It’s been less than a week since National Hot Dog Day, but it’s already time to celebrate National Chili Dog Day! National Chili Dog Day is always observed on the last Thursday of July, which is also National Hot Dog Month. Chili dogs are hot dogs that are usually topped with chili con carne (sans the beans), and other optional ingredients like cheese, onions, or mustard. When the National Sausage and Hot Dog Council ran a pole in 2005, they discovered that chili was the third most popular hot dog condiment, receiving 17% of the votes tallied. The chili dog’s popularity has spawned many variations, like the Coney Dog (actually from MIchigan) with added onions and mustard, and the Texas Hot Dog (actually from Pennsylvania!), which is topped with hot sauce. Chili dogs are particularly popular in the western U.S., with several restaurant chains featuring them on their menus. Arizona is home to the Sonoran dog, a chili dog that’s also topped with bacon and salsa. Mmmm…hopefully I’ll get to have one when I’m out there next month!
I can probably count the number of chili dogs I’ve eaten in my lifetime on one hand. It’s not that I don’t like them — they’re delicious! It’s just that they seem to require about three times the work of a regular hot dog, and four times the calories! In fact, it’s not often that I eat chili at all, mostly because I never think about making it. But memories of the delicious chili Chris made on National Chili Day have been making me crave the comfort food again. And our giant crockpot told me it’s been feeling neglected lately, so maybe it’s time for us to get in the kitchen and start cutting some onions.
Unfortunately, although some homemade chili would have been superb on our chili dogs, we’ll have to save our cooking exploits for another night. Chris had a company softball game this evening, so we didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy our chili dogs until he returned home quite late. And though we’d considered going out to Hard Times Cafe to take advantage of the free chili dogs they were giving out in celebration of National Chili Dog Day, instead I called Chris and asked him to pick up chili dogs from Checkers on his way home. I actually spent a year in my early twenties living within walking distance of the same Checkers he stopped at this evening, and I’m almost positive I’d never had one of their chili dogs! By the time Chris arrived home with the food it had cooled off a little, but it was still pretty good. Very, very messy, but good. There’s one thing I have to say about chili dogs though: a little bit goes a long way! Chris barely finished his and I could only finish half of mine. I guess I’ll have to practice some more before I seek out that Sonoran dog.
Maybe tomorrow I can draw everyone’s attention away from my stuffed, bloated belly by wearing some bright red lipstick. After all, it will be National Lipstick Day!