New School Or Old School In The Kitchen?

BY: - 4 Feb '11 | Home

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By Ayanna Black

As I prepared dinner for my family last week I chuckled to myself as I thought about the first dinner I prepared for my husband.       We’d just gotten home from our honeymoon and I was all ready to cook this fabulously healthy meal:   baked chicken, strings beans, baked potatoes, corn and rolls. So I washed the dishes and began cooking our dinner. The kitchen was smelling good and I was ready to serve dinner to my new husband!

Everything on the plate was good until I got to the corn. I thought it taste a little funny but I wanted to take another bite to make sure I wasn’t trippin’.   The second bit confirmed it”...my corn taste like soap!   I was praying that I hadn’t rinsed MY spoon off well enough but as I turned to look at my husband I knew that was not the case.   After we’d made eye contact he broke out laughing and I was just sitting there unsure whether to laugh along or cry because my first meal was a flop.   After a few seconds I began to laugh with him and explained what happen.

I wanted to really impress my husband with my cooking.   His parents were older so they did pretty much everything from scratch.   So I felt a little bit of pressure to deliver. I wouldn’t be embarrassed a second time.   I wanted to move away from the canned foods and cook some “real” food.

So I called my mom to ask how to make baked short ribs and some other soulful side dishes.   As she was giving instructions on how to prepare them, I stopped her and asked, ” Well, how much of this ingredient do you put in there?” She says, “You just have to eye it.”  I say “Momma I can’t eye it – I need a measurement.”   She says “Oh my God you new girls in the kitchen we don’t measure we eye it!”

I think to myself  “I can do that, let me get dessert together.” I then call my aunt for her peach cobbler recipe and she starts giving me instructions on how to make it from scratch.   I ask, “Don’t they sell dough in the store!”   Needless to say the next call I made was for carryout!

Over the years I made sure that I mastered the cooking thing my way and to the point where everything is edible.    We no longer eat canned food but it does come in a bag from the freezer section in the grocery store. I just don’t have time to pick greens, wash them, snap peas separate and sort them.   That’s just to much. I still use my measuring cup and read the instructions on the back of the box as to how to prepare things.   What can I say”...I’m a new girl in the kitchen.

How was the first meal you prepared for your mate?   Are you an ole school cook or a new girl in the kitchen?

Ayanna is a married mom of busy triplets in Chicago. She’s a freelance parenting/marriage and technology blogger.   Ayanna and her husband Damion are a featured couple in Ebony Magazine’s “Partner Project.”  Ayanna is also the proud owner of ABlackWebDesign.com

About the author

Ayanna Black wrote 19 articles on this blog.

Ayanna Black is the founder of A. Black Web Design, a web customization firm based in Chicago. Ayanna enjoys blogging about parenting her triplets, marriage and technology. Ayanna and her husband Damion were a featured couple in Ebony Magazine's the "Partner Project".

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34 WordPress comments on “New School Or Old School In The Kitchen?

  1. Trendolyn Dickerson

    I was raised by my grandmother! I am ole school cook, even though I am only 32 years young I throw down and my husband and 5 children love my cooking… I actually baked a cake this morning for dinner tonight! I don’t cook well from the box, all of my family will confirm this. I know what your mom meant when she said “You just have to eye it”. I also sample my ware as I go along and this helps too. If it’s any consolation to those of you that do use measuring tools. Those things INTIMIDATE ME!

    1. Msquiraa

      I agree Trendolyn! the moment I realize I have to measure, I’m like, I dont trust this, they dont know what they’re doing. They dont know how make this like I do! Just tell me the ingredients and I’ll do the rest! lol…

    2. Msquiraa

      I agree Trendolyn! the moment I realize I have to measure, I’m like, I dont trust this, they dont know what they’re doing. They dont know how make this like I do! Just tell me the ingredients and I’ll do the rest! lol…

  2. Rhonda J. Smith

    LOL! I love your story. I don’t remember my first meal (almost 13 years ago), but I do remember my husband stating that my fried corn was NOT like his mother’s. You know he never made a comment like that again!

    I’m a mixture of old and new school. My dad would cook everything from scratch so when I moved on my own I started cooking like him because I wanted that food. I was the queen of fried chicken wings. We hardly eat fried foods now, but I do love greens, pinto beans, candied yams, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, all from scratch. I do use “fresh” bag greens a lot and some frozen items and enlist my husband and oldest son’s help in the preparation. I also mix up the menu with some standards, like spaghetti and chili using jarred sauce, and I cook some healthy, easy “Middle Eastern” dishes from scratch. I just believe each family needs to do what’s best–time-wise and health-wise–for their family. Now my husband loves all of my cooking, but I do stay away from the fried corn (LOL). Thanks for sharing your family story.

  3. Cheryl

    I remember the first meal I made my husband. We were dating at the time and he told me he loved, loved, loved … tacos. I had only had tacos at taco bell before – and didn’t like them. Still I went and got all the fillings, and made it. I thought I would be cute and put the taco shells in the toaster oven to warm them up. Needless to say I was horrified when they caught on fire! After we put out the fire, we went to taco bell.

