When I grew up in Louisiana’s Cajun Country, Mama allowed no one in our kitchen while she prepared dinner.
One day, I found a cookbook in my high school library. Excited, I showed Daddy. “Look, I can learn to cook by reading a book.” He frowned, shook his head and said, “Why waste your time learning to cook; you’ll never have to cook. You’re going to college.”
After marrying Jim, I stood before our empty stove and said, “If wishes were horses . . .”
He’d grown up with his immigrant mom’s traditional Italian meals, while I ate traditional Cajun.
Luckily, I discovered Bisquick flour. I was so proud when I mastered the classic Bisquick coffee cake—and Bisquick oven-fried chicken—and Bisquick pancakes. Jim praised my cooking. Encouraged, I tackled his mom’s spaghetti, somewhat successfully; next, I tried Mama’s Cajun dish.
Hungry, Jim looked into the steaming pot of crawfish e︠touffe︠e, screwed up his face and said, “I can’t eat that.”
My heart dropped—I’d failed my “good wife” test —until . . . he went to the pantry, returned with the Bisquick and made pancakes instead.
Bisquick! My Bisquick!—I had created our own family TRADITION.