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Mom's Cooking (or, "Why I Turned into a Health Nut")

Mom's Cooking


When I was a kid, eating was a necessary evil.  Mom, a former history teacher, did not have a passion for cooking. Her casual disregard of any advances ever made in culinary science is approaching the legendary. Years ago, my daughter wrote: 

"Gray Jell-O.  In my house, the story has often been told of the gray Jell-O. When the flavors cherry and lime were mixed, a wonderful  flavor resulted. But it was a horrible sight. Of course my Grandma Saul didn't mean for that Jell-O to be gray, but with only one box of each color, the double batch of Jell-O did not come out just right." Mom also mixed partly-open boxes of breakfast cereal "to save space." I was raised on "Cheerios", Cornflakes, Wheaties, Puffed Rice, Shredded Wheat and Grape Nuts... all in the same bowl at the same time.

"Well done," at least in my experience, is the ultimate oxymoron. Mom could have burned ice cream if it were possible. She overcooked everything, blaming it on my Dad with the ever-ready apology: "Your father likes it this way." After years and years of eating overdone, dry, tooth-stressing meals, I finally asked Pop why he liked everything overcooked.  He said, "That's the way your mother makes it."  O'Henry would have been pleased.

But in fairness, Mom also gave each of us a multivitamin every day. The moment Dad walked into the house after work, he had a glass of orange juice stuck into his hand and a Eastman Kodak penny-a-piece vitamin pill plunked in his mouth before he could say, "What's for dinner?" And since "What's for dinner?" was such a fruitless question anyway, everything being uniformly charred to a tasteless slab, the pill no doubt did him good.

Mom also drank the water the canned spinach was packed in. She saved fresh vegetable cooking water and made soup from it. I now know that such behaviors result in increased consumption of vitamins and minerals.  Back then, I simply thought she was a little nuts.

Obviously, it is hereditary.


Copyright 2004 and prior years Andrew W. Saul.

Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )

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Andrew W. Saul


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