- Jun 29, 2017
When I turned 10, my Mother went back to work full-time. It became my job to start (cook) dinner every night, and when she arrived home at 5:10 PM, dinner was ready to be served. She left me written instructions every day, and I followed them word for word until I learned how to cook everything independently. My Father handled some food prep and the BBQ on the weekends. DH's family was more traditional, and his mother did all of the cooking and cleaning. Similar to my original family, DD and I both make dinner, and she's been learning to cook all of her life by my side. She has taken an even more active role during the pandemic. DH cooks on the BBQ and once in a while, homemade pizza.I've avoided the food heritage part of the question because I didn't want to sound judge-y*, but it's definitely one of the big differences between how DH and I were raised. My house was far from a "sweets-free" zone, but dessert was not part of every dinner, either. (Salad usually was, though, on top of whatever other veggie we having.) DH came from a "food is love" house, and he battles to keep his sweet tooth in check to this day. So I definitely think our food heritage shapes our adult preferences and struggles.
I also think it shapes our expectations in areas like independence and gender roles. In DH's house, meals were kind of seen as an act of service, and very much his mom's domain. In my house (except for big weekend brunches) breakfast was a serve-yourself affair as soon as you could be trusted to use the toaster. I learned how to start dinner in upper elementary school, simply because I was the first one home, and it was a team effort, with my dad cooking at least as often as my mom. My brother and I were both encouraged to experiment with recipes as well.
Over the years, DH and I have merged our food heritages into something in the middle.
* I really don't believe that some parents are perfect and some make mistakes - we just all make different mistakes!