Cooking Without a Net

44_MomsCooking_4-24-18Some things I take for granted. Knowing how to cook is one of them. I don’t mean just being able to follow a recipe, but knowing how to ferret through the fridge and create something out of nothing. “Let’s see what the refrigerator has for dinner tonight.”

I read that a lot of people don’t know how to cook. I can’t imagine what that would be like. A grocery store would seem overwhelming, especially the produce department, with all those weird-shaped fruits and vegetables. I get intimidated when a new vegetable shows up I’ve never seen, but at least it’s surrounded by familiar friends.

If I didn’t know how to cook, take-out or a subscription meal service could be very tempting, although those choices would butt up against my frugal character: pay the take-out premium price or go hungry?  I suspect hunger would prevail.

There’s the option of learning how to cook, but having a cooking lesson between me and eating would be a very challenging learning situation.

I’m grateful my mom made cooking familiar and approachable. Observing her taught me an organically oriented process to cooking; I feel at ease in the kitchen.  I don’t fear failure.  Well, maybe a little, sometimes, given the strong perfectionist persona hanging out backstage, but not as much as in some areas of my life.

Recipe-free was my mom’s style when I was a kid. It’s still her style. She may start with a simple meal of chicken, green beans, salad and potatoes, but anything not consumed—the notorious “leftovers”—becomes an ingredient for another meal. Those “leftover” meals were often magic. And if not consumed completely, they continued on for the next “leftover” cycle.

When mom would serve a meal made from an assemblage of leftovers, she’d bestow it upon us with her stock phrase:

“If you like it, enjoy it, because you’ll never have it again. If you don’t like it, don’t worry, you’ll never have it again.”

Some people despise leftovers; we usually wished we could have repeats.


Daily Post-Inspired: Bestow

Photo source: Alexas-Fotos on Pixabay


8 thoughts on “Cooking Without a Net

  1. Marie Schrader

    I particularly love this post!! It brought back memories of my mom. Right now, having to close up the house my dad had lived in for over 30 years, I find myself going through the cabinets, the pantry and the freezer thinking “what can I make with all this?” I think my mother would have been proud!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Part 1: A Wretched Mess – Walk the Goats

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