Although I come from generations of wonderful cooks, not all has been bliss in the kitchen. My Mom had some lessons to learn when she was first married Dad.
The first cooking fiasco occurred when they were in an efficiency motel waiting for base housing. Mom knew that Dad liked beans, so 45 minutes before he was due home, she threw dried beans, carrots, onions and seasonings into a pot with water. She covered them and put them on high and waited for Dad to return home. When he got home, she went to serve the soup and nothing had happened to the beans. They ended up going out for hamburgers that night. (She later read the instructions on the bag of beans and learned about presoaking beans).
Mom saw persimmons at a grocery store. She thought they were pretty, so she bought some and shared them with dad for dinner. She didn’t know that some fruit at the grocery store isn’t ripe. They learned what real pucker-power was that night. They haven’t tried persimmons since.
Once they moved into their first apartment, Mom went shopping for all the essentials for a spaghetti dinner. She had used her 5 quart pot to make the sauce, so she filled her 3 quart pot with water for the pasta. When the water came to a boil, she put 3 pounds of spaghetti into it to cook. Relatively quickly it became apparent that her pot wasn’t big enough, so she started grabbing every pot she owned and filled them with spaghetti. They ended up eating spaghetti for a long time, though she tried to disguise it, they both knew what they were eating.
Vowing never again to make bean soup, Mom bought some Campbell’s bean with bacon soup for Dad. She opened the can and cooked it up and then showed it to Dad. Both of them looked into the pan and concurred that there were worms in the beans. It wasn’t until much later that Mom learned that the little curly things she saw in the pan were parts of the beans.
Mom loved German Chocolate cake. She’d grown up in a home where Mamie used a spatula to get every last smidgen of batter and then let mom lick out the bowl. She felt deprived. One time when Dad was gone on a flight mission, she decided to make a cake for herself. Upon contemplating the recipe, she decided what she really wanted was the frosting. She made up a batch, stuck it in the fridge and proceeded to eat the entire thing in an evening.
Some 40+ years later, Mom laughs at her early culinary struggles. She learned a lot in those first years of marriage. Luckily for her family, she didn’t make the same mistake twice.