Hot Dog!

According to grilling enthusiasts, now is high-time to start dragging your family outside and firing up those grated metal bars again. Memorial Day, the point of no return, is almost upon us, undeniably marking the first official reason to break out the burgers and oversized spatulas, ensuring their place as mandatory fixtures in any sort of group gatherings to follow. Sure, grilling is a fast, efficient way to cook / char / incinerate a wide range of foods that could easily carry a party from appetizers to desserts, but if I can be perfectly honest with you? I get about as excited about grilling as I do about microwaving. It’s just another method of cooking for me, and these long summer months full of special magazine inserts, tv programs, and sales on grilling, grilling, and more grilling really make me long for a flash-frost that would put those infernal contraptions out of commission.

Before the novelty wears off and backyard barbeques become about as exciting as my daily shower, I can still appreciate some of the smoldering food stuffs to survive their encounter with coal. Unfortunately, my lovely veggie skewers are rarely allowed to cook in peace, as hotdogs have been an irreplaceable staple of my family’s get-togethers for as long as I can remember. Made of random animal scraps, few commonplace foods disturb me more, but my father has a peculiar affinity for them nonetheless. As legend has it, he supposedly went a full month eating nothing but hotdogs in his college years; Hotdogs for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and anything in between. Can you imagine? Truly, how a person could stomach that menu is beyond me, so you would have to ask him yourself to confirm this bit of lore.

Still, this year I’ve discovered a new brand of tofu pups that are surprisingly edible, so I’m happy to have more options for the next time that the grill cover comes off. Meat substitutes are generally a rarity in my home, as I was never particularly fond of the taste to begin with, but accompanied by a healthy squirt of mustard, these pups can actually hold their own. If only the rest of my family wasn’t so biased against these blatant “fakes,” they might want to find a place on their own grills for them too. Maybe some day even my dad might approve of their taste, if ever he could see beyond his beloved beef hotdogs. Since they’re so easy to whip up, why don’t you try them for yourself?

To make your own tofu pup, you will need an F hook, fiberfill stuffing, and worsted weight yarn in cream, white, rust, and mustard yellow.

Outer Bun: (Make 2)

With your cream colored yarn, ch19. Sc into second ch from hook, and sc into the following 16 sts. Sc 3 times into the final ch, continuing around, and sc into the backs of those same 16 sts. In the last one, sc 2 times. (38 sts)

2 sc into first st, sc 16, 2sc into next st, sc 1, 2sc into the next st, sc 16, 2sc into the next st, sc 2. (42 sts)

Sc 1, 2sc into next st, sc 16, 2sc into next st, sc 3, 2sc into next st, sc 16, 2sc into the next st, sc 2. (46 sts)

Sc 2, 2sc into next st, sc 16, 2sc into next st, sc 5, 2 sc into next st, 16 sc, 2 sc into next st, sc 3. (50)

Sc into each st for 3 rounds.

Break yarn.

Inner Bun (Make 2):

Repeat the first 4 rounds of the outer bun in white and break yarn.

Wiener:

Sc 5 sts into a ring, and sc twice into each sts. (10 sts)

Sc 1, 2sc into the next st* around. (15 sts)

Sc even for 13 rounds. Now is the time that you would want to surface crochet the mustard squiggle on in order to embellish your pup, using your mustard-colored yarn. Once you have your wavy line, stuff firmly.

Sc1, sc2tog* around. (10 sts)

Sc2tog around. (5 sts)

Break yarn and gather remaining stitches together. Tie tight and weave in ends.

To assemble, sew each outer bun to the inner bun, stuffing once you’ve closed closed up the seam about 5/6 of the way. Finish sewing the two pieces together and tie tight. Once you have both halves together, sew those pieces together across one long side to make a full bun. Nestle your tofu pup into the bun, and you’re all set to get your grill on!