I never considered my mom to be a great cook when I was growing up. We rarely ate out those days and we when we did my mom made it a point to dissect the food we liked in her brain and try it out later. It was mostly a success. She baked cakes, cookies and puddings in those days when people rarely had ovens. We never bought any pickles or jams or fruit squashes(concentrates) , mom made it all.
Even when I moved to a hostel during my Engineering days and the food there was barely edible , I still did not give her the credit. I just assumed that every mom was a good cook or maybe that all home cooked food tasted good .
Soon after school, I moved to another city to do my Graduation. It was supposed to be a good choice for an Engineering college . Then I got a job and moved further away. All through this time I made sure that I came home every weekend. I hogged on my mom's food but did not appreciate her cooking skills. Nor did I try to learn or try or even watch to see how she cooked.
When I was dating my husband he often gushed about his mom's cooking . I told him that my mom is just an average cook. I was in for a shock after marriage. With all due respect for my MIL , she wasn't the cook I expected her to be. Today I realize it is because of circumstances. She stayed in a joint family where the other elders did the cooking. She never went out a lot so she did not know anything other than the traditional fare. And their traditional fare was not what I have had and took me a lot of time adjust to. My husband on the other hand found my mom to be a great cook and would polish off whatever she made and ask for seconds.
Then life happened and we moved to the US. And I realized that though I knew a lot about theoretical cooking thanks to the cooking blogs I read, I did not know how to cook at all. It has been some time here now and I have come a long way from where I started.
I am happy with the progress but then when I look back I keep thinking of some of the kitchen experiments that became an unexpected success. I wish I had those recipes to recreate the magic. I am planning to document my recipes keeping it in mind...