Hot Dogs, Baseball, Apple Pie, & Chevrolet
Full disclosure here; I am a Philadelphia Phillies fan, as is my wife. We watch most of their games on television, and visit ballparks when we can.
I love this time of year, and it is extra special this year after enduring the pandemic. Summertime in America is baseball time. It is said baseball is not our favorite sport, and some say it is boring. I disagree. You cannot go wrong with sunshine, God Bless America, the seventh inning stretch, and hot dogs. Families with their Little Leaguers wearing their team caps and gloves, hoping to snag a foul ball, or mascots and their on and off field shenanigans, make every game special. If you are fortunate to live near one of the minor league parks, you know what I am talking about. There is community involvement and fun events for families at every game. One of my softball-playing granddaughters even received batting practice and coaching from current players for a charity event. There are frequent after the game fireworks shows which are spectacular. Yes, baseball is back and we needed it.
And, oh those hot dogs. That working-class street food we love, served off America's grills at home, at stands or carts everywhere, and of course, at our ballparks. We can debate which ballpark serves up the best hot dog, and many have outdone themselves with their offerings. Honorable mention goes to the Boston Red Sox for the Fenway Frank. Those hot dogs go all the way back to 1909. The Atlanta Braves give us a foot-long with queso, jalapenos, nacho chips, popcorn sprinkles, and BBQ sauce. Wow. Definitely another honorable mention. I have not been to every ballpark, but a favorite of mine is the pastrami dog in St. Louis. Philadelphia also offers a pastrami dog, and Cincinnati adds their famous skyline chili. We have something called gluttony night in my town. Buy a ticket and eat all you can until the seventh inning stretch. What's not to like?
Is there anything more uniquely American than hot dogs and baseball? By the way, the best ballpark food is hands-down, in Philadelphia. You're welcome.
Apple pie did not originate in America. Who cares? Despite the current trends toward locally-grown, low-carb, keto-friendly, gluten-free, and blah, blah, blah...nothing beats apple pie, especially homemade, and more especially a-la-mode. Some recent recipe experiments add other fruits. I had a cherry-apple version that was quite good. But apple pie and ice cream? C'mon man...you know you want some.
See the USA in your Chevrolet. Dinah Shore sang it to us on her variety show. Ask your grandparents to explain who she was and what was a variety show. Chevrolet is an iconic car brand and gave us the Corvette and Camaro. I remember drooling over a souped-up 1957 Chevrolet as a teenage driver in the 60's, and my father wisely said no to buying me a car. Not just that car, but any car. Ha ha. Can you remember when all the astronauts were driving Corvettes? I do, and they exuded the ultimate cool, at least my friends and I thought so.
My wish for all of you is a safe, happy, July 4th holiday. Please consider taking a moment and do something kind for someone. It means a lot.
Here's to Hot Dogs, Baseball, Apple Pie, & Chevrolet. Here's to America.