Monday, June 15, 2009

Full Irish Rainout

Johnny Most always used to open his radio broadcasts of Boston Celtics basketball by saying, "This is Johnny Most, high above courtside at The Boston Garden, where The Boston Celtics are getting set to do basketball battle with [fill in the opposing team.]"

(In those olden days, Most sat in an overhang jutting out from the first row of the balcony at the old Garden. You had to have no fear of heights to be the Celtics radio man.)

Why do I grace you with the tidbits of trivia? Because I’m sitting… well, let me try to do it as though I were a latter-day Johnny Most.

"This is Suldog, next to a potted poinsettia in my dining room, where I’m NOT about to do softball battle with The Dot Rats."

It’s Saturday, the afternoon before gameday, and I already know I can’t play tomorrow morning. I’ve pretty much known it since last Sunday night, but I kept hoping my knee would heal enough for me at least to suit up. No go. It hurts just walking. There’s no way I can run.

I’ve been having trouble with my left knee all season, but I really jammed it a couple of times last Sunday. I was OK to keep playing then because the adrenalin was flowing, but once I had showered and cooled down, the knee kept throbbing and became swollen. I was limping on Monday, slightly hobbled through Wednesday. It’s reached the point where I can now walk normally, but if I make any sort of twisting motion with my knee, it complains mightily. If this were the last round of the playoffs, I’d suit up and give it my best shot until the knee blew out completely, but since we have another two months in the season, I figure I’ll trade off sitting out this week for (I hope) playing the rest of the way.

Since I’m sitting out, I get a chance to do something that might make these softball reports more interesting for my friends who read them even though they know little about the sport (which I am very grateful for, by the way. I can’t honestly say I’d be as loyal if every Monday you wrote about, say, knitting a quilt for your iguana, which is a pretty good analogy for what some of you must feel slogging your way through this stuff.)

Anyway, I’m going to take some photos of the guys. In that way, you’ll have some faces to put with the words.

(I’m afraid Chris Mauger is going to be terribly disappointed, though. I know for a fact that his favorite player from these reports, Cam Zirpolo, will not be present tomorrow. He has some sort of school function to attend. Perhaps it’s for the best. The first time people saw Bud Collyer, the cartoon voice of Superman during the 1940’s, a lot of them were crestfallen to find out he didn’t look anything at all like The Man Of Steel. It is sometimes better to remain a mythic character.)

[Bud Collyer, left; Superman, right]

So, now to bed. In the morning, I’ll be coaching first base, keeping score, and taking pictures. I’m tired just thinking about it.


And here it is Sunday morning. And The Lord said, "Let there be full Irish breakfast." And so there was. And it was good.

We were rained out. The good news is that I get to let my knee heal without missing two games. The bad news is that you don’t get any photos of the guys. I’ll take some next week, if I’m not too busy playing.

(This means that, when I take the pictures, there’ll be one of Cam Zirpolo, too. Be still, Chris Mauger’s beating heart!)

The Irish breakfast comes into this because, after we were the only team to show up at the field – we’re all hopeless optimists – six of us went to Donohue’s in Watertown. And they serve a tremendous full Irish for $9.95 – 2 eggs any style, Irish bacon, sausage, ham, beans, fried tomatoes, home fries, white pudding, black pudding, and toast. One of the best values in good eating on the face of the planet.

Four of the guys had no idea what white pudding and black pudding were. I tried to explain that it isn’t like pudding you think of here – a goopy sweet dessert – but more like a sausage patty, fried and delicious. The major difference between the two – white and black – is that the black has blood in it. Well, the mention of there being blood in it put three of them off from ordering it. The only one who decided to dive in the deep end was Fast Freddy Goodman, despite Leviticus forbidding the eating of blood.

(I think if you asked Fast Freddy who Leviticus was, he’d probably take a guess and say he used to be the bass player for Quiet Riot and why the hell should the bass player from Quiet Riot tell him what he can or can’t eat?)

Everybody else ordered pancakes, omelets, and the usual non-pudding suspects.

When our full Irish arrived, Billy Botting got brave and asked me if he could try the white pudding. I gave him a piece to sample. He didn’t die, and he said it was decent, but nobody else wanted to hazard the attempt. Fred liked both varieties. With breakfast foods, as with women, Fast Freddy considers variety the spice of life. The only thing he didn’t eat were the fried tomatoes, so I inherited those and thus had my vegetables for the week as well as my daily minimum requirements for grease, fat, and cholesterol.

So, that’s that. No games this week, but I still got 1000 words out of it. Of course, I could get 1000 words out of a ketchup stain on my tablecloth – and it would probably be just as full of pulse-pounding excitement as this was, too.

