Work has been slow at The Whitney this week. They were closed Monday for repair work caused from the water main break last month, and Tuesday and yesterday only had two reservations for Afternoon Tea [not many wanting to venture out in 19 degree temperatures], so I drove to my childhood stomping grounds to attend the monthly lunch with a group of 'girls' I went to Jr. and Sr. high school with. It's been quite awhile since I've had an opportunity to join them.
We met at an Italian restaurant called Sammy's Cucina. The food was good and the fellowship even better! Four of the group were unable to attend, but the five of us carried on nicely. Whenever I'm with them I leave counting my blessings for the good health I've been blessed with so far in life. We've reached the age when health issues surface - three of the gals have macular degeneration, one has MS, and another has had cancer, but thankfully is cancer-free right now. In spite of their health issues, they're an optimistic, fun-loving group of ladies.
The restaurant had a tea chest which is always a nice treat. I chose Davidson's Apple-Cinnamon black tea.
It tasted very good on the cold, wintry afternoon. We sat around the table and talked for two hours, then split up to go our individual ways.
I don't remember how we got on the subject hot dogs and bologna. Maybe when one of the gals said they were a favorite she had to give up due to gout. The question arose, how did hot dogs acquire such a name anyway? "Humm... I said. Sounds like a good Google search topic." They gave me the job! ;-)
I've never been a big eater of hot dogs and even less of bologna. I remember the hoopla when it came out that hot dogs were made from undesirable 'leftover' animal parts that were processed with cancer-causing sodium nitrate to preserve them, so I've pretty much stayed clear of them. On the rare occasions when I have made hot dogs they're Hebrew [Kosher] all-beef franks.
But back to the question, how did they get their name? The Dachshund is a short-legged, long-bodied hound dog of German origin. One story has it that Johann Georghehner of Coburg, Germany created the sausage known as the "dachshund" or "little-dog" in the 1600's. He traveled to Frankfurt to promote his new product, hence the name frankfurter or frank, so the general consensus among food historians is that it's a German creation. The people of Vienna [Wien], Austria, however, say they created it and called it a "weiner." So take your pick! ;-)
The American hot dog [which is dubbed America's favorite food] came from several European sausages brought here by butchers of several nationalities. A German baker opened the first Coney Island hot dog stand with dachshund sausages in a roll in 1871. Because they were served piping hot [usually from portable hot water tanks] their name was shortened to 'hot dogs.' In 1893 they became the standard fare at baseball parks. [I prefer a bratwurst topped with green peppers and onions.]
A few doors down from the restaurant was a HomeGoods store, so I paid them a visit before making my 40 mile drive back home. One of my neighbors is having a tea this Sunday afternoon, and I wanted to get her a hostess gift. Besides it had been a long time since I visited one of their stores, and which are always fun to browse.
Surprisingly, I didn't see any St. Patrick's Day items, but there was a lot of lovely Easter dishware and decorations. With extreme discipline, I stuck to my objective and only purchased a hostess gift. I hope my neighbor likes it.