Grandpa Dave Abrams, a Legendary Toy Man with a Big Heart…
Growing up, I was the always the cool kid. Getting friends to come over to play wasn’t a difficult task considering I had all the toys in the world. I was too young to realize why? Looking back on my childhood I can honestly say that I was very fortunate but not because of my toy collection, it was because of the man who created those toys. He taught me how to give, how to create and left me with an entrepreneurial spirit that intensifies daily. Although I didn’t know it at the time, he gave me many gifts besides toys. He taught me about determination, passion and most of survival. It is really challenging to start something from nothing. Obstacles emerge daily that Interfere
with success and if your heart is not in it to win, then you’ll wind up like that toy that nobody likes to play with.
I was a little too young to really to understand how Mego, at one time the third largest toy company in world, started and why it went under. As you can imagine, it was never really discussed around the dinning room table or at family reunions. Needless to say, I have a vague idea but to tell you the truth, I really don’t care about those details; it is all in the past. All I know is that the company left a great legacy, the numerous kids that had so much fun playing with those toys, the various people who still collect the toys like the 40 Year Old Virgin, and when I googled it I found out that there have been many books written about the company and their products. You might even remember some of their products…
They were the first company to buy the licensing rights to make toys from comic books companies. An absolute genius strategy developed by my Uncle Marty, I think, that skyrocketed the company, but that’s a whole other story.
My father, Howard Abrams, accidentally named Mego when, as a child, he would say to my grandpa me-go, meaning he wanted to go to work with his dad. Founded in 1954 grandpa’s new found success came from a genius marketing tactic; ‘Mego began selling 88 cent promotional (sometimes called “hush-ups” in the trade…) toys in basement department stores. The key to their venture was that they sold the toys along with a 10 percent advertising budget. This is to say, when stores bought the toys the cost of advertising was included, and the Mego art department did the newspaper copy-ready layouts for them’.
Everybody who knew my Grandpa Dave knew that he had a big heart and even bigger stomach. Spending time with him meant sharing and eating. The other night, thinking about what he would do when business got tough and life seemed hard, I found myself in the kitchen cooking pork tenderloin. Suddenly feeling safe in his presence, I smiled from within as I stuffed the pork tenderloin with fresh herbs and sprinkled it with tea-sonings. Placing it in the oven I knew I had the power within to make things happen, I just had to think out of the teapot, keep my heart open and mind focused.
Based on a recipe from The Best Of America’s Test Kitchen: Best Recipes & Review 2009, Kelley Baker set out to produce a Herbed Roast Pork Tenderloin ‘with a crisp, browned roast that, when sliced, revealed a juicy spiral of herb-infused meat’. The secret it to butterfly the tenderloins, fold them together, tie them up to create a larger mass of meat that can stay in the oven long enough to obtain a nicely brown crust without over cooking the inside.
Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
- 3 TBS unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 TBS Dijon mustard
- 1 lemon, zest & juice
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 TBS minced fresh cilantro
- 2 TBS minced fresh dill
- 2 TBS MATE LIMON CHAI tea, finely grounded, divided
- 2 tsp salt, divided
- 2 tsp pepper, divided
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 pork tenderloins (about 3 lbs)
- 1 TBS olive oil
- Garnish with fresh herbs, cilantro and dill, chopped
- Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°. In a bowl beat butter, mustard, lemon zest & juice, shallot, cilantro, dill, 1 TBS MATE LIMON CHAI tea, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper until combined. Divide butter mixture in half (using half to spread on pork before cooking and other half to melt over after cooking). In a small bowl, mix 1 TBS MATE LIMON CHAI tea, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and sugar.
- Pat tenderloin dry with paper towels and butterfly by slicing down the middle of each tenderloin, leaving about ¼ in of meat intact and open like a book. Spread the interior with ½ of tea-butter mixture. Place the thick and thin ends opposite each other then overlap the tenderloins halfway, fold again to interlock and tie securely with kitchen twine at 1-½ intervals. Rub pork with oil and sprinkle with tea-sonings (MATE LIMON CHAI, salt, pepper and sugar mixture)
- Roast meat on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until golden brown, about 35 minutes, about 140°, flipping halfway through cooking. Transfer to cutting board, tent, brush the reserved tea-butter over tenderloin and tent with foil for about 10-15 minutes, about 150°. Remove twine slice and serve.
Enjoying dinner that night evoked memories of spending time with Grandpa Dave, my favorite being at the kitchen table playing gin.
Share a memory of David Abrams, playing with a Mego toy or spending time with your grandpa and be eligible to receive a FREE sample of tea…