This month I was having difficulty finding a blog topic. So in this age of social media and self-isolation, I asked for suggestions from my friends on FaceBook. Boy, did I get some great topics. I wrote them all down so I have a storehouse of prompts. The one that got my attention and made me laugh was by a high school friend, Byron, who wrote “Let’s talk about grits.”
I Don’t Cook Anymore
My reply to Byron was G.R.I.T.S. as in Girls Raised In The South? No, he meant how to cook good grits. the kind you eat. What is so funny is…I don’t cook! I quit cooking when I got divorced. Cooking was a responsibility as a stay-at-home mom. As the wife and mom, my primary job was to keep the kids and husband fed, provide a clean house and clothes, and transport said children to their after-school activities. In my opinion, keeping them fed required a protein, vegetables and a starch at dinner. What those were and how they appeared was irrelevant.
The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree
See, my mother isn’t a good cook. Ok, she has improved with age. But she wasn’t one as I was growing up. One night she made dinner, decided she wasn’t hungry, and didn’t eat. The rest of us ended up sick! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. My cooking instruction was to open a cookbook and go for it. That didn’t always end up well. I don’t like to follow directions. When I was in high school, my dad took over the household cooking. Now Dad could cook! I had no desire to learn.
Does This Sound Familiar?
One of the reasons I hate cooking, is I hate deciding what to cook! Regularly, I would ask, “what do you want for dinner?” The answer typically was, “I don’t care.” When we sat down to dinner I would hear “Oh, I don’t want that?” Or “That again?” Ingrates! To be fair, if a suggestion wasn’t made it was usually, grilled chicken, canned green beans and a packaged pasta side or spaghetti. Hey, it’s nourishment, and if not it can provide energy. They wouldn’t die and child protection service couldn’t declare me neglectful.
The Last Straw
Ask my sons about my cooking, the reply is usually “wholewheat pasta and chicken with mustard sauce”. One night I decided to be a good mom and wife and make something different for dinner. In the Weight Watchers magazine, there was a picture of a beautiful dish. I decided to go for it. This time I followed the directions (ok most of them). The first thing I noticed as it cooked was its color. It was beige. The pasta was beige, the chicken was beige, the sauce was beige. It was very beige!
Jonathan came home from track practice excited to see dinner cooked. He grabbed a bowl full and started shoveling it into his mouth never coming up for air. Thomas walked into the kitchen to investigate the smell. He lifted the lid to discover a pan of beige. After inquiring what it was, being assured I followed a recipe, he took a spoon full. I will never forget the look on his face! All he said was “This is awful!” At that Jonathan paused inhaling his dinner and added “This is gross!” “Fine! Throw it out and order a pizza!” If my humiliation wasn’t complete, Thomas said, “No, we have to save some for dad! He has to taste how bad this is.”
That is why I don’t cook. That is why I don’t like to cook. If you ask me to cook, I will retell the scaring story of the wholewheat pasta and chicken with mustard sauce. Ask me to prep and clean up, but please don’t ask me to cook. I beg you for your health and mine.
G.R.I.T.S. – Not Grits
So, Byron, that is why I can’t tell you how to make grits. I can tell you where to go to get good grits. And maybe real soon, I will write about what I was hoped he was suggesting, G.R.I.T.S., Girls Raised In The South.