Having heard many horror stories about bad parental cooking from friends, I feel lucky to have grown up with a mother who was (and is) a really good cook. The great thing about my mom was that she never just stuck to Greek and American fare. She got lots of cookbooks, took classes in her free time, and cooked a wide variety of cuisines. She also taught me the important lesson that cooking is nothing to be afraid of. When I was a kid, I helped her make cookies, especially during the holidays. At that time, she was substitute teaching, so we kept the same hours, but when I was ten or so she started a new career that she only retired from last year. As a result, she and my dad were at work until 6:30 or 7 every night and someone had to make dinner. At first my brother and I would alternate days. Then he hit high school age and started doing after school stuff like drama. For years after I made dinner nearly every night during the week. Now I was no five star chef, but my mom had taught me the basics and most recipes are pretty easy to follow.
These years of cooking were a great boon during my time as a bachelor. I could always fend for myself. I can’t say I ever loved to cook though. It was just something I had to do, like shaving. When Nik and I got together, she started to cook more because it’s one of the things she really enjoys doing. I’ve said many times, “She likes to cook and I like to eat, it’s a perfect match.” Over the past few years, I’ve cooked less and less frequently. Now, however, all that has changed.
That South Beach plan we’re on requires you to cook three meals a day. And not like “here’s a sandwich” sort of meals, but the real deal. After a day or two on the diet, Nik and I realized that it was just too much for her to handle alone. So now, suddenly, I’m back in the kitchen, cooking at least one meal a day. It’s certainly taking me back to my early teenage years I must say. Happily, I haven’t minded doing it. It’s nice break from my regular routine. Tonight I made marinated swordfish kabobs and steamed green beans.
So hats off to my mom. She not only taught me to cook, she’s the one who said (when I was 10), “I think this Dungeons & Dragons game sounds like something you’d enjoy.”