Happy National Hot Dog Month!

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Who doesn't love hot dogs? *Frankly,* that would be un-American!

As the Fourth of July approaches, I can’t stop thinking about hot dogs — possibly because the annual Nathan’s pig out is this Saturday.

My love affair with the link is nothing new. I even run a Flickr group dedicated to world-wide weenies of all shapes and sizes: Hot Dog.

It seems that I am not alone in my obsession.

Way back in the 70′s, Mettja C. Roate wrote a cookbook devoting half its pages to tube steaks. Roadfood.com has a forum on hot dogs, sausages and brautwursts (you have to register to access the lively discussion). Hot Dog Chicago Style has a searchable database of restaurants located across the country. In addition, the opinionated HollyEats.com has a Hot Dog Page listing close to a hundred different joints located across this great hot dog loving nation. (Oh, and did I mention The Frankfurter Chronicles?)

I have a list of my own old favorites and “dying to try” establishments:

Before dining at any of these or any other fine dawg-serving establishments, I suggest a study of Hot Dog Etiquettte. (Unless, of course, you’re heading to the white trash trailer, ahem, restaurant, Hillbilly Hot Dogs: www.hillbillyhotdogs.com.)

Just as in the great depression of the 1930s, reds hots are, well, red hot! So far I haven’t seen a “Depression Sandwich” offered on menus (hot dog & fries for a nickle — or four cents if that was all you had — as served at Fluky’s in Chicago).

Today we have “designer dogs” and restaurants serving “Lobster Dogs.” We even have recipes for lobster corn dogs with truffled hollandaise sauce, with, perhaps, an order of duck fat fries on the side…

With all the money the weenie industry is making, I think I should join the ranks of the honorable hot dog cart vendor. The cost of running a profitable weenie stand may be high, but I would be doing something I loved. I could even prepare for my new career by simply changing degree programs. Goodbye SUNY-Empire, hello Hot Dog U: The Harvard of Encased Meats!

"Maybe it's something we dreamed" – Clementine Paddleford

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Prep for a dish of spring peasWELCOME TO Something We Dreamed – which is something I’ve dreamed up to help me cope with the formless days of unemployment that are fast approaching. But fear not! I have a new SUNY research project about to begin – on women cookbook authors – and there should be plenty of interesting bits and pieces that I can share with you as the work progresses.

Here’s the first:

“Maybe it’s something we dreamed” is a quote from cookbook author Clementine Paddleford taken from the book Hometown Appetites written by Kelly Alexander and Cynthia Harris. I’ve just started reading, and can not put the book down! Paddleford was the food editor of the New York Herald Tribune and a national correspondent for This Week magazine from 1936 until her death in 1967. In 1953, Time magazine awarded her with the title “Best-Known Food Editor” and, according to the book’s authors, Paddleford was “the first person to truly define ‘regional American food’.”

I’ll tell you more about Ms. Paddleford in my next post. Until then, check out the web site for Hometown Appetites: http://clementinepaddleford.com/

– Kate


Dining (and Duking) with Elaine: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2009/06/out-to-lunch-kaufman200906

It’s Salad Day for Weeds: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124338226000356493.html

The Celery Soda Chronicles: http://www.gourmet.com/food/2009/05/the-celery-soda-chronicles