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Stories and Stovies
Sandwiches


Charlotte's Fancy Hot Dogs

Anybody can serve hot dogs, but it takes a real cook to serve them on hamburger buns!

When I was a real mom and stayed home raising kids, I read once that if you sliced diagonally a little bit into a regular hotdog and then dropped it into boiling water, as it steamed it would form a circle. Believe me, it works. Johnny and Tina used to like round hot dogs on hamburger buns with chili in the middle.

John Bleh’s Mother’s Absolutely Tremendous Barbecue Sandwiches

The first barbecue/sloppy joe sandwiches I had in this country were from John’s mother. They were so good that John and I even bought our own steel meat grinder (about 1965 when we were newly weds) because his mother used one to grind her own meat for goetta - and that you’ll learn about later in this book – so we could do the same thing. We never had a wheat grinder nor a coffee grinder, but that meat grinder for barbecue was a priority.

John’s mother does everything well – cooking, cleaning, sewing, making silk flowers before this became a popular decorating took, decorates cakes so beautifully that you never want to eat them, and did a great job raising John and his sister, Ronnie, and his brothers "Whitey" (Carl, Jr.) and Greg. She’s the kind of "old fashioned" Mom I wished I could be.

But, to the barbecue:and this is a sandwich you eat with a fork - If I remember correctly, she would take the leftovers from the pot roast she had made the night before (which, needless to say, was also wonderful) and grind up the meat and the onions and the carrots through her meat grinder. Then she would simply add barbecue sauce and serve it on hamburger buns.

In Cincinnati, you could get these tremendous dark rye, not quite pumpernickel, buns which were so good and John enjoyed so much.

You have to remember that Cincinnati was settled by Germans, used to be called Porkopolis, and so German food there is not only popular, but it’s authentic. Just a little trivia here, Oprah Winfrey made a movie called Beloved, set in the post Civil War/ Reconstruction era, and the set design for Cincinnati shows that German and pork influence.

Oh, and this I think is also a Cincinnati thing – I’ve often seen coleslaw as a side dish with barbecue, but John’s family served the slaw on top of the meat in the sandwich – and it’s good that way. (But I’ve started to make my coleslaw with pineapples and pecans or walnuts added, and I don’t think that would be too great with the barbecue sandwhich).

Now, Are These Roast Beef, Ham or BLT Sandwiches?

The Three Little Pigs story and this rhyme were always favorites of ours – we would tell the story and repeat the rhymes often and since we had so many children we were always able to name the pigs after Johnny, Teenie, Stephie, Elsie, and also throw in Mommy and Daddy on occasion (and, of course, toe pulling was always fair game):

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy cried,
Wee! Wee! Wee!
All the way home.


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