e c l e c t i c a
s p o t l i g h t a u t h o r
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I had two dishes at my command: tuna-noodle casserole and a hamburger-meat pie. I had grown up watching my mother assemble these faithful family retainers: mix the key ingredients with a can of Campbell's soup (cream of mushroom and tomato, respectively), pile it into a casserole dish, add topping (crushed potato chips on one, mashed potatoes on the other), bake for 20 minutes. My mother never taught me how to cook, just as her mother failed to teach her. Her no-frills cooking was typical of many working-class homes of the 50s and 60s, requiring no particular artistry. Cooking entailed following directions and using common sense—I could do that.