I’m not from Chicago, but I like how they make hot dogs: case in point: a weiner that’s been “dragged through the garden“. What this means (to you corn dog, fried dog, chili dog hot dog eaters) is a hot dog covered in some or all of the following: sweet pickle relish, celery salt, chopped onions, mustard, ketchup, tomato slices, dill pickle slices, and hot peppers.
Now, although I like my dog with everything on it, I know my kids (and maybe yours) tend to take a minimalist approach to theirs. So what I propose is putting out little bowls of all or some of the above and let them sprinkle at will. You can also add veggies you know they’ll eat like grated carrots or julienned zucchini. And you’ll see: the whiff of sanctioned mayhem that’s released by saying “let’s drag these hot dogs through the garden!” gets children very excited.
I also combine some of the ingredients by making my own version of the relish: thinly sliced hothouse cucumbers that have been sprinkled with salt and drained in a colander for one hour, then mixed with rice wine vinegar and chopped red onions and left in the fridge for another hour.
Lastly, I always thrown in the option of making a combined garden-cheese dog, which few people of any age can resist.