Episode: The Time Traveler’s Pig
“Ah, summer break. A time for leisure, recreation, and takin’ ‘er easy.” Unless you’re Dipper Pines. He and his twin sister Mabel get shipped up north to Gravity Falls, Oregon to stay at their Great-uncle Stan’s place in the woods. Well, their “Grunkle” doesn’t live in an ordinary house. He transformed it into a tourist trap called the “Mystery Shack.” “And guess who had to work there.” Dipper thought he’d have to suffer through the same boring routine all summer, but that changes when he finds a mysterious journal in the forest. Dipper’s suspicions about the town’s weirdness are confirmed and then some. The kids begin uncovering the mysteries of Gravity Falls and encounter all kinds of magical creatures and paranormal thingums. And of course, no summer is complete unless the fate of the world is at stake.
Dipper and Mabel unlock all sorts of crazy secrets surrounding the town, but there remains one mystery left unsolved: How do they get Mystery Dogs in the shape of a question mark? (“It’s unnatural.”) Yeah, I’m talking about the corn dogs at Grunkle Stan’s Mystery Fair. They’re the ones that Dipper and Wendy get before Dipper accidently hurts Wendy, steals Blendin Blandin’s fancy tape measure time machine, and goes back in time over and over to keep Wendy and Robbie from getting together. I know. There are a whole lot of puzzles and blink-and-you-miss-it things in this series and I get hung up on corn dogs. I’ve seen Soos direct traffic with corn dogs, and there’s the Tunnel of Love and Corndogs at the Mystery Fair, and-Oh my gosh! Is there some kind of Gravity Falls corn dog conspiracy? Nah, I’m sure Old Man McGucket would have mentioned something. Right? Hmm…maybe I should look into this. Or maybe I should just shut my yap and get on with making corn dogs.
Recipe makes 3 large corn dogs.
3 footlong hot dogs
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for coating hot dogs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
Oil for frying-Enough to submerge corn dogs, a little over 1 gallon
Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl, combine the eggs and milk. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
Pat the hot dogs dry and roll in flour to coat. Insert a 12-inch skewer halfway through the hot dog. Bend the top of the hot dog to make the curve of the question mark and continue pushing the skewer through so it holds it in place. Cut off part of the bottom of the hot dog and pull it down to make the bottom of the question mark.
Dip a hot dog into the batter and evenly coat. (You’re going to have to get your hands dirty.) Allow any excess batter to drip off. Carefully place the hot dog in the hot oil and cook until golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Transfer the corn dog to a wire rack or paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining hot dogs. Top with a little mustard and enjoy!
So I just made corn dogs shaped like question marks. That’s got to be one of the more weird things I’ve done over the summer. (You’re next, Mobius chicken strips!) Hey, my summer breaks weren’t nearly as supernatural as the Pines’. Still, I loved them more than anything, so whenever August rolled around, I’d start wishing summer could last forever. Unfortunately, whether you’re saving the world from a whole lot of weirdness or you’re just lazing your days away, summer ends. And then it’s time for us to grow up. (“But not too much.”) I wish I could go back and relive my past summers, but that’s not going to happen unless I get my hands on some sensitive, extremely complicated time equipment. But time machine or not, whenever I need just a little more summer, I know I can always return to a sleepy town in the woods called Gravity Falls.
Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!