    1. Ayanna

      That is hilarious! See I knew I wasn’t the only one with a first meal horror story! Thanks for sharing! Surely glad that saying a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach because I think I would have lost my man a long time ago!

  4. AJ

    I am definitely a mixture of both. I can remember the first meal I cooked for my husband (then boyfriend) – from scratch chicken alfredo. HE swears he fell in love when he tasted it. I learned how to cook using measuring spoons and all of that. Now for the most part, i’m more comfortable just eyeballing it. Then sometimes I use measuring spoons/cups, etc for portion control.

  5. Tiya

    Love this. I am definitely a new school cook. LOL. One of my first meals was simple bowl of tuna of which my husband told me to never, ever, ever make tuna again. lol. Since then I have improved my cooking skills, but I’m with you, my schedule won’t allow me to do a lot of the soul food cooking, but I do try to get creative and keep it healthy too when I cook.

  6. Chrissy0131

    I remember the days of my grandmother (God rest her soul) washing her greens, or black eyed peas and snapping her green beans in half and putting them in a bowl with me helping. Back then I thought that was the way to cook and there was nothing like my grandmother’s home cooked meals, I am 24 now and I just can’t see myself cooking from scratch it scares me. The first meal I cooked for my hubby was on our first in home date almost 4 years ago. I made baked chicken with rice, vegetables and rolls. I was so afraid that he wouldn’t like it or the chicken would be undercooked. However he loved it and that’s where I gained my confidence in cooking for him, he loves my cooking even says it’s better than his own mother’s cooking. I have to have a measuring cup and I read the instructions off the back like no body’s business, it’s just what I feel secure in doing. I can’t “eye” things well for fear that I’ll mess it up, but who knows I’m still young maybe as time goes on it will just come natural, my mom is def. old school in the kitchen but as of right now I am def. new school.

  7. AllSchoolCook

    I can cook from scratch, from the box, fresh, frozen, semi-homemade, etc. The things that I make from scratch, I tend to like better than I can get commercially, so I stop eating it unless I make it. I make great gumbo, chicken tortilla soup, jambalaya, and drunken noodles!

  8. A

    Wonderful post! The first meal I mad my hubby (at age of 23) was cajun chicken jambalaya pasta from a Cheesecake Factory copycat recipe. The second was smothered pork chops and rice. I’m primarily old school, mainly because my mom didn’t cook out of the box often, and on my own, I wanted to eat the same good stuff I’d always eaten. I guess it works pretty good — I overheard my husband talking to his friends: “My wife doesn’t buy me stuff, she just cooks good food.” MAde my day!

  9. TheMrs

    I truthfully don’t remember the first meal….however I do remember my first Thanksgiving…smh. Bought the turkey a few days in advance and placed it in the fridge, it was completely thawed so I washed and emptied it and followed the directions from my mom, mother-in-law, and grandmother-in-law; my mom comes in ready to make the gravy(I was still very unsure on how to make it and I didn’t want anything out the box/jar/can) and couldn’t find all the “inners”….needless to say I didn’t stick my hand in far enough and they were cooked inside the bird behind the stuffing. Now I triple check that everything is out!!!
    I cook everything from scratch. I started out getting recipes from the elders and as time went by I played with things. A few times I have grabbed some of those quickie everything-in-the-box meals for nights I may not be home but found that it was simpler for me to make the same meal by hand. I also didn’t start cooking until I was married, several weeks after we moved into our new home. My father had been retired for years while I was growing up so he did all the cooking and didn’t allow the kids in the kitchen AT ALL. I started out burning water….

    1. Ayanna

      Oh wow! That’s a Thanksgiving dinner to remember. I know a lot of old school cooks that don’t allow people in the kitchen while they are cooking and definitely no taste testing…that might get you hurt. lol

      1. TheMrs

        I think this was my last year cooking for Thanksgiving…our very first oven died on Thanksgiving, as well as our second oven (it was a quickie replacement that lasted about 3 yrs), and then this Thanksgiving yet another oven disaster…thankfully when we remodelled about 3 yrs ago we also purchased a wall oven that was able to finish the turkey. Then with the winter storms the replacement parts were delivered late and the service was pushed well after Christmas.

  10. Vvestrada21

    I’m a combination old and new school cook; and yes my hubby and kids love my cooking. Some foods from scratch I have down to a science, like ribs and fresh collard greens, but I’m still shaky with my mac and cheese and fried chicken. I’ve been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for about 10 years now, I just let my mom make the mac and cheese, lol. Learning to cook is definitely trial and error.

  11. Tamara

    LOL! When hubby and I first got married, i was new school. I was a Hamburger Helper, frozen food aisle, microwaving, canned food kinda girl. Now? Im OLD SCHOOL to the bone. I barely step foot in conventional grocery stores and am a converted whole, real foods woman. I love to hop farmer’s markets, farms, and food co-ops to get the freshest, whole foods and ingredients. I measure sparingly, but mostly eye ball things. My favorite TV channel is The Cooking Channel and i have a long list of my favorite food blogs I visit for inspiration, lol.

