Gluten Free Girl, Shauna Ahern, is asking everyone about the first food they cooked.
Well, honestly it was probably hamburger helper. We were the typical American family who subsisted on a lot of those box meals and canned vegetables. When your parents have full time jobs it can be hard for them to make a meal from scratch. My step-mom often told me that she wished she could have been home baking me chocolate chip cookies and making dinner from scratch. She wished she could have been at the door when I got home from school to hand me a cookie and ask me about my day. But, I know she and my dad had to work to keep things running the way we liked them. When I went to my mom’s for the weekends we would make Sunday dinner from scratch. We’d often have pot roast and vegetables with a nice salad and a crusty loaf of bread from the store. I miss that pot roast. Maybe she’ll make me one while I’m visiting. Yummmmm. My dad would grill out on the weekends, or hook up the deep fryer (we lived in the South so you had to have a stand alone outdoor deep fryer to do it right). I loved eating out at the picnic table. The long wait for the grilled chicken and vegetables, or the first bite of a perfectly good hush puppy were like heaven. Another of my favorites from my dad was my grandfather’s Corn Meal Mush. You could eat it savory or sweet. Such good memories are made around food.
But really, none of it was ever truly about the food. It was about the time spent together. I’m so glad we ate boxed meals because we had more time to spend together outside of the kitchen.
It is good to get into the kitchen and teach your kids to cook, especially these days when everyone grows up and continues to live off of the boxed meals. Thankfully I had enough skills under my belt from helping out on the nights we did make things from scratch to know how to pull off a good dinner. Now I cook from scratch every day!
When I first moved out the first dish I cooked completely from scratch for Devin was lasagna. He’s like Garfield, a true lasagna connoisseur. I boiled the noodles in a tiny pot (all we had) and laid them out in the casserole dish (thank god he had a nice Pyrex one), and sauced, cheesed, and layer upon layer it came together. It ended up slightly watery from the liquid in the ricotta, but it was lasagna. I was so proud. Well, okay, I didn’t make the sauce from scratch but I didn’t make the cheese from scratch either. It was close enough, and it was the first real food I could say I was proud of. Ironically, I haven’t made a lasagna since, and I keep promising him that I will now that there are gluten-free lasagna noodles. I guess I really need to keep that promise sometime soon. You never know what may happen before you get to keep your promises…
Even now, every day holds good memories of family, food, and that first lasagna.