Saturday, July 28, 2012

Year Two for 3rd Grade Hot Dog Day

Let’s talk about hot dogs. I can’t believe it’s been over six weeks since I posted here. We have continued to make visits to hot dog sellers around here with an emphasis on revisits. We are coming to realize that we have been to most of the hot dog sellers in the area, yet we do hear of or spot a new one occasionally.

But this post isn’t about one of our usual visits. Back in May, right at the end of school, Robert and I served charcoal grilled hot dogs to a bunch of third graders. For the second year now we had hot dog day for the third grade class taught by my son-in-law, Aaron. He teaches at Restoration Academy in downtown Fairfield. Restoration is an urban Christian school that does a wonderful job with these kids. You can read about last year Here.

This year I made a visit to his class a few weeks before hot dog day. My goal was to encourage them to try some toppings other than the usual ketchup and/or mustard often used by kids. I took a few pictures of some “serving suggestions” and led a lively discussion. I concluded that the visit wasn’t needed because I heard a big variety of preferences. So, as I prepared for the big day I collected a huge variety of condiments some of which I had never even had before.

On hot dog day Robert and I arrived early to unload and set up a grill and serving table under the big old trees in Fairfield City Park, right across the street from the school. We were then joined by the very pregnant “Miss Susie” my daughter, the wife of the teacher Aaron. I manned the grill and started some regular Oscar Myer dogs, polish sausages and smoked sausages as well as a pot of chili.I included the sausages after having had some great hot dogs made with these during the last year. I have particularly come to like the hot dog size smoked sausages and convinced a few to try one for the first time.

I also added something that I've never found commercially. I bought some really big chicken breasts and cut them into long fat strips. I then marinated them in Moor's Marinade (Dale's is also good) and grilled. These "chicken dogs" were served in a hot dog bun with Zoe's slaw and other toppings chosen by the individual.My personal preference is to have these with mayonnaise or white barbecue sauce and slaw or maters.

We were joined by my friend Dr. Edwards and the staff of Hope Health Center also located right across the street from the park. They came out at our invitation to get an early start before all the third graders came out.

It was a delightful time. Like last year, all who were served were appreciative and had a good time. I was impressed with the variety of toppings chosen by everyone. It was hard work but also rewarding to do this for these kids.