My Story and Relationship with Food: Cooking First as a Daughter, then a Wife, then a Mom

My Story and Relationship with Food: Cooking First as a Daughter, then a Wife, then a Mom

 You all know I love being in the kitchen. And it’s so fun to hear stories from others and their journey with cooking and how being in the kitchen has affected their lives. Today, I have a guest post from Carmela at The Well Seasoned Mama about how her relationships and experiences in the kitchen have changed through the different stages of her life.

1. Daughter, Sister, Aunt:

My Story and Relationship with Food: Cooking First as a Daughter, then a Wife, then a Mom
My home growing up in Texas was always FULL of food, thanks to my Italian American mother who grew up in Long Island, New York, and due to the many mouths to feed in our home! Even though we didn’t have a lot of money, I remember we had HUGE grocery carts full of food, usually more than one overflowing grocery cart each time we did “big shopping” as my mom called it, but it all got eaten and never went to waste! I grew up with 3 brothers and 2 sisters, and for a time my nieces and sister-in-law were living with us as well…11 people total living in our house at one time when I was about 11-13 years of age.
Some girls may have found that difficult at that age, but I thrived on my relationships with my family, and loved all the conversations, fun, and helping out with my little nieces. I usually filled the role of the peace-maker as the middle girl and loved to try to keep everybody happy with board games or imaginative activities outside in our year-round warm Texas sun. I remember loving rocking my baby nieces to sleep in the big rocking chair, or walking them to sleep some nights, and helping change their diapers and entertain them during the day!
I am actually an introvert, and also needed my time to myself, so I would wait for all my family to go to bed, and then turn on my bed-stand light and read all my favourite classic novels, historical fiction, and fantasy into the wee hours, and then wake up early to read some more before everyone woke up! I didn’t want to waste my time during the day reading, though, I wanted to spend my daytime hours with my family whom I held so dear. Of course, we all chipped in to help with the laundry, the cleaning, and the cooking, too.
I loved cooking because everyone always loved and devoured whatever it was I made, no matter how much it lacked in skill! I remember making chocolate chip cookies and forgetting to put the chocolate chips in…and confusing garlic and onion in recipes, not being able to remember which was which! My parents and brothers and sisters were always so grateful and kind, no matter what the outcome was! And our fondest memories were made sitting around the table together, laughing at the littlest babies/toddlers and their anecdotes, and talking about anything and everything.
I loved baking with my mom and sisters, especially getting ready for movie nights together. My brother, Matthew, who actually died suddenly in his early twenties, went to culinary school, so he shared with us all that he learned. I remember him teaching me how to make a roux and a white sauce, and how to make meringue, and all sorts of things. His passion for food and cooking, which he got from my mom, always stuck with me.

2. Wife:

 My Story and Relationship with Food: Cooking First as a Daughter, then a Wife, then a Mom
In my early twenties, I met my now husband, who actually grew up in a small town in the North of Ireland. We had a long-distance relationship over a few years, and I eventually moved over to Dublin (where he was studying and working) when it looked like things were getting serious and we were going to get married. I remember trying to cook for him for the first few times…and I really disappointed him!
His mom spent time in France and learned from the best how to cook to a higher standard than I was familiar with. So cooking became a bit less enjoyable for me, with a lot more criticism than I was used to, albeit constructive criticism! But I didn’t give up and tried my best to learn his favorite recipes, and experiment with new ones. I took a cooking course with him at the Dublin Cookery School, to learn some basic skills in a course called “cooking for friends,” and this also helped me to learn some more classic techniques.
Over time, I grew to enjoy cooking again, just because it was something I liked to do, despite the lack of positive feedback and appreciation I was used to receiving in my family of origin! I loved that whenever I cooked, even though my husband might not have been as impressed, it always drew all our single friends to our home, and gave them an excuse to come hang out with us! We had many good memories in our first years of marriage with our single friends over meals I had made, however lacking in finesse they may have been!

3. Mom:

My Story and Relationship with Food: Cooking First as a Daughter, then a Wife, then a Mom
We now have four, soon to be five, children 6 years of age and younger. In recent years, I have learned to try my best to cook in a way that my husband will enjoy, because I know how much he loves to eat (good food is a real passion for him), but I also have accepted the fact that I’m not always going to impress him with my cooking and that’s ok!
I take his constructive criticism on the chin and try my best to learn from my mistakes and do better the next time. But most of all, more than producing amazing meals and chef-quality food, I want to allow my hard work in the kitchen to create happy memories of cooking or baking together, and eating together, for all of us. Having good quality food helps, of course, but it doesn’t always work out that way, and the show must go on!
So I don’t stress so much about how the food turns out, or whether everyone likes it or not, and try my best to BE A HAPPY, RELAXED WIFE AND MOM who creates a PEACEFUL, HAPPY, AT EASE ATMOSPHERE AROUND HER and not a perfectionist! Being myself, and happy, is much more important to me, and to my husband and kids, too, than having amazing food on the table!

