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Escapades of cooking well done

The Malakoff News of Malakoff, Texas

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Escapades of Emily

Regrets. I've had a few. But there's a philosophy if one spends too much time in the past, where is the future.

My main regret began early in my life and still remains. I have never been a good cook. I know what it's like to take a dish out and bring it back intact. As a mother, I did well to get something on the table and could have used help and more time. I was famous for over-cooking, not the opposite. "Burn" I believe is the key word.

My grown children still make fun of my school lunches. I plead guilty.

But I really wanted to do better as a grandmother. Old habits fade slowly. Never having all the right ingredients, making bad choices for substitutes and creativity that seldom succeeded.

For a while I thought I was winning at the chocolate meringue pie. No more. Then sometimes what I made tasted wonderfully but looked too wild to taste. It didn't stop me.

Then came special diets for the me and my husband. We were on opposite ends of the table. And along arrived frozen foods I liked. With a large bag of vegetables and shrimp, and my added touches of cheeses, more vegetables, or a soup can's contents, I could make a big skillet of something that got second helpings.

My husband is the better cook. Many men like to cook and yet some pretend not to be able to turn on the microwave. This appliance is a cook's salvation, too. My husband's fried fish has saved the day for me countess times when microwaving wouldn't help.

Then I found it possible to buy ready-made and sometime the distinct difference didn't show. Using one's own plate for an offering may be cheating but on a mighty low scale considering the alternative. There are ways to combine store-bought into something new and tasty if one takes a clever approach. Breads are always needed. Salads can be added to meals in wonderful ways.

One granddaughter has an organic diet, rather hard to become accustomed to. When I said she and her sister would be coming in one holiday with food, a son said, "Please don't let her cook." She made my entrees look and taste better.

I've reminded the family several times that I didn't fry much which was good for them; we had plenty of milk. And I put vegetables on the table, which they never liked but eat now. One even eats brussel sprouts alone, which I find unbelievable.

Too, I reminded these table soppers since I cooked until well done, no one ever became ill later from something on my table.

This is my story and I'm sticking to it like my grilled salmon patties on the grill.

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Original Publication Date: April 17, 2015

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