Hotdog Salad

Did you have to cringe and turn your nose up a little when you read the title of this post? I don’t blame you if you did. For those of you that, for just a moment, thought a salad by such a name might be delicious you must have small children, be desperate for a meal idea, and/or be sleep-deprived.

Here in Ghana, cooking is always an adventure. Even if you follow a tried and true recipe, it may not turn out as you might have expected. Every Friday we have a young woman cook a local lunch for us.  I use this time as a bit of a break from cooking and make a simple supper that evening, usually sandwiches.  We don’t have lunch meats here, what is labeled as lunch meat comes in a can. I keep such meats in my pantry in case an emergency of any kind might arise.  I try to make sure to replace them every year or so even though they have a very long shelf life.  Last Friday, I decided to turn a can of this luncheon meat into chicken salad sandwiches for something just a little different.  The consistency is a bit strange so I decided to dice it up and fry it in a skillet to firm it up a bit.  As soon as I started cutting, I realized that this luncheon meat looks, feels and smells just like the hotdogs we get here. They are, after all, chicken franks. I decided to stick with my plan mainly because I’m stubborn but also because it was late and we were hungry. It sure looked strange being tossed in a bowl with mayo and seasonings. And then as I was spooning it onto the bread, in comes my 6-year old. “Mama, is that hotdogs?” I couldn’t help but laugh. You see, she’s a smart kid and is usually spot-on with the things she says even if you wish she wasn’t so honest.  I was already thinking the same thing to myself. It made for a great dinnertime story. I offered to give the leftovers to the dogs but the family agreed that it looked strange but tasted fine.  While I won’t be repeating this effort again, at least it wasn’t a total disaster.

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