Meet my mother.
She is a good cook. NO ONE can make better pork chops. But for years I didn’t know that.
My mother is German, and like all good Germans, she is industrious. No one is more industrious than a German. It’s less of a good trait and more of a behavioral disorder. And being industrious, she was a very busy woman while I was growing up. I still remember the time she reroofed our house by herself. My two brothers and I (all under the age of eight) sat on the stoop with nothing but assorted pebbles and a tin of Fritos to keep us occupied.
However, she HATED cooking. I think, as far as she was concerned, cooking a meal ranked somewhere between de-tic-ing the dog and bleaching rust stains out of the toilet. So she usually turned the stove’s burners up to high. Flame-thrower high. It was her way of getting that whole daily cooking thing over with so she could get back to more important things. Things like spreading asphalt on the driveway with an old rake while wearing a dress and gumboots.
She was the only person I knew who could make scrambled eggs the consistency of a hard-shell taco. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. And like a blob of cold snot, there was always that surprise pocket of raw egg hidden under all that crunchy goodness. Apparently, I am impervious to Salmonella.
I will now share with you her unofficial recipe for oatmeal.
1. Buy the oatmeal.
2. Boil it in a pot.
Serving tip: Cooked oatmeal lasts for days. And days. And days. If your children pretend to eat it, but dump it back in the pot when you aren’t looking, you can still make sure no food is wasted. Once the chunk of oatmeal becomes as hard as a brick, sharpen your knife on a steel rasp, slice the brick into patties, and fry it up until it is no longer gray.
Do you have any of your own cooking stories you want to share? It could even be a favorite recipe. Which reminds me, I will add a legitimate recipe to the blog the next time I do another GOURMET GERDE. (Gerde, by the way, is one of my mother’s middle names.)
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