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KETCHUP OR CATSUP? 

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KETCHUP OR CATSUP? 

I knew when I woke up with a neckache and a headache two days ago there was more to come. Taking ibuprofen regularly throughout the day didn’t even touch it. 

Then yesterday morning, at three am, I  woke from a fitful sleep with a sore throat and my head feeling the size of a basketball. From there it all went downhill. 

head the size of a basketball

head the size of a basketball


I had to get up, to function normally, and pretend I was fine or nothing I had scheduled for the day would get done. By four in the afternoon after numerous rounds of medicine – a little of this and a little of that – I was ready to throw in the towel. 

Andrew was out for the evening so I forced myself to go with H to get something to eat because I could remember eating only some yogurt earlier in the day. His cure  for all illnesses is to get up and get moving. I just wanted to be left alone so I could wallow in self-pity and fall into a coma. 

By eight pm the day was so foggy I couldn’t remember what medicine I had taken last or if I had even taken any, so I popped a Benadryl and two more ibuprofen and took to my sick bed, leaving H to the blaring of the tv. I know it was blaring because I could hear it at the other end of the hallway in the bedroom. 

At one point I faintly remember Andrew standing over me asking where we kept the ketchup. “Ketchup? Why do you want ketchup? In the fridge if we have any, but I don’t think we do. You don’t eat ketchup and we never use it.”  

“Ana wants some for her fried shrimp and fries.”

So apparently we have fried shrimp and fries and a house guest for the night I thought as I drifted back to sleep. I don’t even remember H coming to bed later. 

This morning there were plates in the sink with leftover lasagna stuck to them and a to-go box of shrimp and fries in the fridge that couldn’t be eaten without ketchup. There was also a week old tomatoe in there that had seen better days. If Andrew had been inventive he could have puréed it, added spices, and voilà -homemade ketchup! (No, I don’t do that.) Every American household should have ketchup in the kitchen as a staple. I don’t. Not even those little packets you can filch from the fast food restaurants. 

homemade ketchup

homemade ketchup


I think I threw that ketchup out last summer when one of my girls visiting pointed out that the expiration date was two years ago! 

~Elle


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About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

2 responses »

  1. I never cease to be amazed at the helplessness of the male animal. I mean, needed to wake you up in your sick bed to inquire about ketchup/catsup? Surely the to-go place should have provided little packets!!

    Liked by 1 person

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