5 Things I Learned About Food From My Mom

My mom was an amazing cook. Not classically trained like a true “chef.” Just a great southern-style cook. She prepared amazing fried chicken. Her biscuits and gravy were the best I’ve ever had. A lot of my earliest memories are of our time together around the butcher block in our kitchen.

She was such an amazing cook that I was hesitant to help her out. It was intimidating to me as a kid. She just seemed to have this understanding about all the tools to use, the ingredients that work and the ones that don’t. I later realized it’s just about gaining the knowledge as you go.

Eventually, I opened up to the idea of cooking with my mom. It helped us forge a special bond. Some of my fondest memories were forged with her in the kitchen around food. Even though she passed away two and a half years ago, her lessons are very much part of who I am as a person. They define how I approach feeding others.

My Mom’s 5 Most Important Food Lessons

  1. Grow a garden. Mom always had a garden. She would grow the biggest tomatoes. We called them ‘Bobbimaters’ — her nickname was ‘Bobbi.’
  2. Cook from scratch. She always cooked from scratch. No shortcuts. If she didn’t cook from scratch, we went out to eat. When her health got in her way and she quit working, I was in high school. So we would have breakfast, lunch and dinner together at home. It was amazing!
  3. Understand food phases. This is funny. We all have “periods” that we go through as kids… Mom would take me to get a hamburger when I was a vegetarian because I was craving meat. And, she wouldn’t blow my cover. Bless her.
  4. Learn how to cook. Mom taught me how to cook, even though I hated it at first. She showed me that cooking can be very therapeutic and expressive.
  5. Chips and salsa are a legit food group ;-). We ate Mexican at least once a week when I was growing up.
Amber and her mom at Amber’s graduation from UNCW.

Given my initial hesitancy to roll up my sleeves in the kitchen, it’s funny that I ended up starting a food business. I learned how to cook from my mom. The Good Kitchen is a testament to her inclusion of me in the kitchen as a young’n. In her honor, I started this business. I started it as a way to serve others nutrient-dense food that makes people healthier in mind, body and spirit.

Lots of our beginning recipes were riffs I built off of the meals I remember her preparing for my dad and I. Recipes that I tweaked to be healthier, while still maintaining those great flavors. Like Stuffed Peppers, Fried Chicken (that was a tough one), Mac ‘n Cheese and Spaghetti.

Because I grew up under my mom’s wing providing meals for three, and more recently cooking for two busy adults while working full-time in my 20s and 30s, I understand the challenges we all face getting good food on the table. Balancing work, kids’ schedules, social life, vacations, family time, etc. Plus, a lot of people may not have the time or skills to cook from scratch. We help with both. We can do all the prep work, cooking and clean up, while you enjoy time with family, friends, or just by yourself.

With our kids line of meals, “the lunchbox” — (our healthier version of the Lunchable) — we are providing parents with nutritious meals they can feed their kids. We wanted parents to feel confident in the quality of a convenient children’s meal. Then they can focus more on their families and spend more quality time with their kids.


Originally published at www.thegoodkitchen.com.

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