Saturday, November 29, 2008

Home Cooking, Not So Much*

My mom has a deep history of cooking just plain awful food. I thought I would blog about some of her more memorable moments...

The WonBomb

My dad used to love wonton soup. When he and my mom were first married she decided to make him some wonton soup at home. For those of you who haven't had the soup, it usually consists of a broth and little dumplings with meat inside. My mom made her dumplings so BIG only three would fit in the entire pot so my dad coined the term "WonBomb" soup.

Brick Bread
Also in early marriage my mother was able to make an apricot bread so dry that it was not only uneatable but unbreakable. When she threw it out to the birds, one got their beak stuck in it and she had to rescue the bird from her bread. 

Snot Surprise

When I was 12 I decided to become a vegetarian. I didn't want to eat any animals and River Phoenix was vegetarian so it sounded like a great plan. My mother, a midwesterner through and through, was worried I wouldn't get enough protein. She bought a bunch of vegetarian cook books and proceeded to not follow the recipes. She combined the following ingredients together for the most terrifying casserole on the planet...Cream of corn and mushroom soup, spaghetti noodles, mozzarella cheese and peas. The casserole came out of the oven like a wolf in sheep's clothing. I remember thinking it might actually be palatable. My mom cut into the dish, pulled out a section that looked just like a giant pile of mucus. We both screamed as a stretchy, slimy string of green tinted cheese would not release it's self from the serving spoon.

The casserole was tossed and we went out for Chinese food.

The Soy Sauce Omelet and A1 Stir Fry
My mom also made the world's saltiest omelet with soy sauce, the yellow of the egg completely turned brown. A few nights later she decide to make stir fry and we had no soy sauce (hmmm...I wonder why?) so she used A1 instead. The taste of both still make my tongue want to crawl down my throat.

The Horror Soups

I should say, my mom could make some good tasting soup, or chicken soup to be exact. She made a tasty simple chicken soup that always made you feel better when you were sick. When she strayed past that things got ugly. I remember when I was in high school she fed my friend and I a "refried bean soup" that was gray. My friend looked at me with wide eyes and whispered "It's" We threw the soup out the window and went over to our friend's house were we could smoke cigarettes and eat her family's bulk food from Sam's Club. Teenagers.
 She also made pigs feet soup. Once a month there would be a pot boiling on the stove with actual pigs feet sticking out the top. I can't tell you how awful it tasted because after taking one look at it I said "Oh hell no! " and never touched even a spoon full. She used to feed it to her coworkers who she swears to this day "just loved it".

And Two Final Highlights

My mother also had a relentless need to feed any new boyfriend I had a "grilled steak". It would take them HOURS to chew it. Maybe it was a crafty move on her part to keep us at home where she could have an eye on us.

This last bit isn't about her cooking but it usually comes up when I'm talking about her cooking. When I was maybe 8 or 9 years old "wine coolers" were popping up in the super markets. Our local grocery store carried booze on one side of an isle and juices on the other. There was a display of this "Bartles & Jaymes" right in the middle of the isle between the booze and juice which made since in retrospect. My mom, always a sucker for packaging (unlike myself :) said "Ooooh, l look at the fancy juices. Let's get some and we can put them in your lunch box!" Thank the heavens an all their glory she decided we should have a "juice" with dinner. I took one swig and said "This tastes funny...I think there is alcohol in it." My mom argued with me for about 10 minutes until I got the bottle from the kitchen, and showed her where it said ALCOHOL in the ingredients section. She was so so embarrassed, but we have spent years cracking up about me busting out a wine cooler at lunch in 4th grade. 

When my kids complain about my cooking I don't tell them about starving children in other countries, I tell them about their grandma's cooking...a very real threat close to home.

As a closing note, my mother made up for her poor cooking skills by having lots and lots of love.
*Rehashed from my 12/06 Myspace Blog

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