When I was growing up, from time to time, my parents would go on dates. Which was nothing unusual of course; I imagine it's the kind of thing that parents need to do. I know that I enjoy going on dates with my wife, and I don't imagine that'll stop any time soon.

But I digress.

Before they left for their date, my mom would make a simple dinner for us. It'd vary as to what it was, but there's one thing that'll always stick out in my memory.

She'd get out a box of Annie's white cheddar shells, and make it according to the instructions on the box, and she would boil a few hot dogs with the pasta. When it was done, she'd slice up the hot dogs and put them in with the macaroni.

Now, I'm not feeling especially nostalgic or anything, but for whatever reason, tonight I feel like making macaroni and cheese and hot dogs - just the way my mom used to do it.

I could do it fancier, of course - make a roux that turned into a béchamel that turned into a Mornay sauce, boil the rocchetti, and throw a kielbasa in the skillet to chop up and mix in, but there's something to be said for tradition — and more importantly, familiarity.

After dinner, I'm going to make Rice Krispie Treats. Not because my mom made Rice Krispie Treats; she never did: just because I feel like it.