The general idea is that mum is the best cook. Then the kids get married, or move away and they discover there are other ways of cooking and preparing meals, so mums, forget it. There is always someone that does it better. It is one of the reasons that I like to try something different sometimes, although often the ideas fail me and so I go back to the same old thing: everyone likes it, everyone eats it, and there is nothing worse than having a plate full of leftovers after a meal.
My mum had the best method. Mum could not cook, but she cooked the same as her mum did and her mum grew up at the end of the 19th century beginning 20th century. There was no such thing then as organic food in those days, although no that is not true. Everything was organic because the idea of leaving nature to itself was then the only idea, so perhaps grandmother had more natural qualities in her vegetable. However mum’s first ideas of cooking were when tinned food was invented. Stew was always no. 1 on the list, with dumplings of course: the pastry clumps you cooked with the meat and vegetable. If mum put carrots in the stew they usually came from a tin, but she cooked them together with the meat for at least a couple of hours to make sure they were cooked.
Dad loved everything that mum cooked, but his mother also grew up at the end of the 19th century. In those days the longer you cooked it, the better it was, especially if it was meat. Mum never realised that liver only needed a few minutes to cook, and you usually had to chew her liver because she cooked it for half an hour at least.
Dad was really convinced that this was the best way. Later when mum passed away, he was left to his own devices. Pork chop was cooked in the oven because mum always did it like that, everything was cooked in the oven. He usually cooked it for at least 1-2 hours to make sure it was tender. I remember his words when he visited us in Switzerland with his girlfriend. They were both golden oldies. He was making excuses all the time when I cooked a meal saying “they like it that way”. I did not ask him what way or who “they” were, as it was safer.
The general opinion at home was that I could not cook and my old man (meaning future husband) should be pitied as he would be living on fish fingers and chips for all his life. I do make them now and again, but rarely. Mum cooked vegetable until it fell apart, I prefer mine to have a little bite to it.
Is it a wonder that I dislike precedents? It makes life boring. I like a bit of oomph in my life, trying perhaps a different spice, mum only knew salt and pepper. Mum never made spaghetti, but she was sure it grew on trees.