Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hot Dog

Happy Fourth of July, all.  Time for hot dogs.  

For as long as I can remember,  my traditional Fourth of July fare has been hot dogs and all the fixin’s.  I grew up in the Southwest, so for me, an adult hot dog (as opposed to a kid’s purist hot dog consisting of a frank and a bun) is served Texas style - piled with chili, onions, and melted cheese - and to this day, that is my ideal hot dog.  However, in my dotage I have become infinitely more careful about clogging my arteries, and I am sad to say that I haven’t had a chili-cheese dog in years.

The first New York style dog I ever ate was actually in New York City in the 1970s.  I bought it from a street vendor, slathered with mustard and kraut.  It was delicious.  Speaking of the ‘70s, I lived in Lubbock Texas in 1976, which, as some of you may be old enough to remember, was the Bicentennial.  The city of Lubbock held quite a celebration, with parades and fireworks and free food - including hot dogs!  Fortunately I was young and spry at the time, and managed to elbow my way through the crowds thronging the poor hot dog distributor.  I came away with one dog in one hand and half a dog in the other, with nothing on either but the wiener.  But they were free, dang it.

These days, my hot dogs are fairly frugal.  I like a little mustard, some chopped onion and sweet pickle, and ketchup.  But to each his own.  As long as you don’t forget the potato salad on the side.  That would be just wrong.

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