Mother had several quirks that stood out like sore thumbs. For some unknown reason, she always held those close to her in contempt and strangers in high regard. This was considered a big character flaw by our dad, and my sister Abby and I always puzzled about her lack of connection with our family.
She would think nothing of whipping up a beautiful cake for someone else’s child but she did little baking for her own family. We came to keep our expectations low when it came to our own special occasions.
Another of our mother’s quirks was that she refused to fix anything for our meals that did not satisfy her taste buds. If she didn’t like something, nobody in the house got to try it for themselves.
Thus, for breakfast absolutely no cold cereal.
No Rice Krispie Treats ever, no dessert, no Campbell’s soup, no juice (except for herself when she was on one of her many diets), no cookies, few fruits except grapefruit or some other fruit which she was using during another fad diet.
Another quirk was that she insisted you eat whatever was on your plate. She would hammer away at us until our plate was clean or the food would appear at the next meal for your dining pleasure. She also would have to be in the mood to fix certain things and then watch out! The kitchen would be a flurry of activity while she busied herself with preparing some exotic item. When completed, you could count on lots of grease and little flavor or very dry and little flavor. It seemed she liked to cook things until there was no chance of it being edible or flavorful.
The funny thing is she fancied herself a good cook and believed everyone enjoyed her feasts. The truth is her cooking expertise was known far and wide, but not in a good way.