Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Move Over, Joey Chestnut

*caution: do not read directly before or after eating.

I am now going to tell you about something a bit gross. It involves a lot of hot dogs.
You may be aware that on the 4th of July, in addition to being Sam's birthday, is the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island. Sam has always had a fascination with competitive eating, so we decided to attempt an at-home eat-along this year.
Without thinking, I had created an awesome birthday breakfast, all ready to eat just two hours before the contest. No matter. We pressed forward. We boiled up a bunch of dogs and prepped the eating station.
The contest lasts for ten minutes, during which time you eat as many hot dogs (and buns) as possible. If you, ahem, toss your cookies, you are disqualified. We set some goals-- Sam: 10 Courtney: 2. And then we began.
I started slowly and finished slowly. Two hot dogs was definitely gross, but I didn't feel in any danger of my stomach exploding. I took the rest of the time to bask in my achievement and document Sam's journey.
Most competitive hot dog-eaters dip their dogs in water to help them move on down the gullet. (Nathan's Runner-up, Patrick Bertoletti, dips his in fruit punch.) If the whole thing weren't nauseating already, the thought of eating a soggy hot dog bun is enough to make me dry heave.

And just like that it was over. I chowed down my two with ease. Bria ate 1.5 (we didn't encourage speed with her, since we weren't keen on doing the heimlich). Sam dominated with a hefty SIX hot dogs. To say we all felt a bit disgusting is an understatement. I'm not sure I'll be able to eat a hot dog for another year or so.
But now let's ponder the reigning champion, Joey Chestnut, who pounded 62 hot dogs in ten minutes. SIXTY-TWO.

I'm sorry for ruining your appetite.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Cake

Several weeks ago, I emailed Sam a list of possible cake options for his 4th of July birthday. He took a couple days to decide, but predictably went with The Cake that Shouldn't Be Called Cake-- a white cake with a sweetened sour cream filling and sour whipped cream topping with chocolate shavings.The only difference from this cake and the ones I've made before is I made the actual cake from scratch, rather than from a box-- obviously it only made it more delicious. We had a couple friends over for cake, ice cream, and You Don't Know Jack to help Sam ring in the big 2-9. The gathering was probably more for me than for Sam, but it doesn't feel very practical to make a huge cake for three people (especially when one of those three can't even eat a whole piece).The remaining cake stayed in the fridge for another two days while we sneaked bites here and there until the whipped cream was past its prime. I've really gotta learn how to make things smaller. Throwing away 1/3 of a cake just makes my heart hurt.Also, having a birthday on a holiday means this isn't the only dessert we were eating all weekend. Maybe I just need to learn how to stuff more sugary things in my stomach without passing out. Yes. That is a much better aspiration.