Monday, July 7, 2008


Yesterday I found myself involved in a discussion about hotdogs. In the discussion it became clear that there are an infinite number of ways to prepare a hotdog. Grilled, boiled, fried, sliced up and served with beans... yep. Hotdogs are versatile. Once a week we had hotdogs and beans when I was growing up. That was just the way it was. Sometimes we also had mac and cheese with it. That was usually on Friday.

When I was much younger we lived in Arizona and occasionally we went for a cookout in the wilderness. The part of Arizona I lived in was very arid. There was an abundance of burnables so my parents were always very careful to find a dry wash bed for our picnics. Now days people call them creek beds or water ways. Basically, they're a dry stream bed cut by flash floods. Once the water is gone, there's nothing there except sand and rock. We called them a wash and pronounced warsh.

Usually, the only vegetation around was prickly pear, jumping cactus, mesquite, and maybe some ocotillo. Dad would find some dead wood--not a problem since most washes had a lot of debris from flash flooding--and he would build a small fire down in the wash. Mama would spread out a blanket or two. And then Dad would find some sticks for us. The best length was about two feet. When the fire had burned down a little, then we would poke our hotdog onto the stick and hold it over the fire to roast it. If we held it too close to the fire it would burn. If it was too far away, it would be cold on the inside.

Later after we ate all the hotdogs we could hold, then Mama would break out a bag of big marshmallows. We used the same stick for the marshmallows--threading two or three on it. Sometimes if we held them too close to the fire they would flare up and turn black. Actually, that was the way I liked mine. We had to be careful we didn't burn our fingers or mouth.

Life seemed a LOT simpler back then. And a lot tastier, too.


My friend Cindy Spencer Pape has a wonderful new book releasing today. I just wanted to tell you a little bit about it! To buy--just click on the link!

Heart of the Bear

Guardian Investigations, Book 1

By Cindy Spencer Pape

Out Today from Total-E-Bound

Blurb: Detective and psychic Hannah Lightfoot heads to her family’s mountain cabin to make some hard decisions about the future of her career. When she reaches the cabin she finds it already occupied—by a handsome naked stranger. Shape-shifter Evan Maddox is her brother’s friend and partner. After a night of unbelievable passion, they work together to rescue a kidnapped child. He believes in Hannah’s gifts, but can he trust her with his deepest secrets? Maybe even with his heart?


  1. I read this excerpt and loved it! It's different from Cindy's usual stuff but soooo poetic, gorgeous language.

    Hot dogs. I like em but can never finish one. I always get that weird feeling in the back of my throat like if I swallow another bite, it might not make it down and the rest of the dog will come up too.

  2. Thanks for the plug, Anny. And hot dogs? Who'd a thunk we could have so much discussion about those, and yet it never got racy? hmmmmmm...

  3. the best hotdog I ever had - and I generally don't like them - was in Dallas near the infamous school book depository. It was a polish sausage with lots of onions and Oz hot dogs aren't that popular...meat pies are much more common

  4. Mm, burned marshmallows. I haven't had one of those in years but I can still taste the gooey burnt sugar.

  5. Love hot dogs! Esp with honey mustard:)

    HOTB sounds like another good one, Cindy:)

  6. I love the kind that Amarinda had with the polish sausages. It's kind of tough doing those with a bun but I love em. Hot dogs were always a staple around our house when the kids were little. It was something we could fix up quickly. They especially loved chili dogs with all the goodies..onions, cheese, etc. Fast, cheap and easy.

    Cindy...this book looks sooo good. Can't wait to pick up my copy. Kudos.

  7. Anny, your cookoutin the wilderness must have been a lot of fun. I eat grilled hotdogs, but only if there is nothing else around to it. Cindy what a lovely excerpt.

  8. Hot dogs definitely taste best when camping or at a baseball game.

    And Amarinda, Polish sausages don't count as hot dogs. Sorry. Nor do Italian sausages, brats, metts, kielbasa, or any of the other long, skinny, mixed meat in a casing foodstuffs.

    Cindy, looking forward to checking out this new book. I have so much reading to catch up on!

  9. Just put hot dogs on my grocery list. You really got me craving a good one. Also a part of my growing up -- once a week on Friday but with home made french fries and baked beans. Ummmmm! Definitely a comfort food.

  10. I used to love having hotdogs roasted over an open fire. We used to do that at my Grandparents' house all the time when I was a kid. Now I won't eat them - lol!