I received a phone call from my Minn. daughter. “I have a question about cooking.” I burst out laughing. Katie is the daughter who really cooks. She visits us with her recipes on a zip drive and cooks for us while she is here. She actually reads Cooking Light and shops for the proper ingredients, unlike her mom who tosses together what seems OK in the house. Why did she want cooking advice?

When I recovered from laughing she told me I had actually taught her a few things about cooking : how to make hollandaise sauce, really good fudge, a chocolate sauce that hardens on ice cream and meringues. (Please note my expertise does come in mostly chocolate categories.) It was the meringues that were the subject of her question.

When the kids were young, we actually ate reasonably well around a dinner table every night. We played the game of: “Guess what daddy had for lunch today.” When they were older the topics became tales of school and who did what. Older yet and the discussion was about who needs to go where tomorrow: Scouts, after-school sports… and who would be doing the pick up and delivery to the various after school events. With four kids it made for interesting conversations. (Do I have to wait at the library? I did that last time.) We had some dinners the kids called tuna yuck and slum gullion but they ate it.

Then the kids moved out, and I did manage to cook for the two of us. Then my husband retired. I continued teaching for a few years after that. I was talking to a friend one day and she told me that when her husband retired she did too.  “Oh, I want to keep on teaching,” I said.   “Not that,” says she. “I retired from house keeping, cooking, laundry and all that other stuff.” I did not think to ask how that was managed in her “retirement” but over the years it seems I, too, have retired.  I do what I like. I really don’t mind a trip to the grocery store and we have both managed to keep a reasonable list of what was used up and needs to be replaced.

Kathleen does the cleaning. The washing machine is the hamper for the dirty lights and when it fills up whoever is there turns it on, (meaning the retired husband)  As for the cooking, we seem to have devised a system where whoever has the energy to go out to the kitchen, or whoever gets hungry first ,(often the retired husband) invades the fridge or freezer and a meal appears.  When inspiration hits we actually have a pre-planned meal.  I purposely make enough for left overs. Then we have “deja vu,” otherwise known as left overs. When that seems no option we have “YOYO;”– You’re On Your Own. It is not unusual for us to sit down to two different meals, zapped in my favorite machine. That is when my hubby has done his duty – surveying the ingredients of the fridge and heating up what is about to go fuzzy or green – we call it “MUSTGO.”  It really must go.

So when my friends talk cooking I just listen tell them that I don’t cook. When the husband  retired, I did too.  But I still make hollandaise and a really good fudge. I also make snickerdoodles.

See more slice of life stories at Two Writing Teachers link

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2 Responses to cooking

  1. Stacey says:

    Are you willing to share your meringue recipe? I am in need of a good one that’s not too difficult.

  2. Wanda Brown says:

    Not yet retired from school but our nest is empty and we certainly do eat and shop differently than when the kids were home. Ingredients for meals are purchased daily (how European of us)! Take out is always an option (but good take out). A night out at a restaurant at least once a week is expected. We have fewer dishes, less laundry, and a cleaner house (although is sometimes just too quiet).
    Like you, we love having our boys call and ask for recipes.

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