Who me? Cook?

I love it when it’s fun.  Being pressured to cook 3 times a day every day is not my idea of fun. But, if you visit me, and, because I love you, I will make the effort and do a decent job of it–unless–if Stan is willing, he cooks.  I have been known to ruin food now and then on purpose to keep him cooking.

Mom had a “hoo-munguss” garden.  We’ve discussed this before.  Her garden is why I don’t have one and will be one of the first to die in a famine.  Deal with it.  She canned.  I don’t.  How can I without a garden?  (duh)  She was the one with the 100 tomato plants! I never liked home canned stewed tomatoes anyway.  So there.  I prefer the varieties found in the stores.

That reminds me of one of her favorite dishes she made with her home canned stewed tomatoes.  Everyone in the family liked it but me.  Its name is a word I haven’t heard before or since.  I think she made it up.  Rictumditty.  Under my breath I renamed it rectumdodo. Saute onions in a frying pan.  Assume the frypan was laced with bacon grease.  Add cheese.  Velveeta?  Not sure.   I’ve slept since then.  Smear this around for a while and pour on the stewed tomatoes.  Add seasoning, salt and pepper being most logical.  Pour over a slice of toast.  Say yummy.  Or not.

Everything else she cooked was blue ribbon wonderful.  Wait.  Add oyster soup to the Sunday night black list.  But everything else….a big okee dokee.   We would unwittingly embarrass Mom at potlucks.  For you southerners, that’s a carry-in.  “Which is yours, Mom?”  “EEuuu, that pie is green!!”  The cook is probably within earshot.

Meal prep started out on the wrong foot in my marriage.  Stan worked in the family furniture store no more than a mile and a half from the house.  I worked 20 miles away at 3M in Hutchinson, got off at 5:00 which puts my arrival at home around 5:30 or later.  On the day the furniture store is open until 9:00, he got the 5:00-6:00 supper break.  I walk in the usual time. He’s been sitting in the living room a half hour already, and asks me “what’s for supper?”  I give up. What’s for supper? That happened once.

When the babies came, I stayed home with them, which guaranteed I was the chief cook and bottle washer.  Getting preschoolers to eat is sometimes a challenge.  What they need is seeing the parents, particularly the daddy, relishing every bite and telling the mommy how wonderful this is. Why wasn’t this happening?  “We had this last week.”  or  “I had this for lunch.”  Randy, eat.  (Little boy sad face).

My mother-in-law was a great cook.  There was a different meal every night and by golly, the same time every night.  When I worked at the store, she came up to me and asked how in the world I worked to 5:00 and had dinner on the table at 6:00?  I didn’t.  Try 8:00.

Many times Mom cooked a large quantity of something that wasn’t dependent on the clock since Dad worked on the property until sundown.  Whatever she cooked was eaten until it was gone if it took 3 or 5 nights.  Things like pea soup with ham, or chicken and dumplings.  So from the start, Stan and I had different historical approaches to meal planning.

We’ve adjusted.  He cooks a lot and he’s better at it.  However, now and then, I get in the mood.  Last week I made chicken soup starting with a whole bird.  From the store–don’t even think I bought a live one!  It was so good, I’m doing it again this week.  Yesterday I made my signature rainbow rotini salad.  Both of these will be eaten for suppers and lunches until gone or frozen for future use.

It was fun.  This time.  I may do it again.  Maybe.  Don’t hold your breath.  It could be a phase.

Maybe if you’re hungry, you should graze for now.

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