me, grilling and barbecuing have always
been about freeing up my time. The dishes
that I love making and make over
and over again are those that require
little attention, leaving plenty of time
to kick back, relax and suck down another
Yuengling. Marinate some London Broil
and throw it over the flame. Ram
a beer can up a chicken's butt and
let the grill do its magic.
Apparently, that concept
was lost on barbecue chefs of the 1950s.
Granted, filling up a 150+ page cookbook
with middle-of-the-road dishes with universal
appeal in the days of 'Ozzie and Harriet'
couldn't have been easy, hence the need
for such dishes as Baby Pizzas, Hot Buttered
Popcorn, and Slim-Jim Bread Sticks (which
I just might have to make).
Glancing through the pages
of the Better Homes & Gardens Barbecue
Book ("More than 250 tempting
over-the-coals recipes" boasts the
cover) it struck me that instead of freeing
the weekend barbecuer usually portrayed
as some zombified dad who looks like he
has cheerleaders buried under the floorboards
these recipes are way too
involved for what they are.
For instance, take Puppet
Franks and their Catsupdip accompaniment.
This same dish hot dogs with catsup
could be made in about five minutes.
Instead, the recipe deemed "Extra
Easy" in the caption sounds
like you're performing some kind of battlefield
surgery! Though I do love the interactive
nature of carrying around a hanger full
of wieners and offering scissors to my
You slip wieners on cord, like stringing
beads, then loop the strings over rod
of a hanger for easy handling.
Buy the short chubby-type
wieners. For each string, cut off enough
cord to hold 6, 8, or 10 wieners when
strung lengthwise. Knot end of cord. Using
skewer with eye for a needle, string on
wieners, knotting cord each time you slip
one on (otherwise they'll all tumble off
when cord is cut). Tie final knot.
Slash wieners on both sides.
Loop strings of wieners, at halfway mark,
twice over rod of hanger to secure. Lay
wieners on grill let hanger dangle
over side. Broil over hot coals, turning
all at once by hanger.
When grilled just right,
pick up hanger and dunk wieners in Catsupdip
(recipe below). Carry franks to each guest;
offer scissors so each one can snip the
leash to suit his appetite. Pass extra
1/4 cup salad oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 14-ounce bottle (1-1/4 cups) catsup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 to 2 tbsp. vinegar
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 to 2 tsps. liquid smoke
Combine all ingredients.
Simmer uncovered 15 minutes. Makes 3 cups
or enough sauce for dunking about 2 dozen