The cook, The writer, and the kid

There used to be a time when only moms cooked. When I was a kid, dads went out and worked, while moms were known to be in the kitchen preparing dinner for the kids, planning supper for the dads when they get home, and occasionally catching a glance of television shows like “The Edge of Night” or “As the World Turns”

Things sure have changed. I am among many of my male friends and relatives who are totally responsible for the cooking duties in the household. Thing is, I rather enjoy cooking. Hey, I said that out loud, and no beating. When I was a kid, if a guy said that he liked to cook, he received a knuckle sandwich for lunch from the bully down the street. A male cook was a pansy. Nowadays, the food channel features shows like “Hells Kitchen”, the chef is not someone who bullies would bother, and he is definitely no pansy.

My dad is a great cook; he always was a great cook. In a time when men did not cook, he did. He worked as a logger, but when he was home on weekends, he cooked. I have fond memories of the smell of home baked bread emitting from my home, and how I loved to have the first slice of freshly baked bread, with a scrape of butter and a healthy coating of molasses…mmmmm…Damn Diabetes! Oh well, I still have the memories.

Trial and error; that was my dad’s approach to cooking. “Keep cooking until you get it right” He would always say, and with that, the biggest food critic in the neighborhood would taste his own cooking, and if it was not perfect, he would throw it in the garbage and try again. Since we were so poor, he could not afford to waste food, so I guess that is why he perfected his cooking skills so quickly. He cooked pies, pastries, biscuits, cookies and best of all, his own recipe for cinnamon rolls, which he still makes on special occasions today. My dad was years before his time, and if he were a young man today, he could make a lucrative living as a chef, I have no doubt of this.

I inherited my cooking skills from my dad. So did my brother. We are both cooks in our families, and our spouses and children depend on our daily work to get them through their day. Upon meeting my girlfriend, her first question to me was if I could cook. She said that she hated the kitchen, and if we were to have a relationship together, she would not be cooking. That sounded great to me, as I don’t really like sharing my kitchen anyway.

Each day, I sit at my desk at work and plan what I will prepare once I get home. From baked chicken (sometimes I cheat and cook shake and bake) and all the veggies to homemade pizza and pastas, my spouse and son love to come home to a home cooked meal. My son says that he rather my pizzas than that of the takeout variety, and I will not allow him to get near the frozen, sodium laden imitations of our foods. Tonight I already have my meal planned. Pizza chicken with brown rice and veggies (not to be mistaken for chicken pizza).

Want the recipe?

Three chicken breasts sliced in half, Cheddar cheese (Old or medium old), Pizza Sauce, spices and herbs of your choice, chopped onion,  casserole dish

Line the greased casserole dish with chicken breasts, as if using them as a pizza crust. pour pizza sauce over chicken breasts; add spices. I like oregano, pepper, and parsley. Spread chopped onion and then top with cheese. Bake at 400 for twenty minutes. Easy but good. Thanks Dad!

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