Thursday, May 26, 2016

Toasted hot dog wraps, using slices of bread

I had a super busy day, yesterday. I was scrubbing the deck, cleaning the bathrooms, organizing a closet and doing a little gardening. I don't know what got into me!

I had nothing planned for dinner. I had cooked some beans, but I didn't really want to do anything with them. I decided to save them for tonight. But that still left me with nothing planned for yesterday's dinner.

I do my best menu-planning while I'm busy working away at something else. I start to think of what all is in the kitchen, what could go with what, and how to make it all tasty.

I knew I had hot dogs in the fridge. But I didn't want to take the time to bake any buns or make biscuit dough. Enter this 1950s-1960s budget family favorite -- hot dog wraps, using bread slices. My mom made these when I was very young. It's how I thought hot dogs were always served, until our family's finances improved. Then we were livin' the high life -- we had buns!

Anyways, I made these last night, like my mom's, but a bit healthier (I used homemade whole wheat bread, and much less butter).

These wraps work best with soft bread, like commercial sandwich bread. However, I do it with homemade bread, either freshly baked, or 1 day old. If I use 1 day old bread, I microwave each slice (one at a time) for 13 seconds, then work quickly to wrap the slice around the dog and secure.

Hot dog wraps, using sliced bread

Generously butter a small baking dish. (For 5 wrapped hot dogs, I use an 8 X 8 inch pyrex baker.) Preheat oven to 375 F.

Lay 1 hot dog on 1 slice of bread, on the diagonal. Wrap the hot dog in the bread slice. Secure with 3 toothpicks, through the bread and the hot dog. Place in the buttered baking dish.

Bake for 15-17 minutes at 375 degrees F (less time if using commercial bread, 10-12 minutes total), until the outside dog-wraps are toasty, and the hot dog is hot. Remove the toothpicks before serving. The bread will hold its folded over shape, making a "bun".

Top with regular hot dog toppings.

Optional -- my mom used to add a slice of American cheese, and a smear of mustard, between the bread slice and the hot dog, before rolling up.

There you have it -- a busy afternoon. Need a quick, cheap and easy dinner. Hot dogs, but no buns.

I use my own whole wheat sandwich bread when I make these. But I think if you really want the full nostalgia factor, you've got to use fluffy, white sandwich bread, and butter each slice of bread before wrapping (just butter the outside of each slice), and the American cheese is practically mandatory!

Who, here, remembers these?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Do you keep emergency water on hand?

This is something we've not really done much of in the past. Maybe a couple of small bottles, here and there, but no real emergency-level amounts. We don't have tornados. We don't use a pump on a well. We're not in a rural area.

But we are in an earthquake zone. And I've always had this nagging feeling like I should be more prepared. So this spring, I've begun putting away some emergency water.

Whenever we empty a 2-liter or 64 oz bottle of soda or apple juice, I fill it with filtered water from the fridge. I then label and date the bottle and put it in the garage fridge. Of course, at our family's rate of consuming soda or bottled apple juice, this could take some time. But it's a start.

By dating the bottles, my plan is to pour out old water in 6 months and refill. (The discarded water can water plants or add to the laundry. It won't be wasted.)

I know. It's a plastic bottle not intended for reuse. But this is emergency water we're talking about. Enough water to get through a couple of days, not our usual supply of drinking water.

If a devastating earthquake does happen, at least we've been doing something to prepare for surviving in the aftermath.

edited: here's a site with information on emergency water storage: (link here).
According to this site, I probably should just use the tap water, and not the filtered tap water (our tap water is chlorinated). But, my tap water should keep for one year. There's good info at this site, in regards to how much bleach to add for water storage, whether or not you need to add bleach, and containers.