As with many foods, I experienced my first hot dog in my mother's house. Probably cut up in tiny pieces on a plate by itself, the way I watched my cousin deliver a hot dog to his daughter only last week.
I imagine that was also where I determined I liked ketchup and not mustard; I am making this assumption based on the fact that it was also where I determined I liked wheat chili and not any chili with beans or spice - it follows.
Mom had this desire, as I was growing up, for her children to learn to cook. After all, she was a relatively well-known cook throughout our social community, shouldn't her children at least know how to fend for themselves? So started "each kid cooks once a week." That was pretty short-lived, but it didn't end before the rule sprouted up that I couldn't make French toast and hot dogs every time. Apparently I was supposed to learn to cook other things - don’t worry, now I can make macaroni and cheese, too. As in, more than one kind. And stuffed peppers and rice pudding.
But fast forward to college, the time in my life to which these cooking lessons were pointed. Er ... the first time I would have to utilize those skills, anyway.
My staple foods in college were eggs, French toast, quesadillas and hot dogs, but I'm just saying. Sorry, Mom.
Then I learned to broil the hot dogs on the oven rack - grilling for inside! - which sort of shot any extra effort from that point forward. That was a revolutionary point in my cooking life that Mom should be proud of. My life was enriched, though, when I discovered New York hot dogs and Nathan's hot dogs. It was a whole new world. Cooking began to mean something, that "something" consisting mostly of 100% beef, onions, sauerkraut and the tentative advent of my mustard affinity.
Nathan’s are the gourmet of all hot dogs, but they cost between $4-5 per package of eight. Too bad I don’t like other kinds of hot dogs anymore, and don’t make fun of me because this is worth it to me. My mom does, though. Last year for my birthday, she bought me a package of them and some for dinner. She didn’t think they were worth it.
Think about it, though. A package of eight hot dogs for $4-5 dollars. I stopped in a Phoenix airport recently and picked up a Nathan’s hot dog and fries for $3 each last weekend ($3 for the hot dog and $3 for the fries). Turned out it wasn’t any better than my packaged stuff, at only fifty cents per quality dog!
I guess the moral of this story is that my mom doesn’t really have a lot to do with hot dogs in my life, but she loves me and I love hot dogs, so sometimes they cross paths. I think that will suffice.