Except for the ten years I was married, I never learned how to cook. When there was no one to cook for me, I winged it with a bag of noodles, a stick of butter and a can each of lima beans, corn, and tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes, in season.
Fortunately, people around me could cook. My daughters, my sister, eventually my granddaughters. No one went hungry, especially me.
Emily and Laura were defacto cooks last July, when we moved. Emily cooked like Aunt Janice, and pretty much elbowed Laura away from the stove during the several weeks before she went off to college. Big sister syndrome. Though Emily had little hope for Laura, the little sister was merely biding her time.
Laura was born to make lists, which is the last name of shopping list or menu list. She was very expansive in the beginning, and I had to rein in the amount of produce she wanted to load into our refrigerator. I learned in a day or less not to interfere. I don’t buy ingredients she isn’t interested in using, for instance.
In the beginning we ate a lot of wraps. I’ve become an excellent wrap wrapper. Kale goes into the pan first, some green pepper, some broccoli—whatever is in the fridge. Some spices. Some protein. This goes on a wrap, on a little plate, which is bigger than the wrap, when the wrap is wrapped. Always good, sometimes excellent.
After the breaking in period, I made a couple of attempts to steer nutrition. A vegetable with the mac and cheese, for instance. She does not bake mac and cheese (“the macaroni sucks up all the cheese! Yuck.”) Most dishes seem to be served in a bowl. Even spaghetti. Convenience, I suppose. I generally find vegetables incorporated in the dish being served in a bowl. Kale in the mac and cheese, for example.
Laura is a solitary cooker. I don’t mince fine enough or chop well enough to be welcome, so I stay out, rather than be sent out. Consequently, I can read the list and know what’s for dinner, but don’t see it happening. The other night, before she called me, I heard something new. “I should plate this.” Someone apparently watches cooking shows, too.