Denmark fan sends reindeer meat
Move over Joyce’s Coconut Macaroons, the Singletons have received a new contender for the most unique item included in Ken’s fan mail — three cans of reindeer and elk meat from Horsholm, Denmark.
Former New Yorker Larry Landman included a neatly-typed letter pointing out that during the playoffs last season, Ken had thanked fans on the East Coast for staying up late to watch the Yanks play on the West Coast, but had inadvertently omitted the fans outside of Copenhagen who were watching the next day via the Internet.
“We did not stay up late, that’s true,” wrote Larry, “but we were rooting for the Yankees as strongly as anyone. We thank you and your fellow broadcasters on TV and radio for giving us a little taste of home while we live abroad. Given the beauty — the absolute beauty — of condensed [Internet] games, we have seen more Yankees games the last few years than while growing up and living in New York.”
Ken was awed as he studied the letter and three cans sitting on the kitchen island. “I didn’t know people in Europe were watching!”
We were all too curious to see what reindeer meat looked like, so our 17-year-old son bee-lined for the can opener. But who would be brave enough to taste it?
Six-foot-three teenage boys eat anything, so no surprise that Dante volunteered. And since I had tasted reindeer sausage once on a cruise through Alaska — and lived to tell about it — I fished two forks out of the utensil drawer.
“Is it cooked?” I asked, staring at the blob of raw-looking red meat peeking from under the jagged lid. “Read the label.”
The majority was written in Danish except for the ingredients — and we had already used our imagination for that. We each stabbed a tiny forkful.
“It tastes like um … um … um,” said Dante.
“Chicken?” I joked.
“No, I can’t put my finger on it,” he said, “but I’m not crazy about the aftertaste.”
Ken put no fingers or taste on any of the reindeer meat. “I’ll give you 24 hours,” he laughed. “If nothing happens to you, I’ll taste it.”
As a group of friends were scheduled to come to our home that Friday evening, Ken had a bit more fun with the topic. “Make an hors d’oeuvre out of it,” he suggested. “Think our friends would know?”
Oh dear Larry Landman, we apologize for the jokes, but please understand that reindeer meat is a new concept for the Singletons. We eat seafood in Maryland!
All joshing aside, we were touched by Larry’s gift and laminated letter, especially the last sentence, a request that Ken enjoy the delicacy during Spring Training with fellow broadcasters: “Open a bottle of red wine and say a toast in memory of Bobby Murcer, and particularly Phil Rizzuto, whose admonition that one should not try to hit a home run, just a single, applies far, far beyond baseball.”