My Mother’s Kitchen

Zaebian Machande (TheLorian)

I’ve had conversations with many of my peers on the infamous recipe books written by their families that they’ve grown to love. Sharing favorite meals made by loved ones is one of the ways I’ve gotten to know people the best. My own mother’s journey in cooking has been quite experimental, but today, her list of staple recipes is definitely an accomplishment. There are some dishes my mother makes that have been absolutely perfected over the years—so much to the point that I can’t help but shudder when I hear another say, “My mom makes that too!” These instances have helped me accumulate a list of dishes I will never eat unless they come from my mother’s kitchen.

Leading my list is a dish referred to in my house as “Mom’s Famous Meatloaf.” I do not trust anyone else who claims they’ve had good meatloaf before because they haven’t had my mother’s. She has somehow created the perfect concoction of spices and sauces that would have Gordon Ramsay quaking in his boots. This meatloaf contains the perfect balance of ground beef, that actually has flavor, and a sweet ketchup-&-barbecue-sauce topping that is guaranteed to have you running for seconds and thirds. Try comparing this to your grandma’s plain block of meat with ketchup: I dare you. Served best with a side of mashed potatoes, this excellent dish is sure to put any other platter of meat to shame.

Have you ever had a scone? Was it my mother’s? If not, then it probably wasn’t a very good scone. Scones are often something I tend to avoid as a bakery option because they never fail to have the consistency and flavor of a brick—that is, if it doesn’t come from home. My mother makes the absolute best homemade scones on the planet. The intoxicating smell of the sweet dough baking turns our house into a professional bakery, and the finished result is wonderful. They’re soft and buttery and don’t taste like a brick. One of my favorites consists of chocolate chips and an espresso glaze. They’re absolutely to die for—not literally, but they are really good. Again, Gordon Ramsay is quaking.

I don’t have any explanation as to why, but I have extreme trust issues with a foreign dish of tater-tot casserole. Maybe it’s my innate hatred for cream of mushroom soup or fear of soggy vegetables. Regardless, I simply will not eat tater-tot casserole if I don’t know where it came from. The only phrase I can think to use is “unsettling”… I don’t know, it’s just a weird dinner. Plus, my mother melts cheese over the top of the covering layer of tater tots and it’s mouth-watering.

The idea of only eating some recipes homemade is something I’m weirdly opinionated on, much like the Met Gala. It simply makes sense in my mind that not every dish offered to you is destined to be good. As children, we were always preached the idea of “stranger danger.” What adults failed to mention to us was the versatility of this phrase; it applies to both kidnapping as well as eating food made by others. My opinions differ from Chef Gusteau of the hit film “Ratatouille“. I don’t think everyone can cook, and that’s okay. I thank the Lorian for providing me a safe space to air out these hard feelings to my campus community.

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