Hot dogs are a natural part of Fourth of July celebrations but can be rather boring, especially when plopped abruptly upon a bun with little more than a squirt or two of bottled mustard and a dollop of canned sauerkraut.
Although, there is generally a wide array of hot dogs, sausages, bratwurst and the like available, folks tend to be rather pedestrian in their choices for condiments and toppings.
Not to say that there is not some good relishes and mustards out there, but making a homemade relish to adorn your dog can elevate the simple frankfurter from a mutt to the pack leader, with a pedigree.
The recipes for relishes here are intended for use within two weeks or so, but can be easily adapted for home canning, as long as safe methods are used.
And, if you would like to try to hand at making homemade mustard, recipes can be readily modified by using flavored vinegars and herbs, like tarragon, rosemary and dill, to name just a few.
With the summer season just beginning and home gardens beginning to bear to fruit, fresh vegetables will be plentiful and pocket book friendly.
If you are an old hand at home-canning, I don't need to tell you how gratifying it is to have a pantry filled with jars that hold the tastes and flavors of summer all year long, but if you are new to the art, or just a beginner, the are many sources that can provide you with detailed directions for preserving and canning not just for the fourth of July, but for Thanksgiving and all the would-be hot dog days in between.
For more information about home canning, check out books like "Ball's Complete Book of Home Preserving," by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine (Robert Rose publishers), or visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation at: uga.edu/nchfp/index.html.
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