Cooking or Lack There Of

I recently had a conversation on cooking with a fellow co-worker.  We were talking about mom’s and watching them cook as we were growing up.  To say that I did not have a traditional mom that spent hours on end in the kitchen making wonderful delicious food would be an understatement.  I grew up in the 7os when mom’s were first starting to go to work all the time and not staying home and taking care of the kids in the traditions of the past.  My mom had 6 children, we were set far enough apart that she really had two sets of three with 4 years between the third and forth ones.   The older 3 were each 2 years apart and the younger 3 averaged that range as well with the exception of the youngest who was only 11 months younger then the middle one.

The three older kids – My older sister, myself and my next younger sister would share chores around the house.  The younger three were spoiled and never had a chore to do the whole time I was still in the house.  After I left home at 17 I am sure they had to start fending for themselves too.   Our chores lasted for a week at a time and were always on a rotating basis.  Week One: laundry and dishes, Week Two:  Garden and Farm Animals, and Week Three:  Weekly Meal Planning, Shopping and Cooking.  While we were doing all these chores, our mom was at work.  I can honestly say I don’t remember the last meal my mother made for us.  Even when  my son’s and I visited her home several years ago, I remember going out to eat quite frequently, but I don’t remember her fixing any food at the house for us.

The place we always turned for good home cooking was Grandma’s.  When she knew we were coming home for a visit she always made us our favorite meal.  You could not beat her home made Chicken and Dumplings, potato soup, or home made noodles.  Grandma had the best home made bread stuffing (dressing) that she made every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I had the pleasure of making the dressing for Thanksgiving a couple years ago, and it turned out so closely to Grandmas that my mouth still waters thinking about it.

The thoughts down memory lane can be distracting, so back to the cooking discussion of a few weeks ago.  I am sad to say that my own sons can say the same about me and my cooking.  I have been blessed with a husband who loves to cook.  So for 25 years the only time I cooked was when my husband was out of town.  I hate to say that a lot of those times were easy frozen TV dinners so that doesn’t really count for cooking.  When we first married I was so used to cooking for a large 8 person family that we always had too much food.  It also didn’t help that I tried cooking some favorite recipes from memory one to many times and left out one ingredient or the other and the food turned out horrible.  So when my husband told me that he would do the cooking I gladly relinquished the reins.  I spent most of my cooking time during our early years making Christmas and Thanksgiving Dinners that we invited fellow Airmen to eat (mostly those that were single or not headed home to family during the season).  The blessing of knowing how to cook for a large family  easily translated into cooking for a large crowd of military friends.

So it is passed down from mother to daughter, I am sure that my son’s also can not remember the last time I cooked them a home cooked meal.  Having grown up with a non-traditional mom of their own, I am glad they had the influence of their father.  I have the pleasure of saying that my son’s have picked up on their father’s skills and they can cook and their food makes my mouth water just thinking about what they will fix next. (Although, my oldest hasn’t cooked for me in a while, so I am just guessing about his cooking skills.)

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