Thursday, April 30, 2009


  Now that I'm starting to feel better (hopefully for good!), I have started cooking again at night.  Not being able to cook there for awhile actually made me realize how much I love it.  I also realize that this was not something that I inherited from my mother.  In fact, I think my mother could write a whole book on disasterous her cooking has been. I can say that respectfully because she is the first to tell you. I also think that my brother, dad and I could write sequels to that book on our experiences/perceptions of her cooking.  
  A classic example of this was the pancakes.  She made whole wheat pancakes for us growing up.  I remember sitting down one morning eating pancakes when she SCREAMED and ran over to the table yelling and Adam and I to spit out the pancakes and not to eat them.  She had mistakingly used Pledge dusting spray, instead of Pam cooking spray in the skillet. Really? Does that happen?
  She is also famous for having burnt her collection of recipes. Yes, BURNT them in a kitchen/cooking fire mishap. How ironic.
  These are just examples of her follies, but they don't even go into taste/presentation of her food creations....
Just a few years ago, she offered to make my brother a sandwich.  She brought it over a few minutes later to him and watching him look at the sandwich with confused eyebrows, disgust and anger was priceless.  I don't remember what all was on there, but the one ingredient I do remember, were a few stems of broccoli! WHAATT? Broccoli floretts on a cold sandwich? When he questioned it, she stated matter-of-fatcly that he needed vegetables in his body.  
  As a kid growing up in a private school, we took our homeade lunches to school everyday.  Most kids would trade items with eachother.  Typical lunches were usually some sort of sandwich, maybe a fruit, a salty snack, maybe a dessert.  I dreamed of lunches like that.  NO ONE ever wanted to trade with the girl who's lunch consisted of a plum,  a (as in 1)carrot stick, 2 slices of bread with 1 thin sliver of meat that was most likely expired.  That was pretty much it day in/day out.  There were never any cheetos left over from her personal cheetos can stash to sprinkle a few in her kids lunch sacks.
  Dinners at home were pretty disgusting/disasterous if they strayed too far from steak and baked potatoes.  Steak that was home grown from our own beef cattle that my dad usually cooked, and potatoes that were wrapped in foil and baked. 
  As I look back, yeah I feel jipped sometimes I guess. But I seriously wouldn't want to change it.  I love the fact that my mom wasn't the perfect cook. It made me appreciate crappy dive diners where most people would complain!  Also, my mother TRIED.  She tried hard. And always with love. Sometimes it would really make her sad when things wouldn't turn out. And she was constantly making phone calls in the middle of dinner to random friends and relatives with panicky questions like "I just added the soup like it says and now it turned green! What do I do??" Or something to that effect.  It was truly entertaining. Never boring. And she laughed at it. She knew she did her best, and that her best truly doesn't work and she made it funny! And my dear father, he took it so well.
  Now I recently spent Easter with my mom's sister and her family.  I get so excited to go to my aunts house because she is an amazing cook.  I look forward to every food her hands prepare. She made this wonderful beef brisket this time! I always ask her about her good recipes, and many times she said it was her mom's recipe.  I never met my mom's mother. She died when my mom was in her early 20's.  She was gardening and had a heart attack.  I've heard wonderful things about her. One of which, she was a great cook. And she obviously taught and passed that down to my aunt. I can't help but wonder...where was my mother during this?? 
  I myself legitamitely LOVE to cook.  I had no one to teach me.  The tips I learned from my mom, were mostly safety tips that I learned just by watching her.  So I can't say how I learned. But I do know that if I hadn't developed a love early on, I was headed down the same road my mom is.  I made a few disgusting meals in college that I'm not proud of.  Then my brother started really liking some of my dishes. I'm not sure if he is a good gauge considering he grew up under the kitchen of Claudia Belsly, but it's a start.  And now, my biggest husband. I literally prayed for one of the qualities in my future husband to be a big eater and not picky.  God answers prayers more abundantly than I can dream! He will eat a guests serving if I don't remind him ahead of time that the meal I prepared is meant for 4 people and not 1.  But he loves my cooking! And I love to cook for him! I pray that I never loose that love!

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