    I do it for our health, to vote with my dollar and most assuredly, for taste!

  12. busybodyk

    I learned from watching and helping my grandmother but I like to try new things so I am also a new girl. I love trying new recipes and mixing dishes I grew up eating with something new or a twist. I enjoy cooking and I’m good at it but I’m not perfect. Thankfully my husband will eat just about anything, even burnt food. lol

    1. Ayanna

      I watched in the kitchen too but I always grabbed that measuring cup. Somehow I would always pour to much! lol Unfortunate for me my husband and oldest son are very picky eaters if it doesn’t look like something they are used too don’t even think about them eating it.

  13. Mrs. D

    I am a little old school with a little new school. Old school cooking is second nature for me but sometimes for convenience I might mix in a little new school. I prefer cooking from scratch because you know what is in your food and you can control the salt and the sugar. Most ladies that I know who still cook old school cook enough on the weekend to stretch through the week. Make new meals from leftovers. For example, left over roast or meatloaf can be sandwiches and salad on another day.
    Also, you can make a crock pot your new best friend for a home cooked meal during the week. It can still be done with a little prepping here and there. All of that boxed, prepackaged stuff is not good for you to eat on a regular basis.

  14. Mrs. D

    I am a little old school with a little new school. Old school cooking is second nature for me but sometimes for convenience I might mix in a little new school. I prefer cooking from scratch because you know what is in your food and you can control the salt and the sugar. Most ladies that I know who still cook old school cook enough on the weekend to stretch through the week. Make new meals from leftovers. For example, left over roast or meatloaf can be sandwiches and salad on another day.
    Also, you can make a crock pot your new best friend for a home cooked meal during the week. It can still be done with a little prepping here and there. All of that boxed, prepackaged stuff is not good for you to eat on a regular basis.

  15. Pingback: Weekly Reader: Superbowl Weekend Edition | PixieThisBlog.com

  16. JustMe

    Thanks for the story. I can’t remember…or probably don’t want to remember. I despise cooking all together but love to eat. Go figure. The best thing God ever created was an aunt sensitive to my disdain and Patti Labelle’s “Recipes that will make you sing” and sing they do:)

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Celeb Marriage Scene: Mariah’s blabs, Tia Mowry glows, and Super Bowl coach Mike Tomlin is a winning husband

BY: - 4 Feb '11 | Black Celebrity Marriages

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Looks like Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon have once again let the cat out of the bag. After Nick spilled the beans about their twin buns in the oven back in December, MiMi told Life and Style Magazine that the couple is expecting a boy and a girl. Hubby Nick recently told People that Mariah is feeding those two pretty well and he is busy enjoying the fringe benefits of Mariah’s food cravings.

Mommy-to-be Tia Mowry doesn’t know yet whether she’ll be shopping for pink or blue, but The Game star can’t wait to find out. Tia admits others have predicted that she’s having a boy with hubby actor Cory Hardrict. She showed off her baby bump and dished about pregnancy and The Game’s success on Access Hollywood.

We’ve all seen Mike Tomlin on television leading the Pittsburg Steelers to the Superbowl, but you may not have seen the beautiful woman that stands beside him off of the field. Mike and his wife Kiya have been married since 1996 and have three children. The former gymnast and editor-in-chief of Showbiz Kids magazine doesn’t miss an opportunity to stand by her man, stepping out in a black and yellow dress she designed herself at a charity event last year.  [Player Wives]

Director Spike Lee did some movie watching of his own when he did what parents all across the country will be doing this month; took his son to the premiere of Justin Bieber’s new movie Never Say Never in New York City.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama shared a kiss at the 2011 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. The Obama’s are gearing up for a White House Superbowl party on Sunday with folks like Jennifer Lopez and husband Mark Anthony on the guest list.  Did our invitation get lost in the mail? [Post Chronicle]

Tamela Mann, gospel singer and star of the Tyler Perry Show, Meet the Browns, was nominated for an NAACP image award for her new album, The Master Plan. Tamela’s husband David Mann is a gospel singer and also stars on Meet the Browns. Mrs. Mann said the nomination was an honor and a blessing. [Breathe Cast]

Actor couple Boris Kudjoe and Nicole Ari Parker hosted the 2011 Trumpet Awards in Atlanta in late January. The awards honor African Americans who have succeeded against all odds. The show airs on TV One on April 24th.

Aja Dorsey Jackson is a freelance writer and public relations consultant in Baltimore, Maryland. Find out more about her at www.ajadorseyjackson.com or follow her on twitter @ajajackson.

About the author

Aja Dorsey Jackson wrote 206 articles on this blog.

Aja Dorsey Jackson is a freelance writer and marriage educator in Baltimore, Maryland and author of the blog and book, Making Love in the Microwave.

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