EST. May 2000 (AD)


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Condiments: What Do They Say About You?

We all know how condiments add color and flavor to the meals you serve. But are you a relish gal or a ketchup woman straight down the line? Recently we put out the call for our readers to send us their condiment preferences, and any fun stories they thought would amuse -- and you didn't disappoint! As always, we wish we could print every one of your letters and e-mails, but we settled on those we thought would not only entertain, but inform. Read on!

Mrs. Lonnie Bakk, Thunder Bay, Ontario

My favorite condiment of all time is Gulden's dark mustard. Everyone since has tried to follow in their footsteps with Dijon this and Whole Grain that. Do you know what "whole grain" means? It means it's the whole mustard seed sitting in there, millions of them in the jar. I'm writing to warn you against whole grain mustard, because they don't just get stuck in your teeth. I had a picnic guest last summer who almost choked on one. Luckily my husband knew the Heimlich maneuver and dislodged it. Although she hasn't been back since, so I think I can safely say that whole grain mustard destroyed a friendship. Just stick with Gulden's.

Angie Ferguson, Orlando, Florida [edited for space considerations, HW]

What's even more important than the condiments you serve is the Lazy Susan you serve them on. I'm proud to say that I have a Lazy Susan for every condiment situation. If it's just me and the hubby, I put out what I call the Small Susie, which is big enough for ketchup, mustard, and mayo. Then there's the Large Lazy for guests . . . and don't forget to have backups in case of theft. You'd be surprised how many go missing after a big shindig . . . And of course it's also critical how you spin a Lazy Susan. I thought everyone knew you should spin it clockwise, yet my mother in law insists on stopping it dead in its tracks and then turning it counter clockwise, which just confuses the children . . . In closing, I would like to leave your readers with this sage advice, written by myself: "If you don't have at least five Lazy Susans, you're spending way too much time passing stuff around the table to everyone, which burns calories, true, but is no fun."

Sally Riegenstahl, West Hartford, Connecticut

I love every kind of relish! Spicy relish, hotdog relish, hamburger relish, watermelon relish, you name it! I've even created my own relish recipe called Sally's Hot and Saucy Relish! Here's the recipe, and I didn't leave anything out (ha ha!)!!

5 jars hamburger relish

5 serranos

2 tblsp. Heinz ketchup (it has to be Heinz! don't skimp or I'll come and spank you, ha ha!!)

the juice of one ENTIRE lemon

1 pint Tequila (whatever is your fave! mine's Guervo Gold, yum!!)

Add more relish as needed to bring back to relish consistency. That word after "relish" is so-o-o-o hard to spell!! That was my fif try, thk god for word procerss!

Now throwon hamgur an njoy!!!! Hahahahaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!

Melanie Trinker, Kansas State Prison, Kansas

Pickled fruit rinds used to be my husband's favorite type of condiment, but then he got accidentally killed. Here's the God's honest truth of what happened.

One day I was cleaning the kitchen when my husband came home for lunch without calling first to let me know. He used to do that and it drove me crazy. Like I don't have enough to do all day, now I have to stop everything and make his friggin' lunch, too, pardon my French.

So he's like, "Where are the cantaloupe rinds, I can't have this stupid p & j sandwich without my rinds." Let me point out that he started yelling right off the bat. So I say, with the jar in my hand, "Here they are, stupid, right in my hand. Now go sit down and I'll get a knife for 'em."

So he says, "Forget about the knife, just give me the damn rinds," and I say, "Forget about it, I'll get you a knife, I don't need to see you pullin' rinds right out of the jar with dirty fingers." Otherwise I have to throw out the whole friggin' jar, don't I.

So finally he sits down and says, "Gimme the damn knife already, I'm hungry." And I tell him to stop swearin' at me and I say, "Here's your stupid knife," and I throw the knife in his general direction but unfortunately it lands in his chest and kills him on the spot.

I have a book coming out called "Cantaloupe Rinds Killed My Husband," but you're the first to hear the story. I hope you'll buy the book anyways, cause it'll go towards my legal defense fund. Thank you in advance.

© 2007 Kate Heidel


Kate Heidel is a freelance writer living in Minneapolis. Her work includes humor essays and poetry, genres so incompatible that Kate's resulting inner turmoil can only be soothed by frequent shopping trips to Designer Shoe Warehouse.