Hot Dog In A Round Bun
Hot Dog Vendor Days
Hot dogs are a popular comfort food. I have enjoyed them since I was a small child. I would go out to a restaurant in my hometown with my mother and grandmother as a child. The same thing would be ordered each time. My mother also did not like to try new things. The only restaurant we went to was in a department store called Zellers. This Canadian department store was recently bought out by Target. It was founded 1931. Almost all locations were closed down by 2012. Every time I visited Zellers I would order the hot dog in a basket. This would be contained in a woven plastic basket lined with wax paper. Always this meal was accompanied by a glass of Pepsi Cola and french fries. As a child I did not like raw onions. As I got a little bit older I began to appreciate them more.
When I moved away from my hometown I was a 20 year old woman. Toronto is a very large city. I didn't possess the highest self confidence as a girl raised in a single parent family. My job hunting skills were not very good. My belief was that I was undesirable to most employers. I worked as a hot dog vendor for about 6 months in that first year in the city. My boyfriend was not happy about the nature of my job. It lacked prestige. He was a doctor's son and couldn't understand why my self-confidence suffered in this way. This line of work was done by mainly by immigrants. The impression you would have was that they worked under the table. In reality they are probably legally entitled to work in Canada. Language barriers may prevent them from finding better jobs.
My days as a hot dog vendor were colorful. Frequently customers would ask me if I was Polish. Some co-workers had very good jobs back in their home countries. This low paying job was well below minimum wage on most days due to the fact that it was 100% commission. The shift I worked was terrible. 9 hours each day on a morning shift which I happily accepted. My mentality was that any job was worth taking. This didn't help me financially as hot dogs are not a common breakfast food. Lunch hour was part of my shift and that was a bit of a help. This stand was open 24 hours a day in the trendiest neighborhood in Toronto.
There was a Russian man in my age group who became very infatuated with me. Poor language skills impacted his life in Canada as a new immigrant. An older Russian hot dog vendor befriended him because they spoke the same language. One day this Russian man's father came to the hot dog stand. I was asked to visit his son in a mental health institution. This tugged at my heart strings. The father brought a painting the young man had created as a gift for me. At the psychiatric hospital my friend confessed romantic feelings for me. This became stressful near the end of the job. The young man began showing up at my work almost everyday. He insisted on helping me carry the heavy propane canister used to fire up the vendor grill. This was a harmless situation, but my meek temperament didn't know how to deal with it. I left the job as winter arrived.
Many of you will find it ironic that a vegetarian worked as a hot dog vendor. I am a vegan at this stage of my life. My consumption of hot dogs in now only the vegetarian variety. I did not eat a single hot dog the entire time I worked as a hot dog vendor. I often ate the bun without anything but condiments and cheese inside. The cheese was our dirty little secret. It is not legal to serve hot dogs with cheese at vendor stands.
As a little girl I had many books. My mother enjoyed scouring secondhand stores. Our house probably contained more books than any other house in the neighborhood. My mother likes writing poetry. This probably encouraged a love of literature in me. Cookbooks were no exception. There were many cookbooks in our house. I had some of the Betty Crocker Cookbooks for Boys and Girls. These retro cookbooks are humorous to look through. I have recently noticed that my local dollar store is selling kitchen utensils from Betty Crocker as well.
This recipe comes from a Betty Crocker Cookbook. I no longer own this book, but believe this recipe is in the 1973 edition. This recipe is great if you are having a cook out or party and all you have left are hamburger buns.
- Hot dogs or veggie dogs
- Hamburger buns
- Your choice of condiments
- Cut slits into a hot dog half way along the full length.
- Put the hot dog on your barbeque
- Cook very carefully to insure that it doesn't break
- Toast your hamburger bun on the grill
- Shape your hot dog into a circle on the bun
- Put your selected condiments in the center
Hot Dog Octopus
Online there have been many images circulating of hot dogs cut into the shape of an octopus. These have been dubbed redneck calamari by some sources. It is a great way to make hot dogs fun for children. My grandmother used to cut my toast into bows and arrows when I was a child. Children are imaginative by nature. It is great to let them play with their food a little bit. As long as they keep it on the plate!
Here is a link which tells you how to make your own: