Many things I can do boil down to follow the instructions.

That’s how I learned to sew.

That’s how I learned to do laundry (without turning all my undies pink – although, once, we did end up with some that had a lovely turquoise hue).

And most especially, that’s how I learned how to cook.

My mom was never much of a homemaker.

(Remember, her motto was “You can write your name in the dust, just don’t put the date.”)

But my mom’s mom (Grandma Harris) was a homemaker extraordinaire.

She could do it all – and those things I didn’t learn from reading, I learned from her – like embroidery, crocheting, knitting.

I can understand why, since my mom had little to no interest in things like cooking, she was not particularly interested in teaching me.

Basically, it was:  You want to cook something?  There’s the kitchen, there are the cook books.  Have at it.

And so I did.

The first thing I remember making was pralines.

My mom had this children’s cookbook that, based on the illustrations, must have dated back to her childhood.

That’s where I learned to make pralines and rice pudding.

The good old red and white Better Homes and Gardens’ Cookbook taught me how to make country fried steak (which, oddly enough, I made and served sans gravy of any kind!) and meatloaf and various kinds of cookies.

The back of the box taught me how to make cook and serve chocolate pudding and cake.

And a magazine taught me how to make buche de noel and chocolate truffles.

So when people bemoan all the things kids today aren’t taught, I just can’t get worked up about it.

If the kid can read, the kid is equipped to handle pretty much anything the world throws at them.  And with the internet and YouTube, a lot of the time, you don’t even have to read.

Relax.  The kids will figure it out.

I did.


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