Quick Hits: Cooking Pork Products for the Masses

Me (left) with my two buddies yesterday, Patrick and Lou (L to R).
Me (left) with friends Patrick and Lou yesterday by the grill.

Every year I look forward to the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society’s flea market. It’s our big fundraiser which helps with operating and maintenance costs for the Strauss Mansion Museum. I love doing flea markets in general. Not necessarily as a time to make big money, but a much-needed opportunity to sell crap I don’t need anymore from around the house. Loads and loads of crap. My dad buys a table, and I help out with the society’s, going back and forth all day. This year, I was also one of three people to cook up pork products for the masses. We run a grill there as well, and our usual “Master Griller” was away on vacation.

I love to cook, so I was glad to help step up. All told, during the day, the three of us cranked out 330 hot dogs and about a hundred Johnsonville bratwurst. That doesn’t include the sausage and peppers that one of our members whipped up, which were also very good. The rushes were handled easily after setting up a system which included an assembly line to get the dogs from grill to bun, which one of our junior volunteers helped out with. Then again, the craziness can add to the excitement. 10 AM to 4 PM is a pretty long day out in the sun, but it flies when you are constantly moving behind the grill.

The only downside to this day was forgetting sunscreen. With so many people ordering well-done hot dogs, I was beginning to wonder which was burnt more: what I was cooking, or the back of my neck. It was chilly the night before, so I assumed I should dress warmly (especially since we’re right there by the water). Well, you know what they say when you assume. There was barely a breeze, and it was way hotter than I expected. Still, I had a lot of fun. And oh yeah, Johnsonville brats are pretty amazing.

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