In my family, my mom did all the cooking…All. The. Cooking. Do you get the emphasis?  Now, I am the youngest of eight kids, but not even counting the previous 17 years’ worth of meals (with the other kids she raised), in my lifetime that meant: 365 days a year, 18 years, 3 meals a day equals 19,700 meals. Can you imagine the meals, the volume of food that passed through that woman’s hands?! I mean, she made our breakfasts, packed lunches for us to take to school, cooked dinner…No wonder she only had one part-time job in my lifetime, she was constantly cooking.

Or if not cooking, she was likely shopping for food. Dang, I cannot imagine the time that she must have put into those daily/weekly efforts. I find it monumental, the amount of energy and forethought that would go into that, but that’s what she did. I really cannot imagine how tired her body must have been in the years prior to her death, with all the pregnancies and work and child-rearing and all that cooking…In a sense, her life was devoted to the caring of others.

What about dad? He worked his full-time job, but compared to mom’s efforts his work seems almost trivial. He did cook, though, very occasionally…very. He would grill steaks and ribs, typically on the weekends. Dad loved his grilled meats cooked over charcoal ignited with lighter fluid. And for some reason, he loved to scorch them. I can’t tell you how often he burnt the racks of ribs, but it was really almost every time.

Now, he must have liked them like that, because he grilled enough that he should have learned over time. Steaks and ribs were his faves to make, burgers and hot dogs right behind. I don’t know, maybe the beer he inevitably drank while he grilled got in the way.

But the scorch was his way, charcoal-scorched meats. Nevertheless, I’m sure mom appreciated the break in her routine.