Mom’s Cooking – Survival 102

Mom wasn’t that bad of a cook; she wasn’t great, by a pretty good stretch, but we survived with only minor digestive disorders. I’m pretty sure the rubber spatula in the fudge had lasting effects.

The thing was, sometimes we’d start to think she was doing this stuff on purpose; maybe she liked the way our eyes bugged out and the way we’d all go, “GACK!” I’m telling you, she would get the biggest kick out of that, and then tell us what had happened; an accident; it was always an accident. I don’t know, man….

One of her specialties was black bottom biscuits, as we affectionately called them. I think there was a problem with the oven, so that wasn’t all her fault. But then you’d think she would’ve adjusted the oven temperature to accommodate for the problem. Go figure. The biscuits were okay, though. We’d just slice off the burned bottom and the rest of the biscuit was edible.

She seemed to have her worst luck with mashed potatoes. I’ve cooked mashed potatoes a bunch of times, and never had the problems she did. Like this one time, I knew right away something was wrong. We sat down at the dining table, and I noticed the spoon in the mashed potatoes was standing straight up in the middle of the bowl of potatoes. I glanced over at Billy, and nodded toward the spoon. He just grinned and shrugged his shoulders. Ken was oblivious, and Patsy just looked at me then Billy and mouthed, “What?” I nodded toward the bowl of potatoes and the gravity defying spoon again, and she looked at it and her eyes bugged out; you know, the way Mom seemed to get a kick out of us all doing.

I decided I had to make a move, and I did not fail to notice Mom watching me kind of sideways as I pulled the bowl toward me, staring at the unmoving spoon as I did. When I had the bowl next to my plate, I kind of poked the spoon with one finger. It didn’t move. I grabbed the spoon handle, and it seemed to be stuck, so I touched the potatoes. They were hard as–well, maybe not hard as rock–but they were harder than they were supposed to be, that was for sure. I looked over at Mom, and she covered a giggle with her hand.

“What did you do, Mom?” I asked.

Mom scanned the table, still holding her hand over her mouth. It didn’t help; four bug-eyed kids could see the laughter in her eyes. She finally composed herself enough to where she could lower her hand and say, “I don’t know.”

I just shook my head and pushed the bowl of potatoes back to the center of the table. We were one side dish short that night.

One other mashed potato incident comes to mind, and once again, she didn’t a friendly warning might be warranted. She simply sat and watched as we filled our plates then dug into the delicious looking potatoes. What she didn’t tell us was that when she’d salted them, the lid came off the salt shaker. Afterwards, she told us she thought she’d gotten most of it out. I don’t know how much of the salt she was able to remove, but I do know it was not nearly enough.

We did not all four take a bite at the same instant, but it was close, and it was in some sort of alien looking synchronization that four heads snapped up, four sets of eyes bugged out, and in no certain order, one after the other, we said, “Gack!” “Gack!” “GACK!” “Gack!”

I thought Mom was going to fall out of chair, she was laughing so hard. I’m telling you, folks, she did some of that stuff on purpose!


  1. Sherry said

    those potatoes nust have had extra starch in ’em

  2. […] Mom’s Cooking – Survival 102 […]

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