Can you BELIEVE it’s almost Labor Day?? It seems like just yesterday that my herbs were cute little baby plants, the teenager was just getting home from college, and I was counting the days until tomato season. Now my herbs are taller than me, the teenager is back at college (sniffle) and I’m surrounded by gorgeous heirloom tomatoes. This usually means one thing and one thing only: The Annual Hunt For The Corn Dog.
Every year we spend Labor Day at our friend Janet and Bruce’s beautiful lake house. Janet and I know and adore each other so well that we can pretty much finish each other’s sentences. We love a lot of the same things (chocolate) and we can’t stand a lot of the same things (olives), although we have agreed to disagree about whether it is okay to put bacon in desserts (Janet says no, I say heck YES!)
And one of the reasons we will be forever friends is that we are totally aligned when it comes to being Set In Our Ways. We like our traditions the way they are, and we don’t see any reason to mess with them. And our traditions are out in full force during our traditional Labor Day weekend. There are the traditional s’mores over the bonfire.
There is the traditional making of the grilled pizza.
And there is the traditional visit to the State Fair, where we have my personal favorite tradition, the hunting down and eating of the corn dog. I eat one corn dog a year, and that’s where it is. So last year I was, as always, counting the days until we got to the Labor Day S’Mores and the Grilled Pizza and the Corn Dog.
And then Hurricane Irene happened. The power went out at the lake house on August 28…6 days before we were supposed to arrive. And it stayed out. And it stayed out. And it stayed out. So for the first time in years, we didn’t make our traditional Labor Day visit to Janet and Bruce’s house. Which meant…no s’mores. No grilled pizza. No corn dog.
Wait. No corn dog??
Janet, I held out as long as I could, but I couldn’t take it. I broke down and made my own. Can you forgive me?
I hope you can, because now that I know how dang easy it is to make corn dogs at home…I might have to do it again. Just to be clear, this in no way means that I will be skipping the corn dog at the fair.
Except for the recipe! Happy long weekend, everyone!
Recipe adapted from Cooks Country
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 8 hot dogs
- 3 quarts canola oil
- 8 wooden skewers
- Whisk together cornmeal, 1 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Whisk in buttermilk and eggs until well-combined.
- Place remaining flour in a shallow dish and dredge the hot dogs in the flour until coated.
- Thread a skewer into each hot dog – you want it to go almost all the way to the end.
- Pour the oil into a large Dutch oven and heat it over medium high to about 350 degrees.
- Pour the batter into a large tall drinking glass. Dip each hot dog into the batter and twirl it until it is coated with batter, and then place it carefully into the hot oil. Carefully is the key word here! Repeat with remaining hot dogs.
- Fry the hot dogs until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, turning them gently. Depending on the size of your pan, you may have to do them in two batches.
- Cool them a little on a wire rack, then serve with your choice of condiments…we like mustard, ketchup AND relish!