did you ever think about how all the colors got their names? Some cave person (to be politically correct) held up a green apple and said, "Red."
Back to nature
"The peace of the hills is about me and upon me; the leisure of the summer clouds, whose shadows I see slowly drifting across the face of the landscape, is mine. The dissonance and the turbulence and the stench of cities -- how far off they seem! The noise and dust, and the acrimony of politics -- how completely the hum of the honey-bee, and the twitter of the swallows blot them out!"Continued ...
- If you go
Raise a glass
The popularity of small-batch adult beverages is intensifying in upstate New York.Continued ...
Thick hot air and clammy clothes entice brisk visions of jumping into a pool of refreshing water. Plunging into the soft cool environment of good old-fashioned H2O can rejuvenate the soggy mind.Continued ...
Racing Under Saddle
Those looking for the thrill of watching live horse racing will not have to travel outside the region this summer.Continued ...
- Back to nature
- Around The Arts
Glimmerglass director offers employment tips for arts grads
So, in a few short weeks you're graduating with an arts degree. Now what?! In the safety of college, one can ignore the realities of the outside world, where housing and meal allowances aren't rolled into a tuition payment and jobs aren't available simply because you're a student.Continued ...
Volunteers are the SWAT of the arts world
When you work at an arts organization, particularly a nonprofit, employees often wear many hats -- accomplishing the duties that appear in the traditional job description, and then some. It happens everywhere. It's a running joke among people who work at nonprofits. There is too much to do, and not enough people to do it. That's when you call in the back up -- SWAT if you will.Continued ...
Let creativity flow with unstructured art projects
As I sit here writing this, the holiday glow is still going strong (my column deadline is two weeks before the publication date), and I've been spending a great deal of time not only with my daughter, but her stuff. We're incredibly lucky to have a loving network of family and friends that spoil her, so I've been merging her new goodies with her old.Continued ...
Opportunities abound for career in the arts
I was recently asked to speak at a local high school about my career path and how I came to work in the arts. It was interesting speaking with these seniors, and discussing their hopes for life after high school.Continued ...
The art of the appraisal explained by one who knows
So often in this column my co-writer, Brittany, and I talk about how art is everywhere and can be appreciated by all. Perhaps because of my passion for everyday art, there is one part of the art world I just cannot grasp -- art appraisal. How can you put a value on something so seemingly subjective? So, I set out to learn more about this industry.Continued ...
- Glimmerglass director offers employment tips for arts grads
- Music Beat
Oneonta student looks to take music industry training in different direction
At a recent concert reception in New York City, I was surprised to meet people who had imminent plans to move to the Otsego-Delaware county area. They explained that our area is so rich in musical and graphic arts that they knew they would enjoy living here.Continued ...
- Music Industry Tips
Complete education involves classroom, real-world learning
There is new, long overdue attention being paid in our institutions of higher education to the use of directed practical experience as an essential partner to the classroom lecture.Continued ...
- Music Industry tips
Copyright royalties can make you smile
A few years ago, I wrote an article on the skill and dedication necessary to become a songwriter.Continued ...
- Oneonta student looks to take music industry training in different direction
- Parenting Imperfect
Oh, just to be able to savor an English muffin
All I wanted to do was eat my English muffin. The family had other plans.Continued ...
A reminder of the small-child years
It's amazing how quickly you forget what earlier stages of parenting are like. This is probably a blessing -- and one that only evolved after countless generations of parents only had one child because they could remember each stage too clearly.Continued ...
Well, at least she's listening to what I say
The older the kids get, the happier I am that we have a dog. She, at least, seems to be excited to see me when I get home.Continued ...
I want to visit the world of 'The Pioneer Woman'
It is a double-edged sword, this whole having kids old enough to leave home alone for short periods of time thing.Continued ...
It is in February when the breaking point is reached
If I could edit the calendar, the two months I'd do away with are August and February.Continued ...
- Oh, just to be able to savor an English muffin
- Senior scene
As Time Goes By: I'm trying to be the rockin' up-to-date 'cool dude' grandpa
Time flies at my house. If I sit down to write an article, I can't help but see that I have an inbox of unread letters in my email. My brain records this as saying in block letters "YOU GOT MAIL."Continued ...
From the Office: Seniors need to work to keep their brains healthy, too
As we age, both our bodies and our brains face changes. How these changes affect us are determined by genes, environment and lifestyle.Continued ...
Looking Back: We should all cherish our time with our families
Time marches on, and it seems like a different lifetime since we brought up our own children.Continued ...
As Time Goes By: I'm hearing voices -- and not only mine own
There are two problems that seem to be inherit to growing older, which when viewed in the context of a sentence appear to be opposites but are in truth part of the same problem â€"you either are getting deaf or you start talking to things that surround you.Continued ...
- From the Office: What you need to know about Affordable Care Act, Medicaid redesign
- As Time Goes By: I'm trying to be the rockin' up-to-date 'cool dude' grandpa
- Tech, GP
Thankful hard-disk shortage is about over, and counting my blessings
Well, I'm almost ready to let out a cheer.Continued ...
Businesses need backups for their computer people, systems
In the interest of full disclosure, I want to let you know that I have taken a new position, professionally. I recently joined Eastman Associates, a local general contractor, to do its IT work, as well as taking care of some other functions of the business.Continued ...
Windows 8 seems to be made for the good of Microsoft, not the user
By Bruce Endries The software company everybody loves to hate, Microsoft, recently released what it calls a "consumer preview" of their next operating system, Windows 8.Continued ...
The Granite State got it right on software purchases
Believe it or not, I have found a bright spot in the political landscape, amid all the vitriolic partisan fighting.Continued ...
Visit a construction site and you'll probably find an iPad
It was just about two years ago now, that the iPad came out, and I wrote a column about it. At that time, I went out on a limb and said that thought it was a product which would fill certain niches very well, but that it wasn't very likely to fill in for what is normally considered a computer.Continued ...
- Thankful hard-disk shortage is about over, and counting my blessings
- Teen Talk
Teenhood Today: I long for furniture, hills, rice
Why hello there, upstate New York! I must say, it's a little weird going to a restaurant, to the store, or to the local meetings for individuals loving the color lime green without being asked if I'm the girl from the newspaper.Continued ...
A Word of Advice: What's new isn't always what's better
We're often told in life that we should try to experience everything we can, broaden our horizons, and even I have written columns about stepping away from the familiar in hopes of growing.Continued ...
On the Go: Mile markers of life can be painful, but enjoy them
Our insignificance is crippling.Continued ...
Weekend Reviews: 'Cherry' perfectly captures my feelings
School has finally dwindled to a close, and I can feel myself settling into a state of unperturbed relaxation, everything once again becoming slow and lethargic, the days going by with an air of hazy wistfulness.Continued ...
Teenhood Today: Don't expect expectations to always be fulfilled
In case some of you haven't noticed, I'm not a huge animal person. Sorry to all of you animal-lovers, but you most likely won't ever see me at any secret meetings you may hold.Continued ...
- Teenhood Today: I long for furniture, hills, rice