Okay, this post might get a little confusing so bear with me. I would call it a fable, but fables involve animals or forces of nature according to Wikipedia. I would call it a parable, but I am not Jesus. So it's just a story. A True Story.
As I was cooking tonight, I was actually following a recipe - which is something I very rarely do. Wouldn’t you know it? I totally screwed the recipe up. I had scrolled the internet late last night before the midnight cutoff for my click list and somehow combined two different chicken casserole recipes into one in my tired mom brain.
Since I do cook on a regular basis, I tried to assemble the casserole from memory. That was where things went wrong. Long story short, the casserole was delicious and my family asked me to write it down so we can have it again.
Then my writer brain kicked in, and I started to think of my friends who loathe cooking and would rather swallow nails than be stuck in a kitchen near a stove. I have always wondered if these friends (male or female) grew up in a house where meals were cooked on a regular basis. I have an inside scoop on meals in a wide variety of households because I am the primary care provider for around 2000 patients.
I have families who eat out three meals per day seven days per week. How they afford a roof over their head, gas in their car, or clothes on their body is beyond me LOL. The folks in my house like to eat.
Since I analyze everything, after this chicken casserole disaster-turned-deliciousness, I started to think about the non-cooks that I know.
Anyway, aside from all that, I started to think about the actual skills I have acquired from cooking on a regular basis. I rarely have to measure things unless it’s a new recipe. I really don’t even look at recipes. I’ve always been able to just make something up and it works. But I do give credit to my parents who always cooked and included me in the cooking.
As a latchkey kid in the 1980s and 1990s, mom would leave directions for supper on an index card by the stove.
This helped me learn what side dishes pair with which main courses and how to time meals so that everything was ready at one time. If you hate to cook you’ve probably stopped reading by now, but bear with me- I do have a point. If you like to cook, I’m sure you’re reminiscing about your early cooking endeavors as a teen or early 20s and remembering the disasters and burned meals. We have all had them.
Now back to my point. I think cooking is a lot like parenting. Some people have cooks in their homes and learn how to cook because they are included in the cooking and it comes naturally to them.
Likewise, some children have really good parents in their homes and learn how to parent because they see good parenting every day. When they become parents, they are able to mirror a lot of what they saw as children.
What about all the little girls and little boys that don’t see good parenting? Do they grow up to hate being a parent? Is parenting more difficult for them? Some of my non-cooking friends have told me that cooking is difficult for them. Are there any parallels?
I am not saying good parents cook. Being a good parent has absolutely nothing to do with cooking. I am just wondering if my patients that seem to be checked out on parenting had poor examples of parents from which to learn.
I know, I know.
Deep, random thoughts on a rainy Sunday night.
But I think of the little girls and the little boys who are now big girls and big boys. I see them struggling because they come to me. They open up about their struggles. And I feel them. I see their efforts and witness their frustrations. Most of them are really trying, but they feel defeated from the jump.
I am not going to get overly cheesy here about a cookbook or a parenting book. Life is much harder than anything you could ever read in either of those books.
I just want you to know that some of us got a “recipe” given to us while others did not. Some of us received love, attention, and praise while others did not.
Let us be kind to one another and forgo the judgment.
“Food” comes from many places. Let us feed each other well. ☀️