Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dinner Chez Moi

I've got the potato chip crusted salmon in the oven for my spouse, hamburgers on the grill for the kids and I was just thinking about my journey as a cook for my family.

Lately, I've been using E-mealz to help me plan and prepare my meals . . it's been GREAT!

Anyway - it works for me, easy and usually has a variety with pork, beef, chicken and fish.

So - serving up these fairly easy meals, my mom has been lately raving about how WELL I cook, "Just like a restaurant!" and RAVING.

I admit it's been nice on the ego, and at the same time it bother's me a tad that she's so *amazed* when I do produce something palatable.

Today mother is not here - and with dinner almost done, and my wondering if I should use frozen vegs with rice or just skip the rice . . . I thought how she would once again be raving, were she here.

But in all honesty - these are not extravagant meals.  My mother would be awed at the put together meal at Dennys.  She would!  It's just not at all what we *ever* had at home.  *Ever* . . .

SO - any cooked meat with some colorful vegetables on the side and a starch of some sort is kinda amazing to her.

In my childhood, I can not remember a single put together meal from her.  Not. a. one.

I do remember some mixed up something in an electrical pan . . . but not regularly.  I remember getting the free lunch offered at the park.  I remember passing Burger King and wondering  hedging a bet that I could probably find food in the dumpster behind there, if I dared to look.  I remember longing for peoples scraps at public places.  I was about 7 or 8 at the time.  I remember being hungry.

We used to receive government help too - the government issue cheese, government issue powdered milk- *heh* I don't remember what else, but I know one of the things we got were the powdered eggs.

My brother tells a story about this hunger, he was about 9 or 10 years old at the time.  He too was hungry and looked for something, but there was nothing edible except this bag of powdered eggs.  So - what's a boy to do?  He added water, cooked them up and ate them all down.  It made a lot.  But he ate them all.

He tells me they vaguely tasted like eggs.

Soon after he ate them he started to feel sick.  He is traumatized by the experience to this day.  And it took him, he says, about 2 years before he could eat real scrambled eggs at all.

The crazy thing is that if my mother could have budgeted, we would have been fine.  Something that even as a child I released.  I knew, young as I was, that the reason we didn't have anything to eat is because mother would spend what little we did get from social security on junk.  Like coloring books and doll clothes.  Stuff she wouldn't let us use because they were for "gifts" or stuff that we didn't want, definitely didn't need.


So, I didn't grow up knowing how to cook, but I can follow a recipe.  And my spouse LOVED the potato crusted salmon today.  Even if the kid didn't.


1 comment:

Rebecca said...

I've been reading these blogs from children of hoarders and it's crazy how much we all have in common. I am totally reevaluating my childhood. I, too, never experienced regular meals from my mother. My grandmother cooked until she died when I was 7. After that, I took over. My mom would make the occasional meal but it would literally take her all day and it was so sporadic that you couldn't count on it. I used to make myself bowls of cereal and pretend that each bite was spaghetti, a bite of steak, a baked potato...something. I once burned myself making fried potatoes. My whole body was covered in grease burns. I was 9. I taught myself to cook. Sitting at the table (being ABLE to sit at the table) was a rare experience. Because of all of this, I make a point of cooking every night. (Except for the nights we go out.) We always sit at the table. My husband realizes how important this is for me so if I am sick or something he does it for me.