Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

hot dog

Pittsburgh vantage, originally uploaded by gurdonark.

Today I drive to the Big Picnic. I am not really the "big picnic" type, as social functions involving lots of people are not my forte'. Notwithstanding the addings and subtractings of "forte", though, I will be a picnicker be today. Count me among the insufficiently appreciative blessed.

I can give a huge shout-out to that common friend of the casual outdoor diner, the "hot dog". When I was a boy, I played baseball once or twice a week, for teams with names like "Meyers Bread" and "Clark County Bank". The baseball "stadium" had two fields--a field for the younger children and a field for the teenage children.
Aside from the two fields, there was also a cinderblock concession stand.

The parents who ran that concession could darn well make a hot dog. Their chili dog was perfect--the amazing blend of heavy mustard, a deep, rich, chili, and hours spent being kept warm in little paper packaging. It was like those soul-restoring green waters.
I used to have one or two each time.

Nowadays I don't use chili, but instead have developed a passion for sauerkraut. I'm not very big on other condiments, and in parrticular cannot imagine why anyone over age 5 would put mayonaisse on a hotdog (though on a hamburger my sole objection to mayonaisse is dietetic).

I like that hot dogs are populist food--one can learn to be a great hot dog cook even if one is not, in general, a great cook. I like that a "gourmet" hot dog bun may only be a couple of dimes more expensive than a standard-issue, and yet taste fifty times better.
Wheat buns add to the flavor. Sesame seeds add to the flavor. No doubt an egg bun or a 7-grain bun or a schwarzbrot bun would merely add to the flavor.

A hot dog with heavy sauerkraut, baked potato chips, some carrot sticks, well-peeled, some celery on the side. Simple, powerful, tasty redeeming.

I am going to the Big Picnic today, and I hope to have a hot dog.


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