Hooray for the 4th! / Hot Dog Sanction

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Prior to the 4th of July, the New York Times ran an article on a blind tasting of ten brands of hot dogs. I was so intrigued by the detailed descriptions of the tastes and textures, my curiosity led me on a hunt for the winner___Wellshire Farms Premium All Natural Uncured Beef Franks sold only at Whole Foods.

Now, I do love and crave hot dogs___every “which” way___grilled, boiled, broiled____Chicago style (Scoogies in Mt Pleasant)___loaded with any and all trimmings. I grew up in Wilson, NC home of the famous Dick’s Hotdog Stand (since 1921) which was a local hangout and landmark. Back then, it was a weekly tradition for this lady and remains a “must visit” for all high school reunion trips. Dick’s son Lee is still taking orders and can reminisce about every Fike High Football game when you ask___how could anyone forget about the Hail Mary pass to win the State Championship back in 1965?

Would you guess Whole Foods would be Sold Out of the prized Wellshire Farms Dogs? Well, they were! Niman Ranch Fearless Franks, an acceptable mention, was nowhere to be found either. Determined to have the best and only THE BEST or switch to baby back ribs, Whole Foods became a daily call and luckily a shipment of Wellshire arrived just in the nick of time!

Over the years hot dogs have gotten a bad rap because of additives, fat, questionable ingredients, salt and such. Being health and weight conscious, I have limited my intake of this forbidden pleasure. But today’s hot dog selections provide better choices of quality products. My philosophy___the body is a temple, therefore only the finest is acceptable.

How do you “build” your dog? I like mine grilled on a green egg with lump wood charcoal giving it that smokey flavor. Top cut buns are warm, baked in tin foil or steamed. A slather of Duke’s Mayonnaise lines the buns, hot dog next with mustard covering the dog, copious amounts of homemade chili spooned on, a sprinkling of finely minced Vidalia onions, topped with Wickles relish___and Viola___a SHOW DOG!

If you can’t make up your mind between Fritos or Kettle Cooked Potato Chips, have both. A deviled egg “just cause” and a Nehi Orange to wash it all down___you will probably have the tastiest hot dog “evah”! I am a Wellshire Farms convert. Not leaving anything to chance, I have another dozen in the freezer for Labor Day. Hooray for the Holidays!