20 February 2008

Tomato Paste

A few years ago, when M and I were setting up our home together, our parents came out to help us move into our first apartment. It was a great time of scraping stickers off new dishes, washing linens and arranging (and re-arranging) furniture. I remember it well.

At one point during the week my Mom and I went to the grocery at the bottom of the hill to stock up the pantry. You know... flour, sugar, cans of soup, pasta, rice, etc. I remember her grabbing a couple small cans of tomato paste. I recall asking her..." "What do you use that for?" "Oh, lots of things!" she said as she tossed it in the cart. She may have listed off a few common uses for it, but if she did... I don't remember any of them.

For at least a year after that, I replayed that exchange in my mind every time I saw those small cans stacked in the back of the pantry between the ramen noodles and the couscous. I think I gave them away when we were packing up the house... never did figure out what I was supposed to use them for.

Well, I have been around the block (you know... 'block' in the larger celestial body sense of the world, um, I mean word) a couple times since then and now I know my stuff. I could tell you what it's used in and I can even give you a bit of 'tomato paste trivia:' Did you know that it's health benefits surpass those of fresh tomatoes? Who would have thought? Anyway, tomato paste is now a staple in my pantry. You might call it the 'Renaissance can" of the canned tomato product family. HA!

Thanks Mom.

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