On top of the pile was the answer to everything. Frozen, canned, and prepackaged foods made my life so much easier. I was not born with the ability to cook, but I had been given the blessing of raising five children. This combination of an inability to boil water and kids who like to eat a lot meant finding solutions that satisfied their appetites and left me feeling competent as a mother.
I thought that Sam’s Club was one of the greatest inventions. Frozen boxes of beef, chicken, and wondrous frozen fish sticks. I bought them in bulk. Even the children could help with dinner, putting the frozen trays of sumptuous eating in the oven before I got home from work. I added canned green beans, peas, corn, spinach, or pork and beans on Friday nights with the fish sticks.
Nearly every frozen meat course came with oodles of gravy, and all I had to do was dump packages of rice into boiling water, and voila, a meal was born! I liked that there were some tasks that I had to do, which added to my sense of competence.
Recently, I spoke to my daughters, who are, ironically, both caterers. They cook everything from scratch, and I love to eat their fixings. Some years at Thanksgiving, they cook for the whole family. They tell me that I don’t need to bring anything, “just bring yourself!” They think that I don’t know that they are really saying that they don’t want me to even attempt to cook.
They have both related to me that they ate so much frozen foods as children that they swore that they would never do so as adults. Even my boys have learned to cook, not a frozen food to be seen! I tell them that if I had known that they had natural aptitudes for cooking, they would have started cooking as teenagers, saving me lots of money and energy! God has a great sense of humor!
Today, my husband cooks, and he keeps me far from the kitchen. But, I have gotten better, and I can roast chicken pretty good. Don’t ask me to stir fry, because I still believe that green beans should be somewhat soggy. If asked by the church sisters to bring food for a fellowship meeting, I ask, “How many buckets?” I don’t want to get everyone sick, because we only have three bathrooms!
Today’s cooking-challenged mothers have it made, as places like Boston Market and stores sell whole meals already cooked, including the bread! There are entities that send the ingredients, recipes, and the food right to your door! Yet, my advice to Mamas who can’t cook is to test early to see if your child could qualify for Master Chef Junior. It will save you and them from a love for Pepto Bismol!