For my blog on interviewing someone who cooks for you, I really wanted to talk with my mom because I feel that she is the person who has cooked the most for me. Also, I was interested to see how her cooking has changed from when I was a kid, to my life today. Here is our conversation:
What did I hate eating when I was younger?
“Eggs. You used to hate to eat eggs. I always told you they were good for you and you always told me no because they smelled and looked bad. You also hated fruit; you said it had no taste and I would always try to force you to eat them, but you always made dirty faces like you were going to vomit. Then I knew that it was something you were not interested to eat.”
How did you start cooking—what made you want to start?
“I started cooking when I was a teenager because my mom always said when I get married and have a family, the way I was going to keep my family good, healthy, and happy, is by making my own meals.”
What is your favorite meal to make?
“My favorite meal to make is Chiles Rellenos, because I like the chile and the cheese. I also make it with Mexican rice and refried beans. Only me and my daughter like them, that’s why I do not cook them that often. But that is my best meal and the one that I love to cook. It is my best meal and I like the way they taste.”
Is there a special meal that reminds you of me?
“Yes. When I make Fettuccine Alfredo and that is why when you are home, I enjoy cooking it and I know you enjoy eating it too. Also, because I know you like it and it is one of your favorite dishes and you always ask me, “Mom, can you cook it?” I also like to make breakfast on the weekends; it is the best time of my life because we all eat as a family and those are the times you never forget.”
Did you have any kitchen disasters?
“No. I like to use what I have to use and little by little, I clean it. I am the type of person that I do not like to make a mess and need space to cook better.”
What’s a memorable food experience?
“A memorable food experience was when I used to make tamales with my dad and my mom. Every time we did the tamales, my dad would fill them in with pork, meat, and chile. He would fold them in, put them in a bucket, put the right temperature and the right time to cook, then all the family would get together and enjoy the tamales. We had a lot of good compliments that the tamales were good and I will never forget that in my life.”
Do you wish you made more of something?
“Yes. I wish I knew how to cook more different meals, not only the Mexican ones, but the Italian, and the Chinese. Maybe one day I will take some classes to cook different meals and enjoy them with my family.”
Do you enjoy cooking, or do you do it because you have to?
“I enjoy cooking and the reason is, I work mostly the whole day and by me cooking, it makes me feel that I love my family and I know they enjoy it too. I am glad that the way I cook, my kids, my husband, and I enjoy it. I know the best thing for your health is based on who cooks for you.”
As I was asking my mom these questions, I found myself surprised by some of her responses. Since I never asked her questions about cooking before, it was interesting to hear her thoughts and how she feels about it. I usually only ask her what she is going to cook and when it is going to be ready. This interview opened my eyes to how much my mom values cooking and how cooking plays a special role in her life. I appreciated how my mom likes to cook my favorite meal when I come home and how she enjoys cooking for us. At times, I feel that she cooks only because she has too, but I never realized that she looked forward to it after a long day at work. I was surprised when she told me that I used to hate eggs and fruit because I eat both of them today. It is interesting to hear from a parent how your tastes have changed over the years.
It was interesting for me to hear how my mom began cooking because I never knew the meaning behind her learning how to cook. As I thought more about it, I realized that this is the characteristic of many Hispanic families with daughters. They want their daughters to learn how to cook at an early age so when they are married, they can cook for their husbands and kids. Also, I was surprised to learn that my mom was thinking about taking classes to learn how to cook different meals because she had never told us that before. From this interview, I came to have gratitude for the things my mom cooks for us and the effort she puts into it because even after a long day at work, she still makes sure that we have a meal to enjoy.