I mean, I love them. I really do… But then I go through spurts in which I have no desire to eat them. I bet that I went a good five years at one point without eating one. I don’t know… they just didn’t tickle my fancy. It wasn’t that I hated them…I just didn’t feel like eating them. I have a feeling it was because at that point, we had a gas grill, and they didn’t have that delicious charcoal taste to them. But even more so, I’ve yet to find a hot dog that I can say has the perfect taste, the perfect spiciness, or the perfect ‘snap’ when you bite into one.
Honestly? I think eating a hot dog today is all about your surroundings. I’ve eaten the best hot dogs in my life with my
co-workers friends… sitting around a table at a little hot dog stand that sits on a little creek in Niagara Falls…it has a charming little deck that sits out over the water.
Let me take that back…maybe it wasn’t my surroundings that made them delicious… Because the hot dog stand is in the vicinity of Love Canal (Long sad story…you can Google it and find one of the lowest points in the history of Niagara Falls)..
We lovingly and half-jokingly call the hot dog stand “Dysentery Ditch”, so you get the idea. I described that little deck to you as charming, when in reality… it’s on a dirty little creek….there’s an overpass that’s practically above our heads as we’re eating… and there’s baskets with plastic flowers hanging here and there. But it’s clean, the food is good, it’s about five minutes from work, and most of all…I love it there.
So let me start over…. I’ve eaten hot dogs with some of the best people in my life…We’ve spent some really happy times on our lunch at Dysentery Ditch… filled with laughter, some very strong discussions, or just a quiet lunch, the quiet comfort that we’re in the company of people I’ve come to call my family… the people I’ve come to love. So for me, that’s when I can say I’ve eaten the most delicious hot dogs.
And while I do still eat hot dogs at home, the couple of brands that seem to be the best in my simple little world…the ones that I buy, are just “eh”..
I don’t know…maybe you’re thinking… “Prudy, maybe you just don’t like hot dogs”.
That’s truly not the case. I love them. I crave them at times. I just can’t find one that really satisfies….at least one that I don’t have to load up with gobbilty gook.
Maybe I need to create my own version of hot dog.
So, when I eat a hot dog, it always has to be spiced up. Loaded with ketchup, mustard, relish, hot sauce, and onions…. Or LeFrois sauce, which I believe is a Western New York thing..and the it’s the best sauce ever!
….Or I’ll make this hamburger sauce, which is kind of like a Coney Island sauce…a great sauce that definitely makes any hot dog “hot dog worthy” in my book.
While I love the sloppiness that the sauce brings to the hot dog (because I like everything sloppy), it’s the combination of flavors that really get me. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about taking a bite of something savory, but getting that hint of cinnamon in the end. It just works for me every time. Add a line of prepared mustard and some chopped onions, and you’ve got a winner! …And while I’m talking about it for hot dogs, this sauce is really delicious on hamburgers too! Throw some green pepper in while you’re sautéing the onions, serve it kind of like sloppy joes! I honestly love this sauce. It’s a perfect year round condiment!
Update to this post: My friend Mr Fitz, from Cooking with Mr Fitz just shared one of his posts with me…and I’d like to share it with you… he seems to sum the hot dog dilemma all up! I hope you stop by and visit his blog… He’s a great guy, he’s hilarious, and always has awesome recipes up his sleeve!
I’m taking my hot dog sauce to Angie’s Fiesta Friday over at The Novice Gardener, where Saucy from Saucy Gander, and Margot from Gather and Graze are hosting. It should be a great time! Thanks to Saucy and Margot for hosting this week, I know that they’ll make this party an event to remember! And … Angie… thank you for hosting this party for the 27th week in a row! Time flies…
I hope you stop by the party to see what all of the talented people have shared this week! If you’re new to Fiesta Friday, it’s a great way to meet other bloggers, and to gain exposure. You will love this wonderful blogging community…everyone is so friendly, you’ll feel like you’ve known us all for years!
Life is good, it’s a “I really wish I could find the perfect hot dog, but even if I did, I’d probably still slop the condiments on, so in the end it doesn’t really matter” kind of good…
Hot Dog Sauce
Just a quick note… I wanted to mention that this sauce freezes really well. I’ll usually make a double batch, and then put it in freezer containers to use for the next few months. It will keep up to six months in the freezer, and about a week in the refrigerator.
This recipe came from my great Aunt Tish, so I’ve posted her recipe exactly how she had it written. The beauty of this sauce is that you can make it to suit your taste. If you like it hot, then add some hot peppers, or hot sauce… if you like it vinegary, then add more vinegar. I like to add a few extra splashes of worcestershire!
1 cup cold water
1 pound ground beef
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 large onion, diced
1 – 10.75 oz can tomato soup
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sugar
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer, stirring and breaking the ground beef up. Simmer for at least 1/2 hour to 1 hour.