Purple Stew, anyone?

Oh, fond memories!

I learned the song “Purple Stew” at outdoor school. ODS is a program that takes middle-school students, traditionally sixth-graders, out to a camp for a week to do some hands-on learning. There are four “field studies” at ODS: animals, plants, water, and soil. The students are at each field study for approximately half a day. Meals are served on site, and students sleep in cabins at night. Your cabin group is like your little family-away-from-home. We also held campfire most nights, with songs and skits. I actually cried when I had to leave the week I was a student.

I loved ODS so much that I went back, multiple times, as a counselor. I loved it! There was one spring I did four weeks straight. I also did a short internship as a staff member. That was still fun, but not as much as being a counselor.

One of the songs was called “Purple Stew.” the lyrics went like this:

Making a purple stew-bop-bop a-roo-bop-bop,
Making a purple stew-bee-doo-bee-doo-bee-doo,
With purple potatoes
And purple tomatoes
And you! A purple stew.

To add more verses, you just changed the color. Sometimes we made counselor stew… The kids loved that because we added their counselors (brought them on stage) and pranked them at the end.

Anywho, I thought it was just a funny song. Purple potatoes and purple tomatoes. Yeah, right.

Turns out there are such things as purple potatoes. There are even purple yams! I found that so strange. They tasted great, though. I just wasn’t used to the color. Then I found out, this past year, that purple tomatoes also exist! I grew some this summer with my mother-in-law. They were pretty good.

I have also found two varieties of purple carrot at the local farmer’s market. Those are delicious, and fun to cook with.

Chefs beware! Purple carrots tend to turn other things purple as well, such as other foods or the muncher’s teeth/ tongue. Or turns food an unattractive shade of gray… I ended up with purple salmon and dumplings recently. The meal was so purple a coworker thought I was eating berry cobbler for lunch. Haahaa.

The things you learn. Guess that, while it is still a silly song, there is a fair amount of truth to it.

Who knew?


About N B

Artist, critic, friend, and rambly-ponderer.
This entry was posted in Family, food, Friends, Life in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Purple Stew, anyone?

  1. Vinny Grette says:

    They’ve been growing purple carrots in Turkey for centuries and using the juice as a stable dye. I used them in my orange autumn soup and it came out looking like beets!

    • N B says:

      I found out they were completely natural after I found them. Didn’t realize they were used to create a stable dye in Turkey. Learning more every day! Thank you.

      Oh no! Well, beets can be attractive, even absolutely delicious, when cooked well. Hard to call it an orange soup at that point, though.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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