Tomorrow: a story about applesauce! Oh, Boy! You can hardly wait!

Soon, with that.


Stu said...

As a fan of food, allow me to thank you for the pointer to the Irish Breakfast, something I've yet to savor. I live in L.A., so I'm not sure where I'd order one, but I'm gonna start the search.

Also, as a fan of learnin', I turned up the Wikipedia entry for Irish Breakfast - - fascinating reading - mouthwatering, really.

Additionally, I'd like to comment on my sadness at living in a part of the US devoid of European eateries. There's really no Irish here, no English, no Norwegians, No Poles... If I want pierogies, I've got to drive a good half-hour, one way. :-p

Now, there's lots of good eats in Los Angeles, don't get me wrong. Plenty of Mexican, Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Indian... So my life isn't bland. It's just that I was born and raised in the northeast and I miss a lot of that regional cuisine. Maybe, after my kids go to college, my wife and I will move to the northeast... mmmm, pierogies...

Ruth and Glen said...

Black pudding . . . OMG. Tried it once, NEVER again. Hope another week off will give your knee time to mend and you’ll be back on the field next weekend.

Urbie said...

I grew up in Wayland, and every so often, I'd be on the sidelines at a football game (covering it for the local paper), and I'd hear this unmistakable gravelly voice from behind -- Johnny Most! I kept expecting him to say, "He fiddles and diddles, now he daddles and doodles!"


Gennasus said...

Wow, you can get white pudding! I've always thought of that as pretty much exclusive to Scotland. Certainly unhealthy (along with a number of other deep-fried Scottish delicacies,
which are far too embarrassing to mention here)but it does taste good.

Take it easy on that knee.

Ananda girl said...

Yikes! Poor knee! I hope it gets better fast. Knees can be such prima donnas.

Now I am starving! We have no east coast ethnic foods here. You might find German food, but that's it. Tons of Asian, Mexican,Basque and a rarer Italian based, but not real restaurant.

connie/mom said...

When I married the MAC, I learned to like Scotch Sausages and Mealy Pudding - then they went and closed the Scotch Market on us.

I sure would like to get those once more at some place close to home (Weymouth, MA).

P. S. We ate at Bad Abbot's in Quincy recently. They advertised that they serve Irish breakfast all day. Our meal was only fair. They don't have much of a selection on their menu.

Granny on the Web said...

Well, I be knowin' what an Irish breakfast is, as me Grandaddy O Connell came over from Southern Ireland, but it was nice savouring it again, even if I am not allowed to eat it now!
Sorry to hear your knee is poorly, take care with that, it could lead to worse things if you don't give it the respect it demands!
Shame I'm not planning on coming over to Boston again anytime soon. We were there nearly two years ago... family visiting [they live in Dover] and it was super. I could have sneaked out for a secret Irish Breakfast with a real Irishman.LOL

Love Granny

MVD said...

A man eating black pudding is usually a man who likes his lunches with head cheese and his dinners with haggis. And that, my friend, is the culinary trinity.

Chris said...

And if you can score me a signed Cam Zirpolo trading card, I would be ecstatic. It's gotta be the name, but I'm picturing a softball version of Cam Neely.

Good luck with the knee. Does your league have the DH?

endangered coffee said...

Bloody good breakfast. Good luck with the knee.

Michelle H. said...

Sorry to hear about the knee. Hope it gets better by the next game.

Buck said...

Ah... sorry about the knee, but glad you were rained out and thus will be rested for next week.

A "full Irish breakfast" sounds a LOT like a full English breakfast, but you probably don't wanna hear that. It's also one of the BEST features of doing that B&B thing while traveling in England. And Scotland. And so on. I've had some wonderful English breakfasts in my day... and I LOVE fried tomatoes!

Anonymous said...

What the Hell is a caretoon?

Suldog said...

Stu - Next time you're on the right coast, and if you come to Boston, I'll treat you to a full Irish. And then I'll treat you to breakfast afterward. Hah! I got yer pierogies RIGHT HERE!

(Just thought I'd throw in a bit of Jersey at the end there to make you feel at home.)

Ruth And Glen - Thanks. I expect to be playing next week. I'll wrap my knee in duct tape or something.

Urbie - Didn't Most coach youth football somewhere?

Gennasus - Unhealthy? White Pudding? Nay. It's got oats in it, right? They counteract everything else.

Ananda Girl - See the answer given to Stu, except you're prettier.

Mom - You and Bill should be our guests some Sunday morning for the fry-up at Donohue's. I'm sure you'd both love it.

Granny - You're not allowed to eat a full Irish? Who's doing the not allowing? Some doctor? He's a quack! The full Irish is a joy, and if you're not allowed joys, then why live?

