So You Want To Be A Waiter

The best book on waiting tables that you have never read – yet

Tag Archives: ketchup

Milestones, stats and other ephemera

Well kids, I just hit an arbitrary milestone – over 80,000 hits since the blog’s inception. I was going to use 75,000 but I thought, “Nah, let’s hit a nice round number with 4 zeros”. I’m on track to hit 100,000 in the first year, which is respectable, considering the fact that I don’t write things too controversial or demand a lot of commenting  back and forth between frothed-up people with axes to grind.

Stats are a funny thing in that they can be mesmerizing. WordPress has this very cool graph thingy which allows you to track by day, week, or month. In the first couple of months, growth is exponential – “Oh boy, look at this graph – it looks like 90s housing prices”! Then you write about something that really causes it to spike. In my case, it was an innocent article about the change in the Heinz ketchup label, something that I had only noticed at work a couple of months after it had occurred. Apparently, I missed any media coverage of this momentous occasion, so of course I just had to write about it. Talk about hits going through the roof! Now, I don’t know if anyone actually read the damn thing, but to this day, I continue to get multiple referral hits on Heinz ketchup, ketchup bottle, and ketchup.  In fact, just yesterday I got something like 60 hits from web searches. Really? That many people need some esoteric information on Heinz ketchup?

Anyway, growth is leveled off as it should have by now. I’m in a comfortable range where I’m sure that I’m getting the readership that I deserve. I’m still on the uptick, but it’s far more gradual. After all, I’m no Huffington Post or Debbie Schlussel.

I’m grateful for all of my thoughtful readers who suffer through my twisted prose and occasional sentences that don’t begin with a capital letter. Actually, there’s a functional reason for this – for some odd reason, when I had to replace my old keyboard with this new one, it’s just a little bit different from my previous one and even after about 8 months with it, the shift key is off just enough that sometimes I only brush it hard enough to think that I pressed it.

WordPress also recently upgraded their spell check to include a deeper grasp of grammar. Talk about a ruthless editing taskmaster! It doesn’t like the passive voice one little bit, let me tell you. It doesn’t like words like “preshift”, “tipout”, blogster or Fahrvergnügen.

Now I have Sitemeter to feed my desire for stats, stats and damned stats. It’s richer and deeper and I highly recommend it to my fellow blogsters. Just don’t get trapped by its curvaceous siren call. It will drive you to the rocks, I tell you.

So, thanks to all for your support of this blog. I appreciate all of those who have linked to me. I realize that it’s difficult to contact me directly without a posted email address (this is another one of those “security measures”). If you’ve just been dying to give me a piece of your mind, or wish to ask a question, don’t ever hesitate to use the comments section to do so. In fact, this type of off-topic post would be just the trigger for you to pull.

And, if you are a blogster in need of some quick hits for ad dollar purposes or just intense ego gratification, or you think that your readership has slowed, here’s a suggestion – write a paean to Heinz ketchup. Who knows? Some of those folks who are interested in Heinz ketchup might end up hanging around for the party. At least you’ll get some gratuitous hits.

So, just for giggles:

And speaking of ketchup

viet world kitchen

Andrea Nguyen has borrowed a spicy, Asian-styled ketchup recipe and shared it with us.

September 03, 2009

Spicy Umami Ketchup Recipe

I’ve been on a condiment jag lately, if you haven’t noticed. With Labor Day weekend coming up, I’ve been dreaming of the summer’s last official barbecue – hamburgers. I love hamburgers and when we were kids, my mom would sometimes fry up burgers in a cast iron skillet and we’d gobble them up on Sunday mornings after church. To me, homemade burgers were nearly as good as homemade beef pho noodle soup. It’s no coincidence that both are ‘have it your way’ kinds of foods.

Like Vietnamese pho and banh mi sandwiches, I like to personalize my hamburgers, dressing it with carefully layered accoutrements before taking my first bite. On the bottom half of the bun, lots of rich mayonnaise touching both sides of the sliced tomato. On the top half of the bun, the tomato ketchup should flavor the meat, onion and cheese with its tangy, salty, heady edge. Ketchup punctuates a hamburger with brightness.

I’ve tackled homemade mayonnaise, Vietnamese chile garlic sauce, and Thai-style Sriracha sauce but I didn’t think of making ketchup myself until I noticed Saveur magazine’s umami ketchup recipe in the September 2009 issue.  The fanciful ketchup recipe comes from the popular Umami Burger restaurant in Los Angeles. What made it umami? For one, ripe tomatoes are extremely umami laden, and the restaurant includes oyster sauce, tamari, Worcestershire sauce, and anchovies for extra savory depth.  The use of salty, briny ingredients in the recipe reminded me of traditional Vietnamese tomato sauces employed to nap fried whole fish, tofu and the like. In fact, in Rick Stein’s travel show on Vietnam, he makes that kind of sauce, seasoning it with fish sauce for savoriness. Stein uses fish sauce just like a Vietnamese cook would. Ketchup’s East-West connection got me to thinking and researching.

Read the rest of the post here:

Umami ketchup

Image courtesy of and Andrea Nguyen

Ketchup draws visitors like flies

I’m constantly amazed that, every single day, there are multiple listings for Heinz ketchup (yesterday 10), Heinz ketchup label (althready 2 today) tomato ketchup,  and just plain ketchup (yesterday 6 and already 2 today) in my “These are terms people used to find your blog” area.

I posted once several months ago about the change in labels by Heinz ketchup, a change that I found superfluous, costly and potentially risky from a marketing standpoint.

So I wondered if I my humble post had somehow rogued  itself into the top Google or Google blog listings. So I checked. No joy. So I checked Bing. Nope.

I’m baffled, frankly. My only guess is that this includes tag and keyword search and maybe I’m up there because bloggers don’t write very much about ketchup.

I just thought it was weird.

At least I don’t have the weird search engine terms that Hooters Girls bloggers seem to get. I’m grateful for that.


“All the girls love ketchup”.