Tuesday night dinners are usually very simple for two reasons. First, this is the night of my husbands Civil Air Patrol meeting, so he is home from work extra early at 3:30pm since he has to leave again at 6:30pm. Second, I am usually babysitting my neighbors daughter, and cooking dinner while refereeing the girls leads to burned meals.
My neighbor J. and her daughter D. are the best neighbors ever. We like them so much we put a gate in the fence between our yards so the girls and J.'s two golden lab dogs can run back and forth. She is a single mom so I babysit once or twice a week and have been doing so since D. was 3 months old. The girls are like sisters, which is wonderful. My earlier referee comment was unfair, since they usually get along great. They have learned to share and take turns because of each other and also to be good friends. My daughter will start kindergarten this fall, which is 5 days a week, so my babysitting will come to an end. I know we will still see them a lot since they live next door, but I will miss D!
Anyway, dinner tonight will be hot dogs on buns with traditional Chicago toppings: yellow mustard, a dash of celery salt, pickle, and tomato. My husband will put hot giardiniera on his, but that is too spicy for me. Some purists would spank me for not using poppy seed buns or Vienna hot dogs or bright green relish. Sorry, but my buns are seedless, the hot dogs are the Farmland brand because they were on sale, and I am out of relish. And I must admit I love that un-naturally green, sweet, crunchy stuff.
One side dish will be Bush's Steakhouse Grillin' Beans, which are much better than regular baked beans, but expensive so I only buy them on sale. The other side dish will be Cucumber/Dill/Sour Cream salad and here is my non-recipe recipe:
Peel the cucumbers, then slice them very thin. Put them in a bowl and generously sprinkle them with salt. Toss, sprinkle with more salt and toss again. Put in the fridge for at least two hours. While the cukes are in the fridge, mix about 1 cup of sour cream with a splash of lemon juice, a generous sprinkle of pepper and a bunch of dill. Mix well and put in the fridge. When two hours are up, drain the liquid off the cucumber slices. Then mix in the sour cream mixture, stirring well. Now taste it and adjust seasonings as needed.
I call that a "non-recipe recipe" because I make this from memory; it's something my mom taught me how to make and she never used a recipe either.