Hamster wheel . . . next stop? Friday.
About a year ago, sometime around Dad’s cancer diagnosis, I went into survival mode. Wake up. Worry about Dad. Go to work. Plan our next trip home. Make dinner. Kiss David. Walk dog. Lay in bed. Worry about Dad. Sleep—if you can call it that. Repeat. The months flew by as I passed on a high-speed train through tragedy. Memories. Alaska. A life flight. The hardest week of my life. Tears—so many. A funeral. A memorial. A different kind of Christmas. A work-consumed life in the new year for which I was grateful.
I don’t mean to say that I’ve been sitting in a cave wallowing. Anything but. I’ve had moments of love and laughter and life. But somehow, I still felt like I was running on the hamster wheel of life. We all know that waiting feeling. Working and running and waiting and running towards some invisible, temporal destination that will inevitably vanish and appear a few more years down the road.
Dreams were always very important to Dad. And dreams I have had and achieved. But lately, my mind has been on living the dream. “Living the dream.” A saying that is always accompanied by sarcasm—but why not? Last Saturday, we sat in freckle-inducing sunshine with friends so close I’d call them family, sipping cider and eating good food and laughing way too loud for our respectable, professional, 30-something selves. And that night, my heart could’ve burst with happiness when I crawled into bed late, curled my hand into David’s, and heard him mumble a sleep-drunk “love you” before giving my hand a squeeze. I remind myself that this is the dream and it is my obligation to live it and love it and be present for it.
All of it. Even the hamster wheel parts that I repeat every week. Because every week will still be a little bit different and if I’m not present for each and every one, I’m going to let another year pass without knowing how it happened. So even if it’s “heigh-ho” and off to work I go, I am determined to love it. Even on the days I hate it. Because those days don’t come around very often, despite me thinking otherwise when I’m up on my soap box. And even the bad days can be filled with good people and puppy snuggles and hand holding and cookie dough. And those things are the dream.
Bahn Mi Hot Dogs with Homemade Hoisin Sauce
Bless his heart, but one of David’s favorite foods in the world is hot dogs. I feel like I’m a kid at a BBQ every time we have them, but I just love how happy they make him. I’m usually a minimalist when it comes to my hot dogs. Cooked extra well done with plenty of black grill marks and lots of mustard. Just like my Granny taught me.
I fell in love with bahn mi sandwiches from the small Vietnamese shop near my law school. Crispy bread filled with pork and topped with their incredible slaw and some SUPER hot peppers. These bahn mi hot dogs are based on the traditional sandwich with some non-traditional additions. But feel free to change them up as you see fit! David loads his bahn mi hot dogs with peanuts and I’m pretty heavy-handed with the hoisin sauce and hot peppers.
For some reason, the grocery store closest to me did not carry daikon, but I was able to find it at our Whole Foods. If you’re unable to find any, you can replace it with an equal amount of red radish (a little bit “spicier” for lack of a better word) or jicama (a little bit sweeter) for the pickled slaw. And even if you’re not a huge cilantro person (aka me), definitely try adding a few cilantro leaves. I feel like it really completes the bahn mi hot dogs and the flavor is translated into something extra special.
mikaela | wyldflour
8 Hot Dogs
20 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
5 based on 2 review(s)
- Package of hot dogs
- Package of hot dog buns
- 1 carrot
- 1 cucumber
- 1 daikon radish
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- About 1/4-1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced thinly
- cilantro, chopped
- raw peanuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
- 1 teaspoon chili paste (e.g., sambal oelek)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground garlic powder
- tiny pinch of ground black pepper
- On the day you plan to have these hot dogs, set aside ten minutes to get the vegetables pickled--at least an hour before dinner, but the longer the better. Use a potato peeler to peel the rough outer part of the carrot away and discard. Then, pressing firmly with the peeler, peel strips of carrot off until there is no more carrot stick left and you have a pile of carrot peels. Repeat the same process with the daikon radish. Repeat the same process with the cucumber, but stop once you get to the watery soft middle of the cucumber. Discard the middle of the cucumber. Depending on how big your vegetables were, you may have enough to make two jars of pickled slaw, but the liquid amounts of this recipes are designed for one jar.
- Fill a 1 pint mason jar with equal amounts carrot, cucumber, and daikon. If everyone likes jalapenos, put 5-6 thin jalapeno slices in too, but leave them out if anybody isn't a fan. The vegetables should be pretty packed into the jar all the way up to the lip. You can adjust the ratio for personal taste. For example, our family likes to lessen the amount of cucumber and up the amount of carrot just a smidge.
- In a liquid measuring cup, measure out warm tap water and stir the sugar in until mostly dissolved. Add a pinch of salt and pour over the packed vegetables in the jar. Add rice vinegar until the liquid reaches just below the rim of the jar. Replace the lid, seal tightly, give it a good shake, and place it in the refrigerator.
- Just before dinner, make the hoisin sauce by whisking all of the hoisin ingredients in a small bowl. Slice the jalapeno. Chop the cilantro and peanuts. Remove the slaw jar from the refrigerator.
- Grill the hot dogs until warmed all the way through. Toast the buns if you like and smear each side with some hoisin sauce. Snuggle a hot dog down into the bun, top with some slaw, cilantro, jalapeno slices, and peanuts!
- Tip: We use a fork to lift slaw out of the jar and onto a paper towel to drain for 5 seconds. Then we place it on the hot dogs.
Ritchie Velvalelvisburger says