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Thursday, September 22, 2016

We hope this is the last food story


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.


26 comments:

  1. And beautifully plated it is!

    Everyday practice (and willingness to do it on a regular basis) makes a good cook.

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  2. I am getting hungry just looking at that photo...yummmm!!!
    I can cook and I do cook...but I do not enjoy cooking :)
    Growing-up and having a southern mother and then marrying and having a Polish mother-in-
    law, my meals were interesting to say the least! I went from making a pot of Great Northern beans with bacon to making polish Chop Suey...very time consuming but delicious and we ate it with potato chips :)
    Thank you, Joanne for "stirring-up" some wonderful memories. Both my mom and mother-in-law have been gone for a long time~

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  3. Hari OM
    WAY TO GO LAURA! I don't bake mac'n'cheese either; stove-top version only in this household; with a salad on the side. YAM xx

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  4. How cute that Laura has taken an interest in cooking :) I liked her plated meal! I'm sure it was delicious!

    betty

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  5. Hooray for Laura. And lists.
    I serve most things in a bowl too.

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  6. I love how you know when to be tough, and when to step aside and let it happen.

    You should write a book.

    And that meal looks delicious...I'd want seconds though.

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  7. Lucky you. You are in or wonderful culinary experiences by the look of that plate.

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  8. That looks wonderful! I actually do like to cook and will try all sorts of things, but I'm afraid of yeast. I just don't have the nerve to make buns, or rolls, or real bread (not from the bread maker). -Jenn

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  9. I would be very, very pleased is somebody would plate something at my house. I'm the only one who knows how to turn on the stove. You're a lucky grandma.

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  10. I like to plate things...but no one notices if I do...the knives and forks ply industriously whatever receptacle is used.

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  11. I, too, am the only one in our household who turns on the stove, so I enjoy any meal anyone else prepares. I love Laura's approach to cooking.... using what's in the fridge makes the most interesting meals ;-)

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  12. We are bowl people too.
    Merle.........

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  13. That's funny. Next you'll hear about presentation. I like one dish meals. How is your baby liking school?

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  14. I am very impressed. I didn't know how to cook until I got out on my own. At first I lived on peanut butter sandwiches and porridge. When I did start cooking, the raw meat grossed me out and I couldn't eat it after cooking it. You are a lucky lady to have your cooking done for you! I'm still shaking my head in amazement at Laura being so proficient and interested at her age.

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  15. P. S. I, for one, hope this is NOT the last food story!

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  16. But I like the food stories....
    That meal looks very nicely plated. I'm the sort who dumps everything into the middle of the plate and don't care if one food touches another.

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  17. I should plate this, I love it. ha, it's nice to have someone else cook I should think. We have a lot of one dish meals vegetable based.

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  18. Wow! Looks delicious and beautifully presented too.

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  19. lucky you to be surrounded by cooks. and look how neatly she arranged the potatoes. they would have just been a pile were it me.

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  20. Sounds to me as though you have a little treasure there.

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  21. Hahaa, you, like me, have nearly always found people to surround us that are good cooks!

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  22. I agree! It's fabulous that people around you like to cook. I don't like it, but mom and Art don't mind it. Thank goodness.

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  23. I'm spoiled by a wonderful hubby who loves to cook, so I indulge him. Alot.

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  24. Isn't it fun to see them take an interest in the kitchen. Loved her plating.

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