Wednesday, April 26, 2017

How Will I Be Remembered As a Cook?

I read an interesting article in the most recent Southern Living magazine.

The article, "Tastes Like Home" was a special for Mother's Day. It was a compilation of stories about remembering your mother's signature dish or recipes that they cherish from their moms. Two of the four stories made me stop and ponder... 

Could those stories be my own children's stories? Is this how they would remember me?

Let me explain.

These were not your typical reminisces of my generation's mothers who cooked grandiose meals and had homemade cookies waiting for them when they arrived from school. (I am 56 for your pinpointing the generation I would be talking about). It was a remembrance from a 20 something and as I read the story it made me wonder if my daughter would have written it.

I was scared. Feelings of guilt first, then as I read I realized the authors were not portraying their mothers in a negative light. It was just very different.

Let's face it ladies of my generation, we are not from our mother's generation. We have raised our children in the 90's and the 2000's. Food is different and we are so much more mobile and busy (whether good or bad) than our mother's were. I don't think I am just speaking to the working outside of the home moms like I was either. It may be a southern thing though. After all we have wonderful weather that makes us get outside and play ball like crazy...even girl moms have softball and volleyball these days.

I fall into the category of the busy working mom who loved her little chickadees very much.

I know my downfall for a hot meal cooked up by this little mama began when the baseball nights became longer. The late 90's found me with upper elementary children. Convenience foods were just so easy to pack in the lunch box. Convenience foods were just easy to put in the oven and bake. Grabbing a quick meal at our local Taco Town on game nights was inexpensive and just plain easy.

Then middle school hit and the activities increased. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and teaching began to change. My husband was an administrator at a high school. There was just always stuff going on.

I know I am not the only one.

It wasn't just the opening line where the author had to text her sister to answer the question posed...did her mother have "A dish?
Another piece of the article from the first story really caught my eye too. Here is an excerpt...

The thing is, my dad was the more memorable cook in our family. He didn’t necessarily make dinner every night. My mom managed meatloaf and hamburgers and, yes, salmon croquettes—with the crunchy bone nuggets of canned salmon hidden inside—most evenings. But my dad made the cool meals. He would eat something once at a restaurant and re-create it at home, like the exotic huevos rancheros we had on a ski trip when I was probably 8 or 9 that he then made every Saturday morning until none of us could take it anymore. 

As I read the article, I panicked. What would my children say was their favorite recipe I made? Would they remember their dad's recipes more than mine?

You see, my husband did just what that article said. He loves to cook and grill. He was a great big help to me along the way.

I determined to ask my daughter as soon as I could what recipe does she think of when she thinks of me.

My daughter comes by my house for lunch about 3 out of 5 days. She works close by and is no dummy. Mom has leftovers now. I am retired after all. Also, my son comes many evenings to eat as well. Maybe I am making up for the many eating out meals we ate.

I asked her what recipe she thought of when she thought of me. She said well, mostly your desserts.
She listed off the many cakes I make - pound cake, yellow cake with fudge frosting, Italian cream cake, and banana pudding.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

She did have a thought for me. Not a blank like the first story in the series.

As we talked about the whys of the question and the article I read, she did say, "Well, Mom the barbecue baked chicken I am eating right now is one of your dishes. I make it all the time."

She also recalled my broccoli and rice casserole. She understood that I worked and we were busy, but we always ate together even if it was at Taco Town (our local cheap taco dive).

Either way it was a great article and I enjoyed seeing how a new generation thinks.
Here is the link to the article. You don't have to have the magazine to read it.

I feel a little better after talking to my daughter. I hope to keep on doing better with the home cooked meals now that I am retired. Never too late to start, and those of you who read me regularly know I am all about healthy now.

I also think this generation of girls (to me they are girls) are doing a much better job than mine. They are making better choices and trying to be more conscious of being healthier. A whole 'Nother story for another time.

Off to meal plan,


  1. It's funny to me that you are talking about this Sandy. When our boys were growing up (I'm 53) we were in so many activities and I taught part time. We ate many, many meals at Jason's Deli along with our friends. It was at least once a week during baseball season and sometimes more. My husband joked one time that Jason's is what our boys would remember when they thought of growing up meals. The thing is....they don't think of that. They think of many bbq dinners and meals that I've cooked. They often ask for recipes. We had so much fun and time together either guilt!! :)

    1. Hopefully, the fact that we ate together whatever the meal was topped it being home cooked. Baseball season was the worst too. It sucked up the hours, but I wouldn't take anything for those times.

  2. I saw that article and thought the same thing Sandy. When Ben was in kindergarten they did a little cookbook where the child described Mom's best recipe. Ben said mine was When Charles class did the same thing, he described my strawberry dessert that was a layer of angel food cake, pudding, strawberries and Cool Whip. I had upped my game by Now all of my kids like my Chicken Tortilla Casserole and Cookies that I made from scratch while they were growing up are their favorites. But Toast???Really????

    1. You had me laughing good at the toast. I am sure he remembers more than that. The article was definitely interesting though. It wasn't the usual take on remembering recipes.

  3. Another of my favorite bloggers showed her old cookbooks today and talked about the difference in cooking from generation to generation. I'm older than you...and I cooked a lot. But then, my mother didn't! lol My kids were growing up in the 70s and 80s and I was reading Mother Earth news and cooking healthy meals. They tell me now that things like my pizza with a whole wheat crust was heavy! hahaha! I guess so! We all have our stories to tell. I'm enjoying your comments on this one! Hugs!

    1. Maybe cooking skips generations. I love to bake, but not so much cooking a meal. I can do it, but don't enjoy it as much as baking.
      The comments will be interesting on this one.

  4. Good Morning! I am sure each of our children will remember most the good things we made or prepared, but they will have a few funny stories of the awful things I tried. I think those were mostly the health food stuff. Son said, (What this is definitly not a hamburger) They hated all those guinea pig try out foods I made them eat! LOL

    1. No doubt. I have definitely served a few of those. My daughter was telling a story about her friend had called her husband and told him as he was coming home late, "don't worry, I have some nachos made." He was excited as she is definitely only serving health food these days. He came home to bell pepper nachos. He had eaten them, but he had been hoping for full on chips and cheese kind.


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