You would think she would know after 31 years.
You would think if she valued our love, she would try to remember.
But, last night while you and yours were enjoying dinner......Sue McGleno brought me out sausages....... but they were covered with ketchup.
It might not sound like that big of a deal to you, but if you were a Pollack, you would understand.
Ketchup on Polish, Beer Brats or Andioulles is nothing short of blasphemy.
On top of that, this miscalculation landed me in jail over 20 years ago, but we'll get to that in a bit.
Over the decades we've had this conversation, this debate, dozens of times in fact, but for whatever reason....my wife doesn't see the value of condiments and forgets my mustard needs.
I do love her, and most of you realize this, but I swear to Caesar that - that woman doesn't know how to accessorize food.
If the Christ came to our house and handed her his cloak, Sue McGleno would toss it on her bed, and after a night of drinks, dice games and pleasant conversation, our Lord & Savior would eventually get ready to leave.
At this point.....Sue McGleno would resurface from our room with a windbreaker from Old Navy or an Adidas hoody, and If the Son of God questioned this by saying something like....
"I'm sorry dear child, this is not my wrap, I do believe I entered your home wearing the Shroud of Turin."
Sue McGleno would just roll her eyes and say.....
"Oh that's right, you're Jesus, so I guess that means you can never be wrong."
And then after exhaling a loud, dramatic sigh, she'd walk out on the 2 of us and the Lamb of God would say.......
"OK Danny....I'm feeling you. When those angels brought those prayer requests to me, I thought you were just being a whiner."
Russians have borscht, Jews have challah, but with Pollacks.....it is sausage that is holy.
I'm never going to tell other people how to eat, but I will tell you that you can tell a persons sophistication level by digging through their cupboards to see what kind of condiments they are using.
Sausages and hot dogs were designed to go with mustard. It is the most noble of all hot dog toppings.
Records show that civilizations used it centuries before the Christ was even born.
People with sophisticated palates from all across the planet have agreed on this.
Ketchup on the other hand, it was designed in Pittsburgh P.A. by a German immigrant that realized little kids preferred candy to food.
So Herr Heinz put aside his normal horse radish chores and started monkeying around with ketchup recipes.
Tomato's and Sugar......Sugar and Sugar.
At American baseball stadiums, hot dogs became all the rage and vendors sold them, but the difference back then was that hot dogs weren't served in buns.
Instead each customer was issued a set of white gloves and they would grab their "Red Hot" with their covered hands. Adults would dip theirs into mustard, while the little unsophisticated brats would drench theirs in ketchup.
As time went on.......women were converted to the insensibility of ketchup as well.
My point is, well here.....let me take you back to the summer of 1989.
Back then my family was young, we had no money, and 1 broken down car.
Oftentimes I would ride a bike to work (about 8 miles away), but on the day of our story, the car broke down, and Sue McGleno needed the bike.
I wasn't sure how I was going to get home, my shift ended about 2 or 3 in the morning, but I figured I'd leave this to the Saints of Warsaw to figure out.
About 10 p.m. Sue McGleno called me up before she went to bed and requested that I stop at the Rainbow Foods on Arcade to get some ketchup.
I didn't ask why, I still wasn't sure how I was going to get home, but the timer on the Roto-Matic oven was singing, and if I didn't pull the racks of hamburger buns out within seconds......I'd have 60 dozen burnt rolls.
So after hanging up, and as my shift began to wind down, I began to wonder about how I would in fact get to my house.
I relayed my quandary to my colleagues and wouldn't you know it, the only person with a solution was Jeffy who more often was referred to as Tat Bro.
Tat Bro was the youngest guy on our crew.
He had blond hair way past his shoulders, adorned an assortment of tattoos and loved to do that backwards Axel Rose shuffle-strut while his doughs were mixing.
Tat Bro mentioned that since transportation at the Klecko house was unpredictable, that maybe I should consider purchasing a new-used mountain bike that he had parked outside.
I didn't want to be insulting, but I told Tat Bro that I didn't want to buy a "hot" bike.
