Things My Mother Taught Me

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and for the third year in a row, I won’t be able to get back to the U.S. to spend time with my Mom. I really miss her.

My mother is a lovely woman. She has a great sense of humor, cares very deeply for people, is easily hurt, and is very protective of the people she loves.


She is not the world’s best cook. ducks In all fairness, she will likely admit that it isn’t her first love, and to be honest, she doesn’t care much about food one way or another. Which, admittedly, is a fair reason for not liking to cook.

She tried her best and there is much to say about the lessons learned from her:

  • Crock pots work best when plugged in.
  • The same can be said for turning ovens on.
  • Always remove the plastic wrap from your honey-roast ham before putting it in the oven.
  • Adding chicken gumbo soup to ground beef and serving it on a bun may look like dinner to you, but it might look like dog-food-on-a-bun to others; alternately, not every recipe is a success.
  • If your child does not like what you’re serving for dinner and you make your children stay at the table until they’ve cleared their plates, do not let the dog sit under their chairs. Better yet, boot the dog out of the kitchen. (Kudos to my sister for mastering the art of surreptitiously spitting food into a napkin and holding under the table for the dog.)
  • Pouring red wine over chicken and then microwaving it can not turn out well; alternately, sometimes new technology is not all it’s cracked up to be.
  • Never cook a dish you wouldn’t eat yourself; or if you must, at least don’t force the undeserving to eat it if they’ve tasted it and are in agreement with your distaste. Also, no child likes liver and onions, no matter how much you try to convince them it is good for them. (I still stand by my argument that as the function of the liver is to remove impurities from the system, eating one cannot be not good. My sink trap catches all sorts of nasty stuff, and you won’t catch me licking it.)
  • No matter how much your child argues with you that eating too many Lima beans are toxic, etc, any well thought out argument can be overruled by “eat it anyway” and “fine, no dessert”.
  • Most importantly, when it comes to your kids, some things you just do, because you’re the mom, and chances are, they won’t know that you are totally winging it.

Sometimes, the lessons learned aren’t through what we say or do, but through what we don’t do.

Thanks for all the lessons taught, Mama. I love you so.

Mama’s Losin’ It
Today’s post was inspired by a writing prompt for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, and many a meal of beefy burgers* as a kid.

*see above ground-beef-and-chicken-gumbo reference


  1. That was wonderful! I would love to have dinner with you and your mom; sounds like it would be totally fun.

  2. Any time you want to cook, you’re on. And that is why I’m still working. Dad has gotten quite good at the cooking. Love it.

  3. Jan Suarez Ameday says

    Remember there is alway “Handt Foods” deli.

  4. Lima Beans aren’t toxic? Why am I always the last to know. Very funny post. Your spirit of fun with your mother is infectious.

  5. These are great! Your mom sounds like she has a very down to earth sense of humor. Those are my favorite kind of people. I really liked the last bit of advice on “winging it” here’s to hoping they don’t ever figure that one out!

  6. You didn’t get the lima beans forced on you by me. Don’t think I have ever had them (and don’t plan on it) Probably have lots of fiber though……

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