Sunday, May 29, 2011

Plant Sex and Good Wieners

I just spent the morning hand pollinating my zucchini and squash plants.  I feel dirty.  I didn’t ever think I would have to help my plants have sex, but alas I did.  I’m sure there were plenty of pollinators hanging out in my yard, but clearly they wanted to watch me do their job.  I suspect the bees were laughing at me.  Bastards.  I kept noticing an overabundance of male flowers in the garden box (which we will call the “bar” for this post).  The male flowers at the “bar” looked really pretty, but basically did nothing.  The poor female flowers got so bombarded by the male flowers that they ended up just dying.  The females could not stand all the attention, drink buying, staring and ridiculous dancing with bad out-of-date moves and constant biting of the lower lip in an attempt to look sexy.  I watched the goings on in the “bar” for a few weeks.  I waited patiently for some actual fruit.  Nothing.  Finally, I knew I had to take matters into my own hands…literally.  I changed the music at the “bar” to Barry White.  I told those men to basically just shut up and listen.  Stop talking, stop dancing…just stop doing anything at all.  After dinner with a nice wine followed by a cheesy chick flick movie, I took the male’s anther and touched it to the female’s stigma a couple of times.  We then all went back to the “bar” for a cigarette.  I’m thinking, finally, these fools will produce actual squash and zucchini.  We shall see.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day.  How do we honor those who have died for our country?  We cook out, of course.  This is America and America = food. Hamburgers are always good.  The only advice I can give on those is ONLY FLIP ONCE.  Hot dogs are often just an after-thought.  If you are looking for a little more spice or even to only cook hot dogs this Memorial Day, check out these yummy wiener recipes. 

Fireside Hot Dogs with Spicy Chips (

Spicy Chips
I cup of tortilla chips
Nonstick cooking spray
Chili-lime powder

Hot Dogs
Olive oil
½ onion, thinly sliced
4 strips of bacon
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
8 beef hot dogs
8 hot dog buns

For the spicy chips:  preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray tortilla chips with nonstick cooking spray.  Sprinkle with the chili-lime powder and toss to combine.  Transfer the chips to a baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes.

For hot dogs:  heat a medium, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the bacon and cook until all the fat has rendered, about five minutes.  Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add the soy sauce, lime juice and Worcestershire sauce, stirring to combine.  Cook for 30 seconds and turn off heat.  Transfer the mixture to medium bowl and set aside.  Using the same pan, cook the hot dogs over medium heat until golden brown and cooked through, about five minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate and wrap tightly with aluminum foil to keep warm.  To assemble each hot dog, spread some mayonnaise on each bun.  Put a hot dog in each bun, top with the onion mixture and crumbled spicy chips and serve with ketchup and mustard.

Tummy Dogs (

8 bacon strips
8 hot dogs
4 ounces of Monterey Jack cheese, cut into strips
¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
¼ cup Dijon mustard
8 hot dog buns
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies

Partially cook bacon; drain on paper towels.  Cut a ¼ inch lengthwise slit in each hot dog; place cheese in each slit.  Starting at one end, wrap bacon in a spiral around hot dog; secure with toothpicks.  Split buns just halfway.  Combine butter and mustard; spread inside buns.  Set aside.  On a covered grill over medium heat, cook hot dogs with cheese side down for two minutes.  Place bun on grill with cut side down; grill until lightly toasted.  Remove toothpicks from the hot dogs; serve in buns with onions and chilies. 

Hot Sweet Vidalia Onion Relish (

1 tablespoon oil
1 Vidalia onion, diced
¼ red and green bell peppers, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon fresh mint
½ teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon salt and cayenne pepper

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high setting.  Sauté the peppers and onion; remove from the heat when the onions are translucent and the peppers have wilted slightly.  Stir in the ingredients that remain and serve while warm.

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