Shopping with a different kind of friend


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None of it was my fault. It usually isn’t. After all these years the beloved husband doesn’t understand the impact of words. Over the weekend he commented that I haven’t bought shoes in a long time. That comment swirled around … Continue reading

A Vinegar Tap-room

Condiments! I am all about them. At any given time there are six mustards in my refrigerator and none of them are the mellow yellow kind. There is hot and spicy; sweet and hot (my fav); sweet and spicy (that’s different from the previous one); horseradish mustard; coarse ground; and of course, Dijon.  There is also ketchup, dill ranch (for the beloved husband whose taste buds are too delicate for anything with a kick), pickle relish and a bunch of others. I wouldn’t even consider eating a sandwich without them – sometimes one condiment, sometimes multiples.  I have been known to forget the meat!

Last year a new kind of tap-room opened locally and my attachment to condiments reached a new level. We have a vinegar and oil tap-room. ( – Visit for the recipes!) When you visit, they have these barrels of infused balsamic vinegar and olive oils and you can move from one to the next and taste before you buy. One my first visit, I walked out with six bottles of vinegar – one of them was dark chocolate balsamic vinegar.  Now before you wrinkle your nose, it doesn’t taste like Hershey’s chocolate.  It is not a blatant strong chocolate flavor (not that I have anything against that).  It is just a very pleasant deep-flavored balsamic.  Maybe mole sauce would be a good comparison. Not sweet but nice.

There are two people in my house.  The beloved husband with the tender taste buds is not a vinegar fan. I had no idea what I would do with all this tasty vinegar. Then I started to put it on everything. Did you know you can put a little puddle on mashed potatoes? Yum! Works well with most vegetables. Marinades meat and oh, yes, salads too.

There is always a bottle on the dinner table.  You never know what I will put it on next — delicious on bread, to marinate fruit, the list is endless. Beloved husband just rolls his eyes.

He also thinks I should go to meetings.  “Hi, my name is Kate and I am a vinegarholic. I can’t keep my hands off the bottle.”

I love them all. My favorite changes from time to time although I LOVE the dark cherry. I also have blueberry, strawberry, lemon (really yummy with meats and salads), lavender (I didn’t think I would like that but what can I say, I am weak), 18-year-old balsamic (this is probably the sweetest one), grapefruit and premium white. I have some friends who encourage and buy as much or maybe more, so I am not alone. There is a whole cult of vinegar people out there who sneak it in all kinds of foods!

There was a time when “tap room” had a whole different meaning. Oh what a difference 30 years makes. I wonder which flavor would work best on a hot dog?