My mom was a diet afficionado. It seemed that she tried on for size every fad diet that came during my childhood. The Cottage Cheese Diet. The Grapefruit Diet. A few rounds of Weight Watchers. A leaning tower of Lean Cuisines stashed in the freezer. An always-uneasy relationship with “starch”, or as we like to call it/them today, carbs.
She also disliked cooking. The standard fare at our dinner table was broiled steak, defrosted Green Giant frozen vegetables and an iceberg lettuce salad. Or else takeout Chinese, pizza, or KFC. The combination of her yo-yo dieting and her allergy to the kitchen meant that mealtime was rarely much of a delight. Home Economics classes in middle school taught me how to cook, and as I began practicing my kitchen magic on my fam, I discovered that food was more than something to be feared or endured. I learned it was possible to cook and eat with joy. [read more]