We don’t eat a lot of hot dogs at our house. And when we do, I am picky about buying BEEF hot dogs, as I am completely turned off of pork and the idea of a compressed mixture of turkey, pork and beef and the processes that must produce such an unnatural product is something I try hard not to think about.
The children get to choose their birthday meals, and a couple times of year, someone will request cheeseburgers and hot dogs. So hot dogs are considered a rare and delicate treat by the children here. And there are rarely leftovers.
A few weeks ago, the boys were involved in a 4-day choir camp at the local Baptist church that culminated in a musical performance. Performance Day was exciting and busy with 3 hours of practice, and I got this rare, crazy idea to feed the kids hot dogs for supper. This was really lazy-mom-needs-a-quick-meal-to-get-the-kids-out-the-door-by-6:15 pm, but with proper presentation it turns into “hey kids, y’all have worked hard and I am treating you to hot dogs!”
So I made hot dogs on that fateful Thursday afternoon. In our rush to get to church on time, I left kitchen clean-up until later. We returned home after bedtime, and I began clearing plates and scraps. To my surprise, there was a half-eaten hot dog and bun left on a plate. We usually wrap and save every possible leftover, but I felt uncomfortable saving a piece of meat that had sat out for 5 hours, so I tossed the dog and bun in the prep sink on top of the potato peels and veggie scraps I had processed that day.
It was late and I planned to give the kitty a surprise hot dog and bun the next morning when I hauled the scraps out to the compost pile.
I got up the next morning and set water on the stove to boil. I put away clean dishes that had dried on the counter overnight and turned my attention to the prep sink. I reached for the hot dog and bun . . . . . . . . . but, what was this? The bun was empty. I glanced in the sink, thinking the hot dog had rolled out of the bun and nestled with the potato peelings, but . . . . . . .no hot dog.
The children were still sleeping after their late night, and there was only one other person who had been up before me. I had a suspicion, but . . . . .no . . . . . .surely not, I thought . . . . . .
I picked up the phone and called my hard-working husband, my busy, busy husband who is up at 5 am every morning, who works 12- 14 hour days, and whom I try to be sensible about calling. In fact, I would say I am sparse in my phone calls, preferring to interrupt his day as little as possible in hopes that he will get done quicker and home to us earlier.
However, some things are important enough to rate a call and risk that I am interrupting an important meeting between my professional ditch-digger and a client or engineer or Mr. Important Whomever.
“Hey, sweetie. I’m sorry to interrupt you, but I called seeking reassurance from you this morning. Um . . . . . . . . . well, you see . . . .there was this half-eaten hot dog and bun that I threw in the sink on top of the slop last night. I was going to give it to the kitty this morning, but I can only find the bun . . . . . . . . .the hot dog is missing . . . . . I, um, was hoping that you could reassure me . . . . . . . . . . . .”
He waited it out.
He was going to make me say it.
“PLEASE, please, tell me you didn’t eat it this morning.”
“I ate it.” He sounded cheerful.
Deep breath. I had to plan my next words, careful with the placement of emphasis.
“Okay, let me make sure I am understanding this. You picked up a half-eaten hot dog that had been IN THE SLOP PILE ALL NIGHT and ATE it for breakfast?”
“The hot dog wasn’t touching any of the slop. It was in the bun.”
Did he HAVE to sound so reasonable?
“Okay. I can make this work,” I said hopefully. “You probably came behind me last night and picked it up out of the slop . . . . . . . like only 5 minutes after I had tossed it in and you put it in the fridge until this morning. Right?” Somehow 5 minutes in the slop pile sounded better to my desperate mind than the whole night in the slop pile.
“I picked it out of the slop this morning.” He sounded like he was on the verge of laughter, like . . . . . . . .like he knew something I didn’t.
A deeper breath.
“It’s okay. Just give me a minute. I called seeking reassurance but am finding that my deepest fears were true all along. I just need some time to wrap my mind around this. I’m sure I’ll be fine and ready to greet you properly when you get home.”
Then, THEN he dropped the bomb, what I had sensed he was holding onto through this conversation.
“Honey, I enjoyed coffee with that hot dog this morning.”
“YOU. DID. NOT.”
I could FEEL the silent smirk across the phone line.
TWENTY years. We’ve been married almost 20 years, and I thought I had nipped THAT atrocious habit in the bud.
But it is true. History is doomed to repeat itself.
Or I am doomed to my husband resurrecting his premarital coffee dog days. Doomed to smell the nauseating mixture of coffee and hot dogs.
But maybe it is just me. Maybe there is a market out there for this original coffee flavor and I had better post the recipe here, on my blog —– proof that my husband is the sole creator of this product.
I suppose I would find it more palatable if it made a profit.
The Original Coffee Dog
1 young, unmarried male college student rooming with 2 other male college students (necessary as I believe most sensible females would halt this recipe mid-prep)
Put hot dogs in the pot with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Get your coffee cup ready with a scoop of instant coffee. When hot dogs are cooked, pour your boiling hot dog water into coffee cup. Stir. Add cream and sugar to taste.
Enjoy (if you can) your nasty coffee with your hot dogs, otherwise known as Coffee Dogs.