[This post is part of the Bound for Mom mini-blog carnival hosted by Geneabloggers]
Mom taught me life skills and the ability to cook is one which has served me well. If it weren't for my flat feet and inability to stand for long stretches of time, I'm certain I would have gone into the culinary or catering field - that's how much I've come to enjoy being in the kitchen.
For Mom, teaching her oldest son how to cook was a necessity: Mom went to work around the time I turned 7. With two small boys to support she knew it would be easier to at least have dinner started or prepped when she walked in the door each night at 5:30pm. And so Mom taught me the basics.
We are not talking fancy gourmet cooking although that was something I would try my hand at later on to the delight of my family. Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s basics mean stuff like Hamburger Helper and Shake 'N Bake. In fact, the phrase "and I helped" used in the Shake 'N Bake commercials is what I decided to call my food blog. It is a tribute to all the recipes I learned from Mom and since then. I highly recommend setting up a family recipe blog if food, cooking and recipes are a large part of your genealogy research.
Mom taught be food safety (proper temperatures, food handling,etc.) as well as how to operate equipment such as a stove, microwave, etc. I learned how to measure, how to defrost, how to mix and most importantly how to develop a cook's "sixth sense" when something wasn't right or was just right.
As the years went by I would be making dishes such as clams casino and paella for a very appreciative extended family. I can thank Mom for teaching me these basic skills and that food and the gift of food could help open doors and break down barriers.