So that is my journey with food and cooking over the years! If you would like to see some of my recipes and read my other mom life tips and anecdotes for all of us average moms who are just trying to give our families the best, tastiest, nutritious food possible, but without sacrificing our own sanity or losing our happiness and the carefree joie de vivre we used to have as single women, check out my blog You will also hear more about the 6 years I spent living in Ireland, and 3 months we spent living in Sicily with our 2 young children. You can also follow me on Facebook: and Pinterest: if you wish!
A big thank you to Stephanie for sharing my story on her lovely blog! It’s been an honor to share my cooking story with her followers! Best wishes, Carmela
My Story and Relationship with Food: Cooking First as a Daughter, then a Wife, then a Mom My Story and Relationship with Food: Cooking First as a Daughter, then a Wife, then a Mom
My Story and Relationship with Food: Cooking First as a Daughter, then a Wife, then a Mom

30 thoughts on “My Story and Relationship with Food: Cooking First as a Daughter, then a Wife, then a Mom”

  1. Gotta love the supportive family environment, ha! Honestly, when I cook, I know I am going to LOVE IT and that’s all that matters to me! 😉 My husband only like about 3 things I cook, which again, I am so okay with… Because I know he has an insanely picky palate. That being said, we bought a cookbook and plan on making one new dish out of it every week… We have so many cookbooks but it was cute when my husband brought this one home the other day and proposed the idea 😉

  2. I feel like I share the same relationship with food. From a younger age, my mother was a wonderful chef and I follow her footsteps, but my kids only like to eat at this time.

    1. Yes! I have learned to just enjoy it for my own sake and know that somebody out there will appreciate my cooking at some stage (even though probably not today!)

  3. I love reading these kinds of stories. It’s so interesting how it’s different in different families, but also in some ways the same!

    1. Yes getting married is such a learning experience…each family is so different! And then you learn that there were some things the same that you didn’t realize at first!

  4. I love that my cooking standard matched that of your cooking with kids! ha it’s just kind of lets see how ti goes. Thankfully (and not) my husband pretty much ate out or from the freezer/ check boyardee sections before I came along and insisted that he learn to grocery shop! So, it’s good because I can pretty much do anything and it’s good but bad because- all that money and health wasted on sub sandwiches and hot pockets!

    1. Thanks! Yes I was very blessed with a great big family growing up. Now I hope to provide the same for our kids (soon to be 5!). Not an easy task but doing my best!

  5. I cooked with my mother, my daughter cooked with me and now that she is a mom her three children cook with her and with their grandmother. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

  6. It’s always interesting to stop and look back at our relationship with things like food over the years. From childhood to adulthood, the things that stick with us, the things that don’t and how we look at the world a little differently.

    1. Yes, it was refreshing to write this post, as I don’t often have a chance to sit and think about how I have changed over the years! Too caught up in the present moment!

  7. I can relate to your relationship with food! Growing up it was always an event for our large family also and everything revolved around a good meal! It was how we showed our love for one another and it was also our social/entertainment. I was so busy in sports growing up that I never cared to learn to cook much until like you, I became a wife and wanted to show my love the way my mom and family did. So i got into it and learned some of those great recipes that made our home a home. Thank you for sharing!! This was a trip down memory lane!!

    1. So glad you enjoyed reading it! Yes cooking homemade food really does do so much to create a positive family atmosphere and a loving home, even though it’s not always appreciated! Love that my writing helped you remember your own experiences growing up and gave you motivation to keep doing what you’re doing today! An honor!

  8. This is a great post. I love when bloggers include photos and seeing yours as you changed seasons of your life was great! Im always interested in recipes and even though I don’t cook often myself, I love watching shows and reading about it.

    1. So glad you enjoyed my post! Yes each season of my life has changed me a lot, and I’m glad I could find some photos to help portray that, especially in relation to food and cooking! My husband and I both love watching cooking shows and reading cookbooks and food blogs, too!

  9. I remember having a friend who’s mom was like that when it came to cooking. She criticized everything anyone else did when it came to cooking and always talked about how marriages failed because people didn’t cook right. It was kind of scary. It sounds like you are taking it in stride though.

    1. Yes! My husband and I have learned to laugh at ourselves and my lack of cooking skills vs. his perfectionism with each other, and that definitely makes spending time together in the kitchen so much more enjoyable! Learning to be able to laugh at yourself and not take yourself so seriously is so important!

  10. Husbands who are critical of their wives’ cooking would do well to step back and be thankful that 1) they have wives, 2) their wives are cooking for them. Have you ever thought about challenging your husband to a cook-off? I wonder if he can walk the walk as well as he talks the talk.

    1. Don’t worry, I make sure to tell him I expect him to thank me for the time I spent cooking and the work I put into it. I am ok with hearing honestly what he thinks of the food so I can improve for the next time…it’s the only way I can learn! He is objectively a very good cook and much more talented than I am, and I don’t mind! He does love to cook meals when he can (and I love to eat them).

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