After abstaining from hot dogs for about 10 years, I realized I consumed two during one recent week.
One was a generic hot dog during Fourth of July weekend and the other was a gourmet Polish dog from J Dawgs near BYU campus. You can guess which was the tastiest.
I quit purchasing packaged hot dogs for my family when they were priced higher per pound than hamburger at the supermarket. (I thought only beef hot dogs were good enough for my children!)
However, the wieners -- this brand made from chicken, pork and beef -- I bought for the holiday were a sale item at 69 cents a package in a local grocery store. Positioned nearby were the hot dog buns at a similarly inexpensive quote, priced to move quickly over the weekend. I was almost giddy with excitement as I shopped for pickle relish and other condiments to eat with my first hot dog in a decade.
My son David wanted cheese to go with his hot dog. I cut a slice down the center of the wiener and laid a sliver of cheese inside for him to savor, along with chili (from a can) to spread over all. My granddaughters turned their noses up at the relish but went for the ketchup or just devoured them plain, cut up with no bun. (Strange girls, these.)
So we happily ate our Fourth of July treat along with a Hamburger-Bean Casserole, which by the way, isn't so bad to use as a topping over the hot dogs.
We may have to settle for that because Jayson Edwards -- owner of J Dawgs, a "shack" at 880 N. 700 East, Provo, for the gourmet offering of hot dogs -- isn't telling what's in the mouthwatering special sauce that makes his "dawg" famous.
"It's my grandma and mom's recipe -- Southern style, sweet and tangy, complements the 'dawg' really well," Jayson said. "It has just a lot of love. I can't really divulge the recipe -- it will probably put my kids through school some day."
Until we figure out the ingredients and amounts, try out this recipe from my college days. I've had it so long and made it so often I claim it as my own. Tinker with it a little and add fresh-sliced mushrooms and chopped green peppers. The brown sugar definitely makes the taste difference for me. It may be equivalent to the honey taste in Jayson's creation.
• 1 pound ground beef
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 large can pork and beans
• 10-ounce-can tomato soup, undiluted
• 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
• 1/4 to 1/2 pound bacon, fried, crumbled, optional
Brown ground beef and onion; pour off grease. Add remaining ingredients, except bacon (I add mostly to taste, perhaps a little bit more of the barbecue sauce to boost the robustness) and pour into casserole dish. Top with bacon and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Yum, yum.
Back to Jayson's J Dawgs and his special sauce: One thing he needs to offer to eat your gourmet dawg -- besides a couple shade trees and a tented area, with a fantastic view of Y Mountain -- is a wet washcloth to clean up after the special sauce drips all over you.
Taste of the Valley: Sample the cu various restaurants and bakeries from 4-7 p.m. July 23 on the lawn of Historic County Courthouse. $6. Info: 851-2555
Getting in the paper: Keep us updated on your restaurant or culinary business. Are you a new establishment? Are you moving or closingfi Send us your news to Karen Hoag at firstname.lastname@example.org, fax to 373-5489 or mail to Daily Herald, P.O. Box 717, Provo, UT 84603.
Karen Hoag can be reached at 344-2540.
This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page B1.