Jasper the Lucky Dog

Everybody in New Orleans knows what a Lucky Dog is! They are sold in the French Quarter from a hot dog shaped cart by a vendor of dubious character and cleanliness. Mostly they are eaten by drunken tourists who have had too many hurricanes. Inebriated locals love them, too. And they are delicious.

I don't have a Lucky Dog stand but I have the next best thing: My Traeger pink pig grill makes the BEST hot dogs. If I used it for nothing else it would be worth the investment!

So, as fate would have it, my pink pig ceased to operate.  She wouldn’t turn on, she wouldn’t ignite and she certainly wouldn’t produce heat or smoke.  I thought she had given up the ghost.  And the hardware store that sold her to me couldn’t have cared less!  It took me two weekends but I finally did get a video chat session with a Traeger technician who walked me through the process of connecting and disconnecting wires beneath the pig’s belly.  Voila!  The pig ignited and I was back in the business of roasting weenies!

So I roasted hot dogs in the pink pig on Sunday and decided to name this particular dish after one of the luckiest dogs I know. That would be Jasper the white German Shepherd who was first spotted a few years ago by my mom as a sickly puppy in a Metairie pet store. Betty called me and by the time we returned to the store to buy him, the owner said that he was too sick to be adopted. An argument ensued. My mom just picked up the dog and walked out the door with him. I was left to talk the owner out of calling the police, signing all sorts of disclaimers and paying for him! (My mom said later she didn't think the police would arrest an old lady for rescuing a sick puppy). For weeks, we took Jasper to various vets as he continued to lose weight and the use of his back legs. Finally, a really smart vet managed to flush some sort of awful parasite from his system and he started to thrive. Meanwhile, my throat was closing up every night and I was suffering the worst asthma attacks ever. German Sheperds shed a lot as it turns out. Coincidentally (or not) my friend Leslie said she was in the market for a white German Shepherd. Guess what, I had one! The day Jasper went home with Leslie was the day that dog hit the jackpot! So, in honor of one of the luckiest dogs I know, this is one of the best hot dogs ever. Mustard, white onions, Hormel canned chili, and a sprinkle of lime zest. It just doesn't get any better than that.

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