My Mother’s Cooking


This is me in Junior High
Possibly after eating my mother’s cooking

A whiff of homemade apples covered in a light crust, the aroma of cinnamon and sugar with a hint of lemon–these are the memories of mom’s home cooking.

Maybe in your dreams, but I’m too busy being terrified in mine.

Last night I had what I call a “someone else’s life” dream (as opposed to a past life dream). It was about some dirty, sweaty Arab guy circa 1930 who lost 2 daughters, his wife, and his dog during the dream.  I was feeling quite sorry for him until he spotted me standing in back of the bed while he  and another survivor of “Nightmare in Dream World” were laying side by side in bed together.  I vaguely remember she had been attached to the family somehow but the relationship escapes me.  My BAID.  He started ordering me around like I was his servant as in, “Get us some breakfast, woman!”  I woke up exhausted, the inside of my chest feeling like 2 hands had been squeezing on my heart.

Most people would say, “Thank God it was only a dream” or “At least I’m not in high school anymore.”

My first thought is, “Thank God I’m not waking up to my mothers cooking.”

Home is where I discovered the importance of butter, salt, sugar and, “I’m not hungry.”

Take, for example, my mother’s recipe for spaghetti:

  • Boil a box of spaghetti to death. Drain but don’t rinse
  • Open a can of whole tomatoes. Pour over spaghetti and stir together
  • Serve with salad tongs

Accessories to this feast included ample doses of Parmesan cheese, butter and salt.

Then there was “chili mac.” You’d think that meant macaroni and cheese with chili. You would be wrong.

  • Cook up 5 servings of grits extra thick
  • form into bottom of baking dish
  • cover with the cheapest cheese you can find
  • open a can of chili and pour it over the cheese,
  • then bake it in the oven until you remember it’s there.

Accessories to this feast included a hammer and chisel.

I forgot to mention the wonders of curried oatmeal.

  • Put curry powder into the jar marked “cinnamon” and forget to take off the old label.
  • Cook oatmeal to the consistency of yogurt
  • Mix together into a glistering gray-green goo.

This is where the phrase, “I’m not hungry” is invaluable. It’s especially believable when you’re gagging at a smell reminiscent of a sewerage overflow.

I almost forgot to tell you about mom’s cookies.

  • Any cookie recipe will do
  • Use saved up bacon fat in place of butter or oil
  • cut the amount of sugar about in 1/2.

Accessories to this feast include several spoonfuls of sugar and, if you can find where my father hid it in a home where only beer was allowed, a half bottle of whiskey.

If I have to tell you not to try these “recipes” at home, let the violence begin!  Be sure you have easy access to a toilet because I guarantee you won’t know from which end it’s going to emerge.