Our Hot Dog Bar

Jul 23 2013 0 Comments Food

Today is National Hot Dog Day.  Isaiah loves hot dogs, so he was excited when I told him that on National Hot Dog Day we would have a hot dog bar so that we could make our favorite hotdogs.  In addition to the classic toppings:  mustard, ketchup and relish, we had other hot dog fixings to make a few regional favorites.  However, Isaiah, the traditionalist, was content with just ketchup, mustard (applied in a straight line) and relish. He also refuses to eat grilled hot dogs.  They must be cooked indoors in a pot of water.
In my northeastern home, when we made hot dogs (my father referred to them as frankfurters), there was almost always a pot of sauerkraut to go with them.  My mother in particular enjoyed piling sauerkraut on her hot dogs.  Now I am not sure if the sauerkraut-smothered hot dog is a Pennsylvania thing or if it was just something that my mom enjoyed.  When I first mentioned it to Harold, he turned up his nose and absolutely refused to entertain the idea.  Since being married to Mr. Harold,  I have never had sauerkraut.  That changed today-- on National Hot Dog Day. Yum!  It was as good as I remembered.  

I asked my Detroit-native husband how Detroiters preferred their hotdogs.  "Coney Island dogs!"  He responded.  I have never seen him so excited about the thought of eating a hot dog.  "I used to eat Coney Island dogs until my stomach was about to explode ."  Oh yeah. Coneys.   I recalled years ago when I visited a friend in Indiana.  She mentioned that we were going to have Coneys for lunch.  I thought, "Huh?"   I had never heard of a Coney.  She explained that they were hot dogs with chili on them.  My response, "Oh.  You mean chili dogs?"   

And there is the New York style hot dog.  When I moved to New York to go to college, I discovered that street hot dog vendors consistently offered peppery, tomatoey onions with hotdogs.  So I whipped up my version of these New York onions for our hot dog bar.

I have lived in and around Chicago for over 20 years, yet I really did not know anything about a Chicago style hot dog.  So a friend told me that that Chicagoans prefer yellow mustard, relish, raw  onions, peppers, pickle slices, diced tomatoes and a poppy seed bun.

Finally, I made a pan of baked beans.  Don't you remember being served  "franks and beans" as a kid?


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