Evidence that my mom did not cook a lot when we were kids: The other day I told my mom I was excited because Lily had liked* the chicken tenders I made.
“You made them from scratch?!” my mom asked, shocked. “Well, I’m impressed.”
My mom thought that chicken tenders were a fancy complicated dish. She wanted to know how you made them because she had no idea. This is a dish that most of my friends make for their kids on a semi-regular basis. My friends were surprised to hear I’d never breaded chicken myself, but given how impressed my mom was by my doing this, you can guess why it hadn’t happened up until this point. If you’ve never made chicken tenders, it’s not complicated. You dip raw chicken in eggs and then in bread crumbs, then bake it.
More evidence Mom was not a frequent flyer in the kitchen: She didn’t know what a garlic press was and was surprised to discover that both my sister and I owned and used garlic presses. She was surprised that we actually cooked with raw garlic and thought this was fancy.
Cooking for my mom revolves around different types of meat (usually chicken) seasoned with Lawry’s Season Salt and garlic salt. No cooked dinner from childhood was ever complete without Lawry’s. Often, our chicken was microwaved. If you’ve never had chicken that went into the microwave raw and came out cooked ON PURPOSE, it’s extremely rubbery. DO NOT TRY THIS. Now that I’m an adult, I refuse to ever eat that again.
There were also a lot of delicious things my mom made, but those things usually appeared on holidays or if we had guests for dinner.
Apparently none of those dishes involved fresh garlic. But why would you need it if you had garlic salt and Lawry’s to season every dish?
But anyway, I’m a master chef because I can make chicken tenders.
*Lily allegedly liked the chicken tenders that first meal, but has hated them ever since. I think she wants to die of malnutrition by eating only Tyson’s chicken nuggets, hot dogs and peanut butter and jelly for every meal. No matter how delicious the meal I make may be, she hates it and refuses to eat more than two bites of it. I GIVE UP.