Strawberry Lavender Jam

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It’s time to Ketchup With Friends

I’ve dealt with anxiety and panic in my daily life for many years and it’s often hard to motivate myself to figure out new strategies to manage it. Asking for support and taking care of myself can be a big challenge, especially when things are really rough. The idea for this blog was initiated in a particularly hard time as a tool to find new ways to deal with anxiety and panic, to feed myself better, and to reach out.

I love condiments. Seriously though, my friends made me a ketchup and mustard pie for my 18th birthday as a joke, and I actually ate and enjoyed it. I also absolutely adore cooking. I find that it helps me feel grounded. The times in my life when I’ve found myself without a kitchen in which I felt comfortable have without a doubt been the times I’ve felt least able to manage my mental health. I’m a pretty shy guy, and I have a hard time connecting with people, especially anyone beyond my small group of close folks. This becomes even more evident when I’m going through a tough time, and I need tangible daily support from people, sometimes even from folks I know less well. Spending time with friends in the kitchen, cooking, eating, and getting to know each other seems to cut the social anxiety for me.

So, invite me over to teach me your mum’s favourite salsa recipe; come hang out with me while I try my hand at making jam and canning; make ketchup with friends, take pictures (or make descriptive drawings), write down the recipe and send it my way; or just email me your favourite recipes so that I can share them on this blog. This blog isn’t necessarily only about sharing our perfected recipes. Hell, it’s kinda strange I’m putting together a recipe blog when I almost never follow recipes myself! And while I love condiments, I’m no expert. It’s more about sharing time and food with friends, connecting with people, trying new things, getting over social anxiety, breaking out of self-imposed (winter) isolation, taking advantage of the harvest and learning from people.

Please comment on posted recipes if you’ve tried them and have thoughts or suggestions, stories, songs of praise, etc. Feel free to send anything from, spreads, dips, toppings, sauces, marinades, or dressings!

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Roasted Poblano & Pineapple Salsa

I hosted a BYOBBQ a couple of weeks ago, and I thought I’d whip up a couple of condiments to go with people’s meals. I was thinking about making it a weekly affair, each time centered around a different homemade condiment. I’m not sure whether I’ll continue with it, but for now, check out this really delicious salsa!

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Spiced Onion Marmalade

This weekend I made spiced onion marmalade with Oliver Pickle!! Oliver sometimes edits my writing. They also meet me at the market almost every week and tolerate my aimless wondering through the stalls. They would definitely not approve of my excessive use of exclamation marks. Anyhow, this Saturday we met up at the JT market, and decided to cook up some onion marmalade. What follows is the recipe!!

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Kale, sundried tomato, and basil pesto (lactose-free)

This recipe will give you so much pesto, you won’t know what to do with it. I had enough to make probably 5 meals, and I gave some away. I’m really horrible at knowing how to make things in moderation. Feel free to halve this recipe. Cashews can be kinda pricey, but the cost is offset by using kale instead of only basil. I actually made this recipe on my own, but I brought it to feed friends who I knew would be hungry at an event I was going to attend later that day. I have many of the ingredients for this recipe growing on my balcony garden!

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