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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Footy franks (and my first night at the footy)

I grew up in a family that never really valued sport as a worthy pursuit. The closest I got to appreciating rugby league in primary school was collecting and swapping footy cards by playing "tips", "tops" and "faar-ies".

Hence it's with some bemusement I confess I attended my first ever rugby league match recently. As a spectator with little emotional involvement with either team playing, I found myself observing the entire football game ritual as some form of anthropological insight into human tendencies to engage and revel in tribalism.

The fans. They wore their team jerseys, they carried their flags, they flocked to the stadium in cars and on foot. Even I, the neutral bystander, could sense the excitement and anticipation.

The football field was smaller than I expected. Somehow it seems so much bigger when you watch them grunt and bulldoze their way down the field on your living room TV.

And the story of the game. It was written all over the spectators' faces. The roar when a goal was scored, the anguish when one was conceded. A few impassioned calls of support to players. A couple of light-hearted heckles from a jovial crowd. I admit I felt a twinge of envy. I wanted to be a passenger on the rollercoaster ride of the die-hard sports fan, feeling joy and sorrow with my brothers and sisters.

Then suddenly I remembered it was time for dinner.

We have the Punter to thank for this gem of an idea. Instead of joining the 20-minute queue for food, not only missing parts of the game but also paying exhorbitant money for the privilege, we brought our own hot dogs for DIY assembly.

The trick? Cook your hot dog frankfurters at home and then pack them in tight in a wide-mouthed thermos. Fill to the top with boiling water, screw on the lid and voila! Piping hot hot dogs at your convenience.

In addition to hot dog buns, we packed tomato sauce, American mustard and grated cheese. Make sure you bring a skewer so you can get the frankfurters out of the thermos.

Oh it was good. Soft fluffy bun, steaming hot frankfurters with soft squidgy middles, the sustenance of cheese and fat happy squiggles of mustard and tomato sauce. There was joy in every mouthful, and sorrow when I realised it was all eaten.

Because I know I belong to a tribe. I've found my people.

We all barrack for food.

That's my team.
19 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/25/2009 12:51:00 am


  • At 7/25/2009 2:06 am, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    Hallelujah to that! I'll join your food supporters team anyday! Those hot dogs are just amazing and very clever packaging I must say!

  • At 7/25/2009 5:31 am, Anonymous Kelly said…

    Bravo. Pithily well said!

  • At 7/25/2009 5:40 am, Anonymous Simon said…


    However, how are you going to get the fried onions as hot? Bring along a gas stove?

  • At 7/25/2009 6:09 am, Blogger Y said…

    Great tip with the byo hotdogs. I'm definitely all for your team! :D

  • At 7/25/2009 11:45 am, Anonymous Tina said…

    What a great idea! Beat overpriced stale footy hot dogs anyday!

  • At 7/25/2009 12:59 pm, Blogger Simon Leong said…

    that's so cool you made your own. i've never thought of doing that. you could even bring extra and start selling them to people around you.

  • At 7/25/2009 4:27 pm, Blogger SoRMuiJAi said…

    That's a fantastic idea! Every time I go to a soccer game, I never get any food as I don't want to line up and miss out on a goal! (since there's not many of them each game!)

    I will definitely have to try that the next time I go!

  • At 7/25/2009 7:56 pm, Blogger YaYa said…

    What a brilliant idea! Can't say a sporting ground is my ideal outing but I'll go for barracking for foodies, hehe.

  • At 7/25/2009 11:00 pm, Anonymous Alexandra said…

    The Punter thought of this?!!? No way!! Impressed!

  • At 7/26/2009 2:55 am, Anonymous Yas said…

    Oh my god, DYI hotdog?! LOL Awesome!!

    Yeah my family doesn't care about sports either, and I for one not really interested in that either - I'd prefer watching on TV ;p

  • At 7/26/2009 12:55 pm, Anonymous Yas (aboutthefood) said…

    Brilliant! Love the tip to bring a skewer to remove the frankfurts. I can just imagine fishing in the scalding liquid with my bare hands. But then, food injuries are cool...right? That's what I tell myself, anyway.

    Go team!

  • At 7/26/2009 4:43 pm, Blogger Betty @ The Hungry Girl said…

    hehe. awesome idea! i bet the people around you would've been pretty jealous!

  • At 7/26/2009 5:18 pm, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    This. Is. Genius!!! I'm going to Bledisloe Cup next month and I am totally doing this! Actually this makes me want to have a hot dog right now...

  • At 7/26/2009 5:38 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hee hee go team FOOD! Mmm love the soft fluffy bunss and how many did u fit into one thermos?

  • At 7/26/2009 7:15 pm, Anonymous lili - pikelet & pie said…

    Oh that is an awesome idea! I love team food, it's my favourite :)

  • At 7/27/2009 1:18 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Peter G - Woohoo. Go team food :) The thermos idea is such a good one I'm annoyed I didn't think of it myself. lol

    Hi Kelly - Why thank you :)

    Hi Simon - Sometimes you have to give up one thing to get another. In this case, no onions but hot dogs on demand!

    Hi Y - Yay. Another barracker!

    Hi Tina - A friend of mine does this for every family sporting event. Save a fortune each time!

    Hi Simon Food Favourites - Haha, you probably could! I always bring food to events but the hot dog idea is a good one.

    h SoRMuiJAi - Hope you enjoy your hot dogs at your next soccer game. So much easier to have food at hand than have to queue and pay high prices!

    Hi YaYa - You and me both, but ha, I always use any event as an excuse to pack and eat food!

    Hi Alexandra - I'm surprised you didn't know this already. This idea is definitely a keeper!

    Hi Yas - Haha, at least you watch sport on tv. There was an element of extra excitement in the air watching it live, but I agree, sometimes the convenience of instant replays and camera zoom does make TV broadcasts somewhat appealing!

    Hi Yas (aboutthefood) - Definitely bring a skewer although I guess if you were desperate you could pour off the excess water until you could grab the hot dogs with your fingers. And food injuries are hard core, although preferably the cooking and not the eating kind!

    Hi Betty - I don't think anyone around us noticed, actually, but I did hear lots of people complaining about having to wait 20min in the queue for food!

    Hi Stephcookie - Oh I'm sure you're make plenty of people jealous at the Bledisloe Cup. I agree, hot dogs are so tasty - dangerously so!

    Hi FFIchiban - We fit 8 hot dogs into our thermos, and between the 5 of us, we ate them all!

    Hi lili - Team Food guarantees a win for everyone :)

  • At 7/27/2009 1:31 am, Blogger rich (them apples) said…

    DIY hotdogs at the game. That is pure genius.

    My last sport related eating experience was very poor. A dull, one all League Two draw. Bad footballers playing football badly.

    Half time came, breaking the tedium. We queued up and bought burgers that seemed to be made from a combination of pulped up cardboard and sawdust, captured between a synthetic looking bread roll. Utterly disgusting, and way too expensive.

    The coffee was bad too, and our team lost. And it rained.


  • At 7/27/2009 8:42 am, Anonymous Veruca Salt said…

    The Punter is super clever. I was looking at the picture and thought, wow is that steam coming off that dog?

    So many uses - road trips, at the beach or zoo. Endless opportunities for a hot doggie.

  • At 7/27/2009 11:42 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi them apples - Doesn't sound like a successful night at all. I was thinking about bringing my own hot chocolate in a thermos too but didn't have a big enough one to share drinks around :)

    Hi Veruca Salt - I think this is possibly The Punter's best ideas yet. Hadn't thought about car trips, the beach and the zoo, but yes, all those instances would be perfect too.


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