My family, back in the late 1950’s, had five women and one brother. There was my grandmother, an aunt, a cousin, an older sister a younger sister, and me. All these women in our home were all bad cooks, except for me.
My grandmother was good at making great cornbread and regular bread on top the stove. It seemed as though she was once a pioneer.
My aunt only baked buttermilk pies for Thanksgiving and baked apples during the year.
My oldest cousin cooked beans, sometimes rice.
My oldest sister always only cooked potatoes with beef with garlic and cumin and tomato sauce.
My younger sister who was only a year younger than me, didn’t cook all.
I couldn’t do much but I was a good cook. It was because my family cooked the same boring food on a three-day rotation. My grandmother and my aunt would ask me to cook more often. I never cooked the same food twice.
My oldest cousin who I still think of as my sister, after having been married for almost fifty years, is still a boring cook.
Visiting her in Texas, I notice her cooking habits have not changed. Being a Texan means you are always nice about everything. I never criticized her cooking. I just ate it.
My older sister has changed a bit, her cooking has gotten worse. She now puts chicken and beef in the oven and her food tastes like rubber. I just eat her cooking too. She is married to a Mexican and now also cooks beans daily. Sometimes I have to try real hard at eating her cooking without getting the food stuck to my teeth.
My younger sister never liked being in the kitchen. After she got married she would call for Chinese Take Out, and pizza. Sometimes she would put potatoes in the oven. Her husband decided to do the cooking. He would make soups and cactus salad.
When my mother had a stroke, my sister took care of her. I noticed that her cooking was still so very bad.
I decided to buy mom food that she used to love. I couldn’t stand to have my mother subjected to my sister’s cooking.
My mother ended up having a caretaker that was a better cook. I was so glad I didn’t have to worry about the cooking any more.
After so many years my parents had three more boys and three more girls. I did notice that all my brothers were much better cooks than my sisters. I also noticed that my sisters-in-laws are also bad cooks.
Once one of my sisters-in-law lived in my home. She was a very bad cook. One winter day I got the flu and so she decided to cook spaghetti in my absence.
My husband ran in panic into my room and said she was putting the pasta in cold water. I told him maybe she knows something that I didn’t know. I was so sick I didn’t care what she was doing. Then my husband runs into my room again and tells me the pasta is all struck together. I told him just eat it.
I think I was a much better cook because I was my grandmother’s favorite child. She wanted me to be better at cooking and also at other things. She taught me how to tell if something is sewed correctly, how to tell if something is good jewelry. She wanted me to be able to identify quality furniture.
I felt like the character in the movie “Gigi.” She couldn’t do anything either.
Basically, all I really could do is cook. I was spoiled by my dad and my aunt and my grandmother. I was encouraged to do the best I could. No one ever put me down for being bad at everything else.