After turning on the mixer, he sidled up next to me and said........
"Big Papi would never sell anything that was stolen. I bought that bike new."
When I asked for the receipt, he smiled and told me to stop being such a loser. According to him, only A-holes saved receipts.
I was in no position to argue.
So Klecko peddles 1 mile, 4 miles, 6-7 and 8 miles, until i arrived at my destination. The Rainbow Foods super market, and Praise Polish Christ that they were open 24 hours since it had to be close to 3 a.m.
So all of a sudden it occurs to me that I don't have a lock.
That sucked, my neighborhood was about a level 8 ghetto and it didn't matter what time of the day or night it was...if it wasn't nailed down, somebody would steal it.
So Klecko looks around, and finally notices that there are some shrubs on the side of the building, so cautiously I wheeled the bike over and launched it into the bushes.
I remember I just-just-just barely had enough coin in my pockets to get that ketchup.
I bypassed the bag, and headed back out to the parking lot. When I walked over to the bike and fished it out of the foliage....yeah, that's right. I got doused with a flood light.
"Drop the bike and put your hands in the air."
I followed Johnny Law's instructions, and then they told me to slowly walk to their vehicle and place my hands on the trunk.
I did this and then the chick cop asked if I owned the bike.
"It's a friends."
Chick cop looked at dude cop, and then back at me.
"So...if you are borrowing your friends bike, why don't you lock it so it doesn't get stolen?"
And while the interrogation continued, the guy cop walks over to the bike, picks it up, and then looks underneath the seat.
"Hmmmmmm there's a serial number here. Let's check it out."
I don't need to tell you, it came up stolen, and they took me off to jail.
Back then I was too poor to be able to get bailed out, and I was too embarrassed to telling anybody other than Sue McGleno what happened.
So Klecko just sat in jail.
I don't remember how long they kept me, but I do remember that they gave me my bottle of ketchup back before they released me.
So when I finally got home, I slammed the bottle on the kitchen table and exclaimed....
"Here's your blankety-blank ketchup, I hope it was worth me rotting in prison for!"
I'm not kidding ya, Sue McGleno passed briskly through the room,and then she gave me "that" look, and replied.
"What are you complaining about? That's your ketchup. It was for the hot dogs that I made you for when you got home last night."
I kinda spazzed out and in a loutish voice and pointed out the flaw in her condiment protocol, but before I had a chance to line up my facts, Sue McGleno tossed that cold Russian / Jew stare at me and closed out the conversation with.......
"what are you saying? If I had you buy mustard instead...your loser a** wouldn't of gotten locked up?"
Then she exited the room, leaving me with cold wieners, soggy buns and ketchup.
I wanted to die.
Anyways....several years ago I was running around with a woman from Paris who showed me how easy it is to make your own mustard.
I gotta tell ya, It just isn't that hard, and for the little extra work you do, you really get paid back 10 fold.
Most people make their mustard recipes in a food processor, but I don't own one....yet, so I make mine in my blender.
I'm going to throw out one recipe that I really like, but if you get a chance, go online and surf the different recipes available.
The Germans do some really interesting things with sweet spices, so if that's your scene....just Google "German Mustard Recipes" and that should take you up a notch.
* 1 cup mustard seeds
* 2 cups lager beer
* 1 1/3 cups malt vinegar
* 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
* 2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1 1/4 tablespoons sugar
* 1 tablespoon dry mustard
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
In a small bowl combine the mustard seeds, lager, and malt vinegar. Cover and soak overnight.
Strain the liquid and reserve in a separate container. Place the soaked seeds in a food processor and pulse 7 to 8 times. In a double boiler, place the cracked seeds and add the strained liquid, pepper, salt, sugar, dry mustard and garlic. Cook about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.
When it reaches room temp, place it in the jar and tighten the lid. I let mine sit on the kitchen counter for 3 days and then put it in the fridge.
When you make mustard, don't be tempted to sample it immediately. It might not taste bad, but it won't be divine. Mustard needs to "set up".
Anyways......thanks for letting a Pollack vent.