Where the magic happens

My great grandfather Otis started our farm at the age of 40, in 1869.

“Ottie” was something of a genius. My grandpa told me that the future came to Ottie in dreams. When Ottie took a trip to New York in 1867, he visited Coney Island. There he ate a sausage on a bun, purchased from the first hot-dog cart in America. That night, Ottie had a dream. In the dream, his hot dog was spread with catsup and mustard. As soon as he got home from New York, Ottie bought the land he needed and established our farm.

Ottie originally grew and sold the ingredients for catsup, based on recipes from the 1850s. These agricultural products included onions, allspice, coriander, cloves, cumin, garlic, celery, cinnamon, and ginger. By the time the hot dog was unveiled at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, catsup was present on the condiments table next to the grill, to be spread upon the dog. That catsup was made from our farm’s products.

At the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, French’s bright yellow mustard was introduced, again made with the ingredients from our farm. These included distilled vinegar, mustard seed, salt, turmeric, paprika, spice, and garlic powder. Yes, we had a salt lick in the hills.

In my youth I would wander in the mustard fields and down the endless rows of tomatoes, often eating a hot dog.


For the Thursday Photo Prompt.