Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Talking Baseball (Papi, Damon, and D. Lowe)

I haven't been excited about baseball in a while. After going to the World Series in 2002, my beloved Giants were eliminated by the Marlins in the first round last year and didn't even capture the Wild Card this season. I can't bring myself to root for either the Astros or the Cardinals in the NLCS. And that team from the Bronx? Um, no.

That leaves a certain hard luck, perennial underdog from Boston. Entire generations of Red Sox fans have gone to their graves without seeing their team win the World Series. John is a rational man who doesn't believe in The Curse, but we both wonder: is this the year?

A Boston win forced a Game 7 to be played tonight. John suggested that we have a classic baseball meal of hot dogs, fries, and beer--Boston-based Sam Adams, of course.

I purchased a few pounds of russet potatoes from the Farmer's Market so we could make fries. They had been dug up the day before and had bits of dirt clinging to the papery brown skins. We scrubbed them, cut them into thick batons, and soaked them in ice water while we caught the first few innings. The Red Sox got off to a good start with Johnny Damon's grand slam.

We fried the potatoes in hot oil in small batches, let them drain, then turned the heat up for the second frying. The first frying cooks the inside of the potato so you get a fluffy interior; the second frying crisps and puffs up the fry. They were crispy and hot and perfect for dunking in copious amounts of ketchup.

We also cooked up some hot dogs--alas, not ballpark grilled, but a stovetop approximation. John sticks to ketchup and mustard; I also like pickle relish on mine. But we both agree that a good dog needs French's Yellow, not the fancy stuff. We gathered up our dogs, fries and beer and headed out to the living room.

I'm a superstitious baseball fan. During the Giants' 2002 post-season run, I ate an unimaginable number of liverwurst sandwiches because that's what I was eating when they clinched the NL West. Was I going to mess with success and switch to a Polish sausage or a hamburger? Unfortunately, my team lost to the Angels and I haven't quite regained my taste for liverwurst.

John and I watched an energized Red Sox team come back from an 0-3 deficit in this series and get hits and homers off the Yankees pitching staff. The designated hitter and a reliance on big bats are some of the things that I find jarring about American League baseball, but tonight, I was a Boston fan. I tipped back my Sam Adams to confirm it.

I have taken notes on the fries--sounds yummy!!
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