little smokie.

Above photo by Carl Heller, used without permission, please let me know if I should cease and/or desist. Or do something more in the spirit of Fluxus, maybe play a flute solo from inside the vagina of a living sperm whale. Just holla is what I'm saying.


When I was little, my dad worked for Oscar Mayer. In addition to the roof over our heads, there were two primary benefits to this situation: 1) we had a large box full of toddler-sized inflatable hot dogs just sitting around the house waiting to be used for hilarious things. 2) the fridge was always stocked with smoked meat.

I wish I had access to our family's photo archive at the moment, oh the candid shots with inflatable wieners I could show you.

What made me think about all of this was remembering how excited I would get when he would bring home a package of Little Smokies:

They were these, um, pinky-sized sausages, sorry, made from turkey, chicken, and pork, and they were like candy to me. Given a choice between a Hershey's Kiss and a Little Smokie, there was no choice. There was only Little Smokie. Once I knew they were in the fridge it became difficult to think about anything else.

I seem to even remember an experimental batch from the test kitchens. They were filled with liquid processed cheddar cheese goo. Straight from the microwave? I probably don't need to tell you how good this was.


The whole point of this story originally had to do with the smoked herring that is currently in my current fridge. I like smoked things. I like smoke, frankly. And I like herring. But for some reason I've been unable to bring myself to eat this smoked herring I've been buying. This is the third time I've bought it in the last 6 weeks and I have yet to successfully eat it before it expires (why is something smoked expiring so quickly? Good question, and I don't know the answer).

It's not like it's expensive, two euro or something, but still, you start to feel even stupider than usual after the second time you've stood sighing over the garbage can, closing the lid on an untouched piece of fish. Respect your protein and all that.

So yesterday was third time's the charm and all that shit. Tonight I managed to open the package and assemble something with it. Initial indications are that it's right in my wheelhouse if that's even a saying. This attempts to also use up the other homemade pickles that are lounging around in the fridge.

Were I to serve this to someone else I would probably add another hard-boiled egg and another tbsp of mayo. And some black pepper.


sillsalad (smoked herring salad with caraway).

1 smoked herring filet, skinned and diced
1 granny smith apple, diced
1 pickled beet, skinned and diced
1/2 a pickled cucumber, diced
2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
1 scallion, diced
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/4 tsp caraway seeds

Assemble, refrigerate overnight, eat. Brush teeth.


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