For the family interview, I asked my mom to answer the questions below. After reading them I can honestly say I knew what she would answer to all of them. Also, she is a great cook but will never admit it. Here are the questions and answers:
What did I hate eating when I was younger? How did you deal with that?
You hated eating anything green! I sometimes wrapped it in cheese to get you to eat it! (That’s how we give Roxie her medicine!)
What did I love eating?
Cheese was your favorite food. Especially “dinosaur bones,” or string cheese. (Cheese was your first word after Da-da!)
Did you cook different things before you were married than after?
I cooked healthier meals after we were married, I think. Incorporated more types of vegetables.
How has your relationship with food changed over the years?
I no longer eat red meat. I crave it sometimes, but I don’t eat it for ethical reasons.
How did you start cooking? What made you want to start?
I started cooking when I moved off-campus in college. It was healthier and less expensive than eating fast food all the time.
What is your favorite meal to make?
My favorite meal to make is chicken parmagiana and spaghetti with a salad and garlic bread.
What were my table manners like as a kid?
Oh boy! You were a messy eater. You loved to eat with your hands. Even mashed potatoes! Thank goodness you learned not to do that by the time you went to school.
How was your parents? cooking?
My mom cooked the same meals each week. Friday was always roast beef, for example and Thursday was always fish. She was a pretty good cook, but she didn’t use fresh vegetables very much. I grew up on canned and frozen.
What are your favorite food memories of me growing up?
Your love of cheese is one of my favorite memories. But you used to get food all over your face when you were little and we have lots of pictures to prove it!
Why did you cook more than (other parent/person)?
I did most of the cooking because I worked part time at home.
Is there a special food that reminds you of me?
I will always think of you when I eat mashed potatoes because it was always one of your favorites.
Did you cook for me or for yourself?
It was a combination. Sometimes I would make you and your sister mac and cheese, and I’d make something else for dad and me. As the two of you got older, I cooked more adult-type meals for all of us. If you ate it, you ate it. If you didn’t, you didn’t.
What foods did you stop cooking once you started a family?
I didn’t cook as much seafood—mainly shellfish—because you and your sister didn’t like it.
How did you think you’d feed me when I was little, and did that change?
I expected that you would eat typical kids’ foods, and you did. Again, as you got older, I changed to more adult foods.
How would you rate yourself as a cook?
Not great, but not terrible. It’s not my favorite activity. I cooked because I had to. I could be more creative in the kitchen, I suppose.
Did you have any kitchen disasters?
Not really. Oh, once I took a glass pan of stuffed cabbage out of the oven and the potholder on one side was too thin. My hand was burning and I dropped the pan on the floor. I had a mixture of stuffed cabbage, sauce and glass all over the kitchen. I think I can classify that as a disaster!
What do you hope I?ll cook when I have my own family?
I hope you’ll be creative and try new things that I didn’t make at home. I hope you always use fresh vegetables, like I usually did. Try to get your kids to eat fish early on! It’s healthy! And it’s better to start adult-type foods earlier than I did with you guys. That way your kids will learn to appreciate foods besides mac and cheese, hot dogs, chicken tenders, etc. If they’re hungry, eventually they will eat what you put in front of them!
Do you wish you made more of something that you don’t cook very often?
I wish I made more fish when you were little and tried to get you and your sister to eat it earlier. I’m glad you like it now. (I wish she did.)
If you could have any meal (the ultimate meal) what would it be?
My favorite meal is paella. I love to eat it at a good restaurant, but dad makes it very well, too.
Do you enjoy cooking, or do you do it because you have to?
I’m afraid, as I indicated above, that it’s mostly the latter. I do like to bake, though, when I have time. I love to bake banana bread and the occasional pie.