My mother didn’t let me cook in the kitchen much, really not at all. Our schedule was pretty set also. Most of the time during the spring, summer, and fall was spent in the fields if not at school. Until my brother and I were old enough to drive on our own, we were pretty much expected to go with. I think my parents thought that being so isolated out in the country would lead to someone breaking in and massacring us if we were left home alone. My mother would fix hamburgers for a lot of meals out in the field, and evenings we had our big meal. Days when my dad was in the field or working outside the big meal was after dark. I even remember days my dad would keep working with lights on the equipment to get done because rain was coming. My mother would be responsible for taking the trucks to the elevator to dump many times, so times at home were only the few minutes between loads. As soon as I was old enough to see over the steering wheel and reach the pedals I was responsible for driving a vehicle to the field behind my mother with strict instructions to pull over if another car came along.
My brother and I would play in the field doing everything from jumping in the trucks of corn and beans to riding motorbikes along the side of the fields and up hills. Most of my childhood was spent outside! My dad’s staple was a can of Pepsi between each meal and my mother would always have a spare cooler. My dad drank so much of it, that my mom would hunt down the Pepsi truck and buy directly from the delivery driver. My favorite though was Hawaiian punch. My brother and I also would spend time swimming, canoeing, biking, and anything else we could think to try. – The only thing we didn’t try was camping…. My father said we lived in the woods why would we want to sleep out in it.
I do remember one time though. Our high school had an exchange day and I needed to make lunch for my dad. I decided pizza was the way to go. I wasn’t really familiar with the ingredients to use and frozen pizza wasn’t a thing yet. – Actually microwaves weren’t either. The only thing I remember about that pizza though was that I put orange zest on it. I’m not sure why, but it was in the kitchen and seemed a good idea at the time. My dad ate it, and never said a word about it being good or bad! Just came in, ate, and went back out to work again.
My next try in the kitchen was a science experiment. I had found an old science lab kit. I did enjoy science, but I can’t say science was encouraged at home. – Though for some reason I did have this science kit. I decided the best thing to do with it, was to mix a little of each thing in the box together and see what would happen. The kit came with glass test tubes and lots of chemicals. I mixed everything together in my test tube (just a little) and then mixed it. Needless to say, the top of the test tube blew off hitting the ceiling. We do still have that kit here. Looking at it now, I’m sure that kits can’t be bought anymore with those ingredients. Now looking back I know I was lucky something more serious than a dent mark in the ceiling didn’t occur, but back then it didn’t even cross my mind.
Now I have my own kitchen and get to cook all the time. My kids and I also do science experiments pretty often. I know my mother isn’t too impressed with my food, but I don’t tend to use a lot of things like salt and fatty food, like the stuff I grew up on. My husband does love hamburgers, so we break down and have them every few weeks.