Tonight, we continued our Labor Day tradition by grilling some hot dogs (low-fat turkey dogs and Hebrew National reduced fat dogs--great taste with less of the strange mystery meat filler found in most hot dogs). I've always been a hot dog fan, ever since I was a kid; of course, back then we ate the juiciest, most full-fat dogs money could buy, and we didn't care that each hot dog got about 115% of its calories from fat.
Two hot dogs, some baked beans seasoned with chopped onions and cubanelle peppers, some cole slaw made with a fat-free mayo dressing... it was as good a meal as any I've had, although there are many who would turn up their noses at my plebeian tastes.
Truth is, I've always had very plain tastes. I grew up in a home where out menu included, on a regular basis, fried baloney (it wasn't good enough back then to be known as bologna) and eggs and biscuits; hot dogs and sauerkraut; salmon patties; sausage patties and baked beans; pan-fried vienna sausages; banana sandwiches with mayonnaise... They may sound like plain food, but they're part of my childhood, and I have fond memories of each. I also remember macaroni and cheese with crushed pineapple (the only way I would even consider eating a bite of macaroni and cheese), canned pears with a dollop of mayonnaise, and the occasional bowl of cereal for dinner. Never once did I think of these as any less than the other wonderful meals that Mom made us; they were part of the adventure of childhood, and I still have fond memories of every one of them.
So tonight it was hot dogs and baked beans and cole slaw. Tomorrow will be grilled salmon and baked potato and salad; I tried on several occasions over the past six years to convince Dad to try some grilled fresh salmon, but he just wouldn't do it. "I like salmon patties okay," he alway said, "but I've had 'em enough." I tried to convince him that there was a major difference between salmon patties and grilled salmon, but he wasn't interested; in his mind, salmon and tuna were always intended to come from a can, not from a seafood case.
And showing how tastes are set early: I still prefer a can of Campbell's tomato soup or chicken noodle soup to almost any fresh soup, and I still consider a can of brunswick stew to be a taste treat...