Saturday: Hili dialogue

It’s Saturday, July 23, and the “heat dome” over Chicago, which is broiling much of the U.S., is predicted to abate. It’s National Hot Dog Day in the U.S., so go out and have a Chicago-style dog: the best of all possible dogs. It is an all-beef dog in a natural casing and resting happily on a Rosen’s poppy-seed bun, dressed with mustard, onions, relish, hot peppers, tomatoes, celery salt, and a pickle spear. Ordering ketchup on a dog is a felony in Chicago—as it should be everywhere.

On this day in history, in 1903, the Ford Motor Company sold its first car. Exactly 39 years later, the Treblinka concentration camp was opened in Poland.

Notables born on this day include Raymond Chandler (1888), Justice Anthony Kennedy (1936), and Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967, died 2014). Those who died on this day include Ulysses S. Grant (1885), D. W. Griffith (1948), Eudora Welty (2001), Amy Winehouse (2011 ♥), and Sally Ride (2012). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili attacked from her hiding behind a wicker chair:

Hili: How did you know I was here?
A: Somebody sank her claws into my back.
In Polish:
Hili: Skąd wiedziałeś, że ja tu jestem?
Ja: Bo ktoś mi wbijał pazury w plecy.

We have special lagniappe today. The heat continues to sap all of us in the central U.S. This photo was sent by reader Blue in Iowa:

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 10.00.35 AM

And in southern Poland, Leon is taking intermittent hikes as he and his staff search for a house.

Leon: Another 500 meters up the hill and then I will walk by myself.


I sent my godcat Gus a present for his third birthday. It’s a Canadian license plate shaped like a polar bear, but it also looks like Gus. For a while several decades ago, both the Northwest Territories and Manitoba had polar bear-shaped license plates (God love the Canadians!), and I bought one on eBay for Gus. See the resemblance?


Finally, this picture was taken exactly two years ago yesterday. I like it (as does Hili), so I’m putting it up again.



  1. Mike
    Posted July 23, 2016 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    In the Photograph of pcc with Hili, the wonderful embroidery on the shirt makes it appear at first glance as though Hili’s kitten is in the shirt

  2. Hempenstein
    Posted July 23, 2016 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Completely on board with all the toppings, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a beef hot dog that tasted better than one made outta pork.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 23, 2016 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      I’ve never had a beef one full stop. It sounds vaguely sacrilegous to a Brit like me who’s only ever had the pork sausage/bun/onions/ketchup/mustard. I’m willing to be initiated though.

      That porky flavour, both delicious and with a hint of something utterly disgusting in its smell, is what a hot dog means to me – that and fried onions.

    • Posted July 23, 2016 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      On vacation passing though a little Northern California coastal town, Husband and I stopped for lunch at what was mostly a deli… but they served long all-beef hotdogs. I ordered one with only mustard, ordinary yellow mustard.


      I have had all-beef dogs since then, but nothing like that. That must have been back in the early 1980s, as well. Wow.

      And I still like my infrequent forays into hotdogs with only yellow mustard, which was unusual for me before that day.

  3. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted July 23, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Being a big fan of hot dogs as well as Jerry’s apparently divisive food photos, I’d love to see a picture of this Chicago variant.

    • Posted July 23, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Here’s a good photo of a Chicago dog, “dragged through the garden,” as they call it:

      By the way, those who decry the all beef dogs should try a Vienna dog made in Chicago: it’s made from real chunks of good beef, unlike the pork dogs, which are probably made from ground up tails and snouts.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted July 23, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        Much appreciated Jerry. What a beast…. I’d have a go at recreating one of them, only it’s pretty tricky to find beef dogs in my part of the world(I’ve never seen one never mind had one).
        I did manage to knock up a proper, Noo Yoik pastrami/coleslaw/etc. sandwich a while back but the ingredients are easier to find in that case, and I ended up putting on an extra stone or something in the following month – they were a bit too good.

