Meals with my mother

My cousin sent this to me yesterday saying it reminded her of my mother. It did indeed!

My mother was born during The Great Depression and lived through World War II so she hated hated hated wasting anything, particularly food. You did not server yourself – you were given your food and you ate it. Your plate was put in front of you and you sat there until you finished it. I remember sitting for hours in front of the same plate of cold, congealed food. I remember being served the same plate of food for several days. I remember hiding my Brussels sprouts under my bed and being served them for the next meal. I remember trying to feed the dog my food but being caught out. I had to down a glass of milk after each meal ‘for bones and teeth’. I still hate milk.

My mom was a fantastic cook but experimental. I like sitting down to the same favourite meal until I am sick of it, but she cooked new things every single day. When everyone else was taking peanut butter sandwiches to school, I had savoury mince and melba toast, or savoury pie. She almost blew up the kitchen more than once while experimenting with her pressure cooker. It is only now I am older that I appreciate her cooking and realise why my school friends used to love eating meals with us.

I turned out the opposite. I seldom cook. I am not experimental. I am not a fan of sauces or dressings or garnish. I love eating what I want when I want. A bowl of cereal for my evening meal for example. I once dated a guy that loved desserts as much as I do so we always ate our dessert as a starter so we would not be too full to eat it after the main course.

One thing I have taken from growing up with my mother though, is that I hate wasting food. I always feel compelled to clean my plate so I never take or accept more than I know I will eat. I appreciate having food to eat. And I really appreciate that we always ate meals around the table as a family. I don’t think many people do these days.


Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

2 thoughts

  1. My mother never made us eat what was on our plate, but that was all we would get. You either liked her green bean soup, or go hungry. No special requests. Funny thing, when she was a grandmother, she would cook extra meals for the grandsons with an excuse that they did not like to eat soup (or whatever we had to eat and we did have soup very often) but they liked noodles with butter, so she made some just for them. By the way, I love soups and I would really like to have a bowl of her green bean soup today, which I did not like when I was young.

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