Monday, July 14, 2008

Celebrating Hot Dogs and STRAWBERRY FLOATS

July is National Hot Dog Month! We are always looking for a reason to celebrate here at TableTalkPortland, so we decided to hold a National Hot Dog Month Backyard Picnic, complete with stacks of bratwursts, vats of macaroni salad, a Corn-Off and my personal favorite, STRAWBERRY FLOATS (recipe below). It was simply wienderful. (Sorry.)

As guests arrived, Michelle offered them one of her signature "Le Pamplemousse" (The Grapefruit) cocktails, handcrafted using her new toy, the Metrokane Citrus Power Juicer from Sur La Table. 

Minimalist that she is (cough), Michelle's recipe utilized only three ingredients: the juice of a pamplemousse, a jigger of vodka, and extremely rare and priceless pink diamond dust. Oh wait, that was pomegranate rimming sugar, also from Sur La Table. And actually, anyone can get it by clicking HERE, and it costs a mere $6.95. It even comes in a pretty silver box you can use to store your real diamond dust in. Or your collection of scratch 'n sniff pamplemousse stickers, whatever. 
The crowd screamed for more, and Michelle and Alexis were forced to sacrifice a whole herd of pamplemousses.

We composted their hides, of course. 

We thought it might be a good idea to eat something along with our Le Pamplemousses, so a magnificent traditional picnic spread was conjured up. Plump meaty bratwursts, macaroni salad with plenty of mayonaisse, crispy potato chips that coated our fingers and gullets with salt, slightly blackened corn on the cob fresh off the barbecue, sweet juicy watermelon, these are a few of our favorite things.

In honor of National Hot Dog month, Anella paid her respects at the altar of the Hot Dog.

Guests could eat on the stage, or opt for grass seating.

A few of our guests sniffed at the feast, opting instead for cereal and juice.

We ate, we laughed, we ate some more. After a few Le Pamplemousses, I was inspired to compose "Ode to a Hot Dog," which goes like this:

by Jen, in honor of National Hot Dog Month

Oh how Jen and Michelle love hot dogs, let me count the ways. We could eat them all our days.
We will roast them on a stick, or use the BBQ so we can eat them quick!
We will eat them on a bun. We will eat them on the run.
We will eat them with condiments, we will eat them on the fence.
We will eat them with some sass. We will eat them in the grass.
We will eat them with Molly the dog, did you know that they are made of hog?

The End

Thank you. I blame the pamplemousse.

And then, the coup de grace of our evening--STRAWBERRY FLOATS. I put this in caps, because I think it's important. The STRAWBERRY FLOAT may be the greatest discovery of my summer. 

All you need is: Hot Lips Strawberry Soda (click to read more info)
Vanilla ice cream (I use Dreyers Vanilla Bean)
Sliced fresh strawberries, preferably from Farmer's Market.

The directions are complicated, so put down your Le Pamplemousse and pay attention.
1. Put some ice cream in a glass. You don't have to use a wine glass, but we did, because we drink everything out of a wine glass, even French Onion soup. 

2. Pour in some Hot Lips Strawberry soda, an ethereal potion which I have heard described as "summer in a bottle." 

3. Top with sliced fresh strawberries.
4. Distribute and bask in the praise.
5. Accidentally drip all over the kitchen floor and call Molly the dog over to clean up.

6. Molly is pleased! 
7. Put the now very sticky Molly in the dishwasher with the 900 Le Pamplemousse and Strawberry Float glasses you have generated.

8. Make seconds. And thirds. Your guests are simply mad about Strawberry Floats!

And that is the story of our wienderful (yeah, I had to use it again, when else will I have this kind of opportunity?) National Hot Dog Month Backyard Picnic and STRAWBERRY FLOAT extravaganza.

Click here to view a YouTube clip of Michelle and I's Corn-Off.



  1. Michelle's cute and obviously loves her food, in a 'Fun' way! i.e corn on the cob encounter:)

    Andy Cambray (Wales UK)