Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Delightful weiners!

(Breaks in the contesting schedule allow Hurdy and Stuffy to muse on subjects other than the comings-and-goings of out beloved Boston squad. Today, Stuffy offers opinions on an important topic: Ball-park comestibles.)

In my pereginations across this fine land, I avail myself of all opportunities to experience the local base ball sporting scene. For tho’ it is our national past-time, base ball develops unique characteristics according to its home region. Such local specialities include:
- “The Baltimore Chop”
- “The Texas-Leaguer”
- “The Akron Mock-Muff”
- “The New Amsterdam Shoe-horn”
- “The Poughkeepsie Pelt”

So during my recent sojourns, when dispatches to this fine record were meager, it became my duty and pleasure to observe local base ball as played in the Borough of Queens, New York, home of the Metropolitans of the National League.

There, a team of cigar-chomping bankers swindled the populace into constructing (an admittedly glorious) new ball-park, complete with dazzling amenities that are sure to be hallmarks of base-ball’s future -- including but not limited to powder rooms for the ladies in attendance!

Parading through the grounds, my experienced eye did not register the Metropolitans signature maneuver -- “The Flushing Flop” (For on this evening, the local squad achieved a dramatic “win” in extra frames).

Instead, I was gobsmacked by the victuals on display at the stadium canteen. Like all sensible Rooters, I find that a steaming weiner provides the perfect accompaniment for an evening of fine hurling and swatting. As luck would have it, wiener-stands are plentiful in this ball-park.

Upon procuring my snack, I searched for piquant mustard to dispense upon my tube-steak, as is my custom. Forthwith, I was directed to a steam-table displaying a cornucopia of condiments and dressings befitting a rajah! Alongside the traditional mustard and new-fangled but dubious “cat-sup,” I found:
- The Teutonic cabbage-based delicacy known as “sour-kraut”
- Pickled “relish”
- A saucy concoction of onion slices in red gravy
- And a pile of bright-green vegetable discs thinly sliced for ease-of-deployment between bun and frankfurter

The menu-poster informed me that these green beauties were known as “jalapeno peppers” – which I gleaned from the name’s Spanish derivation to be an imported fruit from South of the Border. Indeed, moldering letters sent from my Uncle Travis McInnes during the Mexican War contain obscure references to a fiery local pepper that soldiers found beneficial to their digestion.

“When in Rome,” as the saying goes -- so I carefully assembled a mixture of silvery cabbage, verdant “relish,” slick red onions and circular “jalapenos” atop my weiner sausage. Taking a first, tentative bite, I was delighted by the mixture of sweet and savory flavors, and the way the textures complemented the toothy snap of the weiner’s casing.

Then, I felt a pleasant heat spreading across my palate, enhancing my senses even as my free hand flew upwards to signal a passing suds-slinger! Soon, I fell into the rhythm: Bite of dog, pleasant burn, sip of cooling lager. Bite of dog, pleasant burn, sip of cooling lager.

Rooters: It was a platonic dish. In all my years of base-ball dining, never have I had such a satisfying weiner!

As a result, I implore the concessions crew at Fenway Park to expand their dressing and condiment selection. Scour the ethnic enclaves within the Hub to source these fine delicacies!

I give you my word that even conservative Rooters will take a shine to a Fenway Frank festooned with the flavors of the globe, or my name isn’t:

Stuffy McInnes, Rooter.

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