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worst cooks in America....was your mom one?

Another thread just got me started. My moms idea of dinner consisted of au gratain boxed potatoes and canned tuna. Beans and Weenies. Canned spaghetti sauce and french onion soup mix over noodles. Pork loiin diced in bottled teriaki sauce and boiled. On Fridays she took all the leftovers and diced them into a pot to boil w/ water.... soup( I guess) and i mean all the leftovers no matter what they were or if they made sense, the things listed would be in that pot plus maybe rice and canned veggies. Eeekkk.... no wonder I can cook. Someone had to in the house so we didn't starve. God love her , she tried.

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  1. The two worst cooks who have ever served me dinner were both, oddly and coincidently, nutritionists. I wonder if it is a little like the D.D. (Dr of Divinity) who lost his faith somewhere along the way to graduation.

    4 Replies
    1. re: GraydonCarter

      Do what i say not what i do should be their motto!

      1. re: GraydonCarter

        My mother is a dietician - so I will speak up for her cooking...as well as mentioning there were horrors along the way.

        My mom got into food/dietetics totally as a way to avoid her mother's own awful cooking as well as her family's trend to obesity. So she basically had to throw out everything she learned about cooking from her mother/family and really start over. Growing up in the 80s, I think we got to try every standard vegetarian hippy collective recipe book - to mixed results. Lots of crunchy beans and brown rice, but some other creations that I still crave to this day as weird chilhood favorites (elbow macaroni, canned fat free refried beans, and yogurt anyone?).

        The one strong lasting trend from my mother, is her strong belief that all salt in all quantities is evil (basically that enough of it ends up in our diets, so never to add it when cooking unless baking). So now when I'm cooking if I taste something and think 'it needs salt', or go to add salt because I "assume it needs it" - I never have a clue of what is enough/too little/too much.

        1. re: cresyd

          And now the latest medical information is that salt is not the evil doer that everyone once thought it was.

          1. re: John E.

            I think with all "food professionals" - there are very few that I have met that apply 'everything' they know from work in their personal cooking, especially when they have kids. Some dieticians I know are very big on "rehabed" recipes (unhealthy recipes made healthy), others are more fad oriented - but I will say that I know more than one over weight dietician (just because you're an expert in what to do, doesn't mean you do it). Just like there are physicians who smoke. Or who are overweight.

            Also, there are personal tastes that override scientific issues. My mom has a huge sweet tooth and will indulge (occasionally) in sweets. She personally does not like salt. Now there are reasons to avoid salt for weight loss (it makes you more thirsty, and thirst can often be confused in the brain as hunger) and healthy living. But my mom's refusal to salt food at home was always tied to a personal preference as much as a professional opinion.

            My mom's bad hippy food was also because she was a hippy who though brown rice, black beans, cauliflower and cheddar cheese caserol was the perfect weekday meal.

      2. What a cruel thought, about the woman who got us from womb to here. They all did the best they could with what they had.

        12 Replies
        1. re: Veggo

          I agree that many of our mothers were probably not making succulent taste the focus of our meals. Nutrition, and making do, and stretching what they had, were probably more important.

          1. re: Veggo

            I was in no way being cruel. I said she was a bad cook. That is true. Even she says she's horrible. I cannot argue facts. She gladly handed me the cooking reigns when i was 11. I am sure there will be others to agree with me. Some moms aren't good cooks. It happens. My mom just never learned how to cook and had no interest. It is what it is. If i went into full detail, you may faint. Ill spare you.

            1. re: Veggo

              I totally agree. It would never occur to me to criticize my mother's cooking. I even have fond memories of some of it.

              1. re: Veggo

                Saying that your mom was a bad cook isn't saying that they were a horrible person. My mom isn't a great cook, but she wasn't awful. Her mom was a wonderful baker- but some of the things that she made for meals were questionable. (she did the dump all the leftovers together at the end of the week thing too.) However, I have respect and love for both of them.

                1. re: Veggo

                  Indeed, Veggo. Indeed.

                  I would eat stir-fried maggots with freeze-dried feces if that's all my mother had to feed me.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    That sounds like my family's June, 1959 menu!

                    Not as bad, as it sounds.

                    Hunt

                  2. re: Veggo

                    You've never had my mother's cooking. For all her virtues, she hates to cook - or hated,since she no longer does it - and relied on packaged goods whenever possible. When I was back east cooking for her when my sister,her normal caretaker, was on vacation, she complained that I was spending too much time making "gourmet" dinners, which seemed to refer to anything made with fresh ingredients, especially vegetables.

                    1. re: Veggo

                      We don't have to take a Chowhound post in a spirit it is NOT meant. Your second sentence would have made your point more gently. (And I KNOW you have a great sense of humor, Veggo. I've long giggled at your posts.)

                      1. re: Vetter

                        Thanks, and I like to be playful here, but dissin' your mama is like burning the flag. We'll get through this, and us "V" people need to stick together..!

                        1. re: Veggo

                          But what does loving your parents, and stating a fact that ones mother couldn't boil watter without a recipe have to do with each other? How is not lying and/or stating a fact dissin' her?
                          It's still love as long as you're not being mean about it. For example.
                          "Mom, you're stupid because you can't cook meat loaf." Bad. No love.
                          "Mom, I love you but your meatloaf tastes like sweat socks." See?! Lots of love. :)

                          1. re: Midknight

                            Some women in their 80's can take a little ribbin' and tough love, others are more sensitive and easily bruised. I see no profit in taking the risk. "Hey mom, great meatloaf. Where is the knife sharpener?"

                    2. Well, my mom always made oatmeal cookies without sugar. She insisted that the raisins alone were sweet enough, nothing else needed.

                      In fairness though, her beloved grandmother died of diabetes at a fairly young age, and she was terrified of that happening to her and her children. She thought of sugar as poison. Our "birthday cakes" were a concoction of fruit puree and yogurt, frozen in a cake shape--sort of a combination cake and ice cream.

                      I'm not sure my mom was a bad cook, but she was certainly an unusual one.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: texanfrench

                        So your littel friends stop going to your birthday parties, right?

                      2. My sister might have been one of the worst cooks ever which is interesting because our mother was a good cook. My sister was talking to my Mom on the phone one time trying to get some ideas for cooking and my mother mentioned something about Bisquik oven fried chicken (the recipe is on the box). Well, what my sister did was to make Bisquik biscuit dough and attempt to wrap it around the raw chicken and bake it. I never heard the rest of the story about how things turned out.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: John E.

                          Isn't that Chicken Wellington? ;o)

                        2. My mom used onion soup mix religiously - but when i want comfort food, i find myself reaching for the same thing. My fondest food memories are almost all from her kitchen - and the ones that aren't from her are from her mom. My mom's meatloaf with rice - my fave dinner, even to this day.