[The preceding is the opinion of the blogger, and should not be construed as serious medical advice. Suldog will not be held responsible for death or disablement resulting from the intake of sausage.]

Bastard - I have yet to sample haggis. I should, of course. Just saying it is fun. Haggis. Tee-Hee!

Chris - Yes, our league has the DH, as well as the EH (Extra Hitter.) We can bat 11 or 12 with the extras not having to play a position in the field. Usually, that isn't optimum strategy, of course, but I suspect I might be filling that role on occasion from here on out. Sigh.

EC - Bloody good is correct! Yum. I want another one RIGHT NOW.

MDGF - As I said above, I do expect it will be well enough to play on. If it isn't, I'll use staples and masking tape to make it that way.

Buck - The full Irish is essentially the full English by another name. Seeing as there are many more Sullivans in this neck of the woods than there are Smyths, that's no doubt why it's called what it is around here.

Anonymous - Oops! I suspect you know damn well what a caertoon was supposed to be, but I'll change it now and thanks.

Jeni said...

You're taking unfair advantage here by talking about all these food things. Hope you know that!
Now, as you may recall (I'm sure I've mentioned my ethnic background a time or two on my blog) but I am half-Scottish and half-Swedish. I heard about the Swedish "Blood pudding" as a child but since my Grandma never made it, I never had the "opportunity" to try it and to be honest, I wonder if I would have tasted it anyway. The name is rather off-putting to me. But, by your description of the white pudding, it sounds somewhat like the Penna. Dutch stuff -"Scrapple" -that is quite popular even up in this region of the state. Yeah, I confess that I have relished my fair share of Scrapple from working in a couple local truckstops here. I'm wondering though, since I never heard of the White/Black pudding or even Haggis via my Scottish branch of my family tree if they were, indeed, true-blue Scotsmen after all? But then again, that side of my family was never that much for maintaining ethnic traditions like my Swedish side was. (Yes, we always had good old Swedish Lutfisk for Christmas Eve supper while my Swedish grandparents were still living and that grandfather also always ate Limburger cheese too!)
But the "full-Irish breakfast" does sound interesting, to say the least, and I'd probably be brave enough to tackle all but the "black" stuff. I do love fried tomatoes too though!
Looks to me like your readers all tend to be interested in your ethnic foods topic today.Got any more interesting foods of the Irish variety you care to introduce us to?

Expat From Hell said...

Sounds like Johnny Bench knees, or Johnny Roseboro, or even Yogi Berra. Catchers knees are never the same, are they?
Irish breakfast sounds like the "over there" version of chorizo con huevos. We enjoy our respective breakfasts on our respective coasts. With our respective catchers. Oh yeah, I live in Texas now. See you again soon.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Just so you know...I'm off-line for a while...didn't want one of my favorite bloggers to think me remiss :-) See you when I get back! Cheers! ~Janine

Char said...

Thank you so much for not inviting me to breakfast, now, or in the future. Black pudding... I bet that's what's wrong with your knee.

Thumbelina said...

Oh Boy! I can hardly wait!

Did you miss me? Huh? Waddya mean you didn't know I'd gone?
Tsk tsk.

Before I was engaged in my current faith I used to like a bit of black pudding. Of course now I won't touch it. It's not just Leviticus. It's in Acts too. :)
At least you got a breakfast out of it. I was wondering though, with your track record re: photos, is it wise to promise pictures...?
Only sayin'

eileen said...

Hope your knee gets better! Johnny Most was my favorite announcer EVER. He totally ruled. I loved his raspy cigarette voice and the way he knew the game and made no pretenses of impartiality.

Ericka said...

i wish your knees, and your arteries, good health.

Ananda girl said...

lol! I'm hoping that Stu is fairly pretty then!

I'm looking forward to that if I can ever manage to swing it. :)

Carolina said...

My iguana really enjoys my knitted quilts.

I hope your knee will heal soon. And I expected a full Irish breakfast to consist of whiskey and beer. In the Netherlands we have black pudding, but we say it like it is and call it bloedworst (blood sausage).
When you mentioned Fast Freddy and his taste for variety, my mind went it's own unladylike way and was wondering why he is called Fast Freddy *snickering*

i beati said...

My left kneee keeps going out of socket. I pretend its not happeneing.. Perhaps Irsih food would heal me sandy

Janet said...

I was dreadfully disappointed to learn that I haven't a scrap of Irish blood in my veins, and I doubt they'd even let me be an honorary one, because I'm pretty sure black pudding would kill me. My mother had haggis in Scotland. She liked it, but she also said she couldn't think about what was in it.

And today's word? appetan