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Not to be Forgotten

Pigs in a Blanket

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Frankfurter Roll-Ups

2 cups Homemade Biscuit Blend
1/2 cup milk (about)
2 tablespoons softened butter
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
10 frankfurters (1 lb.), cut in thirds
1 eg white, unbeaten
1 teaspoon caraway seeds

Measure biscuit blend into bowl, add milk, and stir until a soft dough is formed.  Turn out on a lightly floured board and knead 30 seconds.  Roll dough about 1/4 inch thick.

Mix together butter and mustard; spread evenly over dough.  Cut dough in strips a little narrower than the pieces of frankfurters; then cut each strip into 2-inch pieces--30 pieces in all.

Wrap dough around each piece of frankfurter.  Place overlapping edge down on greased baking sheet.  Brush tops with egg white.  Sprinkle with caraway seeds.  Bake in a hot oven (450 F) about 10 minutes, or until dough is lightly browned and frankfurters are hot.  Serve hot.  Makes 30 small roll-ups. 

--The General Foods Kitchen Cookbook, 1959



Number One Son turned 13 recently, and when the day came my heart nearly busted with the memory of the little baby with dark eyes blinking at the lights when he came out of me.  Hardly what the boy needed.  I went ahead and acted cool, getting the party ready. 

My teenager asked for something SPECIAL.  What was SPECIAL?  Barbecued spare ribs. Unlimited soda. A limo ride.  And if that weren’t enough …. one other thing--pigs in a blanket.

The problem was I had no idea how to make them.  A quick search and I discovered a nice bit of food history relating to Germany and sausages wrapped in a bit of bacon.  Not quite what I needed.

The only printed recipe I could find was that which you see above published in the 1959 General Foods Kitchens Cookbook—a unsettling cookbook which includes the likes of a baked ham decorated with lime green gelatin for Christmas and all sorts of questionable advice.  You get the idea.

Forget General Foods anyway.  In my heart, I knew the moment called for refrigerator dough. The crescent stuff by Pillsbury.  I’d never cared to lay a hand on it in my life.  But my son was the kind of kid who had been waiting at least ten years to be a teen.  Some kids are just like that.  Life was getting better with each year.  He was going to get his wieners in dough.

The most exciting thing was to whack that cylinder against the side of the counter so it could pop out like some commercial I’d seen decades ago.  Nothing happened.  I whacked harder.  And while I was doing it, I laughed at myself, remembering his first birthday when he was such a little pure body who’d never eaten a bit of junk food.  He took his first steps that day. And I made a healthy carrot cake—some sugarless one I’d gotten in a virtuous parenting manual.  Oh the absurdity of new parenthood when you actually believe you have so much control over things.  I looked back with pity and envy on my younger self grating carrots that long ago day—all my ideals still intact.  I adored that baby and suspected he was perfect.  But of course 13 years later I know true love is much less vain.

One more whack.  Out popped the weird and fluffy dough. This and a bag of 30 little cocktail wieners before me.  What to do next? 

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Luckily, grandma was in town.  And since she raised her three children (one of whom is my husband) during the sixties and seventies, she’d done her share of crescent rolls and wieners, too. 

We were hysterical in the kitchen as she showed me how to roll up the wieners in their little blankets.  I leaned on her heavily for the experience.  I am lucky to have a wonderful mother-in-law who is fun and can crack a couple of bawdy girl jokes, too, about the oddly large wiener in the bunch, while rolling up those babies.  She found it not a little comical to be doing this in my kitchen where over the years she has seen what she calls “gourmet cooking.”

The secret? 

All we had to do was cut each triangle into three smaller triangles and get rolling.  Mother-in-Law said she found it kind of zen to sit their and roll them up.  And she started dropping hints that maybe she’d make these for all her grandsons on Thanksgiving.
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When the moment of the banquet arrived, the table was filled with feast foods for my son and his posse.  Ribs, lemon chicken, salad, coleslaw….and the star of the show:  pigs in the blanket, which by far generated the most enthusiasm from my son’s guests.

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A in the raucousness.  One friend posed the question, “Hey did you ever think about how weird it would be to have an actual pig in a blanket?” The boys all paused quietly between bites to contemplate this cosmic question before moving on to the next joke, the next outburst, the next adolescent inappropriate joke.  It was a wild night. 

Soon the platter was empty.  And my dark-eyed baby headed into his fourteenth year.
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I have been having a thing for pigs in the blanket for the past couple of years. I too went on a quest for the perfect recipe.  I couldn’t find the right homemade dough but I found something better!

http://www.izzyeats.com/2007/12/pigs-in-blankets-enduring-allure.html

    – izzy's mama (November 24 2008 at 11:27)


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