Monday, January 16, 2012

One of my faves

Tonight I'd like to share with you a childhood favorite of mine that I made for supper: hot dogs, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes. I honestly have no idea if the majority of readers will have just gagged, said "hhmmm that's a new one", or nodded in complete understanding.

A bit of a background. I come from German heritage on both my mom and dad's side. I think it's fairly pure as well with only a move to Russia in the late 1800s to report anything other than German in my lineage. And that probably doesn't really count since I'm not sure any ancestors stayed there or had children while living there. Sauerkraut and potatoes are German foods as I'm sure you are aware. I don't know exactly how the hot dog came to play in that meal. Here's my hypothesis: I also come from a lower middle class family. My dad was/is a high school teacher and my mom stayed home with my brothers and I. Money was always fairly tight. I remember having things like powdered milk, McDonald's for a treat only if we were traveling on the road, a calculator at the grocery store to ensure that my mom stayed within the food budget, and no buns for the hot dogs or hamburgers. At the time, I, for the most part, didn't know the difference. I didn't really know that other kids drank actual milk and that's probably why they liked it so much more than me. I didn't know that having a strict budget meant you didn't have much to spend. I did know that not eating out other than special occasions was different from a lot of my friends. Looking back, I love the situation I was raised in! I love what it taught me about having and not having. And about how much can be sacrificed without any harm being done to your quality of life.

So I imagine that the addition of hot dogs to one of my favorite meals probably began because of a food budget. Hot dogs are cheap. This doesn't change the fact that those three things taste absolutely delicious together! The one thing that has changed though, is the quality of the hot dog. No, I do not eat regular hot dogs anymore. Not since giving up pork and understanding what a hot dog is actually made of. So a once frugal meal has become a bit more expensive. (All beef hot dogs are way worth it, though. So tasty!) But the cost for me does not out weigh the delicious experience and reminder that I come from a great family!

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