As I've mentioned before, my mom couldn't cook. Her mom never taught her because her mom was raised in a well-to-do home with a live-in nanny/maid/cook and never learned herself. Seasonings were a foreign concept to mom. Her dishes tasted like the packaging they came in.
Please know I'm not making fun of my mom. She knew her culinary limitations and even joked about it. She had a grand sense of humor.
Her afternoon routine was as predictable as an atomic clock: At 5 o'clock she would assume her position at her end of the couch with her book or magazine and a cup of coffee. Around 5:30 dad would arrive home from work, change clothes, and sit in his chair and read the newspaper for a while. By six it became obvious nothing was going to happen in the kitchen that evening, so dad would say, "Would you like to go out for dinner?"
At that mom would jump up with the look of excitement a Publishers Clearing House winner would have seeing a camera crew on their porch and squeal, "Uh huh!" That just made her day. She had made it one more day without having to cook.
Her whole day was spent in dread, literally. She couldn't enjoy her day for fear of what she would do if an invitation to eat out didn't materialize. She once told me that "meal planning" was the most stressful thing in her life. Not meal cooking, but meal planning.
I never understood that. How hard can it be to look into the refrigerator or the pantry and pull out something to eat? (Assuming you can afford food.) Why is it so hard to keep some meat loaf or a beef or chicken dish or some kind of pasta on hand? They all come pre-packaged for the "cooking challenged". Same with those freeze-dryed crops some people also put on their plates.
It would be like me driving into a gas station and saying, "OMG...OMG...which pump should I pull up to? Number 4? Number 8? Oh...the horror! Oh no! Now I have to pick an octane, too? Why do they make it so hard? Whatever shall I do?"
Yesterday K came home after work and announced that planning something for dinner was simply too stressful for her to contemplate. She couldn't bear to do it anymore.
I think I've told K mom's story once too often. Me and my big mouth. ;)