      • John
        Posted July 23, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Dragged through the garden, I love that. Sweet looking dog. I’m famished.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted July 23, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Looks like my ideal hot dog! And I’ve even always preferred beef sausages to pork!

      • Posted July 23, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        If I ever wander through Chicago again, I want one of these beef dogs!

      • Jeff Lewis
        Posted July 27, 2016 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        “…which are probably made from ground up tails and snouts.”

        You say that like it’s a bad thing. I grew up eating scrapple, and now that I’ve moved down to Texas, I’ve discovered the joys of menudo and barbacoa (which comes from the market still attached to the skull), and I have a friend who drug us over to the local Mexican market to get some diced pig’s ear (though I’ll admit that last one wasn’t my favorite). Sure, I like more traditional cuts of muscle, especially a nicely marbled rib eye, but why turn up your nose at the other parts of the animal which can be just as tasty and add some variety to your food?

    • David Duncan
      Posted July 23, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      “natural casing”?

      I’m not sure that I want to ask what that means.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted July 23, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        Washed out intestines, re-purposed for stuffing with sausage meat – the way all sausages were made until fake sausage skins were invented.

        If you you ever go to a meat works, avoid the casings room. The smell is unbelievably revolting and the hands of all the people working there are usually covered in sores as the slightest scratch is easily infected by the prior contents of the intestines.

  4. bluemaas
    Posted July 23, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Making it a staunch principle of dealings in my speech and writings, I do not ‘should’ persons in my sphere. However, anyone who ‘will’fully drizzles ketchup or catsup upon any plain to completely darlingly delicious Chicago – style hotdog .should. be prosecuted ! That .is. a felony !

    Sweet toy, Gus !

    Excessive ambient heat and kitty cats: That pictured one ? = a patio – melt, … … not ?


    • George
      Posted July 23, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      I think it is OK for kids (12 and under) to put ketchup on hot dogs – and everything else they meet. It is OK for others as well – their dog after all. But they fail to realize that the tomato on a Chicago dog provides the exact correct amount of sweetness necessary for the Garden on a Bun. Ketchup just kills it. Balance is essential.

    • Diane G.
      Posted July 24, 2016 at 3:25 am | Permalink


      Good one, Blue! 😀

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 23, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Henry Ford was a vicious anti-Semite, so it’s a condign coincidence that the production of his first car shares an anniversary with the opening of the Treblinka death camp.

    Sorry, now let’s get back to our hotdogs.

  6. Claudia Baker
    Posted July 23, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Amy 😥

  7. George
    Posted July 23, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    The Northwest Territory license plates are great! For some reason, Nunavut decided to drop the polar bear plate.

  8. Posted July 23, 2016 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    “Amy Winehouse (2011 ♥)”

    The heart is adoreballs 😛

    She’s fantastic. I heart her music and am sad she’s gone.

  9. Posted July 25, 2016 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Those NWT plates were the coolest license plates ever.

  10. Jeff Lewis
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I was on vacation and so missed commenting on this post when it was first put up. I doubt anyone’s still checking these comments, but…

    Picking a favorite hot dog style is like picking a favorite beer or wine – there are just too many options. However, I’ll echo what a few others have said in other comments, that I prefer hot dogs with pork in the mix compared to all beef dogs. There’s a certain mellowness to the pork missing from the all beef ones. On the other hand, the only natural casing hot dogs I can normally find at the grocery store also happen to be all beef, and the ‘crispiness’ of the casing more than makes up for the slightly inferior flavor. But man am I happy every once in a blue moon when Aldi happens to stock their natural casing pork hot dogs.

    Chicago dogs are good. Chili cheese dogs are good. Sauerkraut is good. But I think if I had to pick a favorite set of toppings it would be sautéed potatoes and onions with spicy brown mustard. Soooo good, but not the type of thing you see in restaurants too often, so it’s almost always a home made hot dog that gets that treatment.

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