The Accidental Genealogist Women’s History Month Challenge- My Mom Was a Horrible Cook!


Today’s Challenge is:  Share a favorite recipe from your mother or grandmother’s kitchen. Why is this dish your favorite?

Both of my Grandmothers had died long before I was born so I was never able to enjoy the pleasures of their meals. I have been told by my Aunt that my Paternal Grandmother Jennie Hughes was an excellent cook and people from all over the county would come for miles to eat at her table. My Maternal Grandmother Ella McGowan died when my Mom was 3 years old so I have no knowledge of her cooking skills and I think this may have been my Mom’s undoing.

You see, my Mom was a horrible cook. She could only cook 3 things well; Chicken and dumplings, Angel Food cake (from a boxed mix) and the Great Family Secret… “Missouri Cookies”.  I don’t know if she just didn’t care about cooking or if she had just never learned how. All I know is when we were growing up dinnertime was not a time that we ever looked forward to. We moved to Arizona when I was 11 months old and although most of our meals consisted of Midwestern food, my mom did try her hand at Mexican food.

I remember the first time I ever ate an authentic taco. I was about 12 years old and a friend had me spend the night at her house. Her mom made tacos, rice and refried beans. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven…this was the best meal I ever had! Growing up, my mom used canned refried beans, she never made Spanish rice, but she did make “tacos”. Let’s just say, on this day I discovered that bottled French Salad Dressing was not put on the lettuce and Kraft sliced cheese were not added to a “real” taco.

To say the least I never learned how to cook from my mom however she did pass down the Secret cookie recipe. I think the biggest eye-opener was when I lost the recipe and I started looking through some books in the library to see if I could find anything similar. Imagine my surprise when in a dessert book I found the secret recipe. It turns out that my mom’s Missouri Cookies were actually No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies!


Mom’s Secret Missouri Cookies


2 cups sugar

4 tablespoons cocoa

1 stick butter

1/2 cup milk

1 cup peanut butter

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 cups oatmeal

Waxed paper


In a heavy saucepan bring to a boil, the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal. On a sheet of waxed paper, drop mixture by the teaspoonfuls, until cooled and hardened.



4 thoughts on “The Accidental Genealogist Women’s History Month Challenge- My Mom Was a Horrible Cook!

  1. Yummy! I remember those cookies. And I remember the first time I tasted really good food too. Mom wasn’t a terrible cook per se, but it was just a job to her. Loved the post!

  2. Good! I’m glad to hear someone say their mother couldn’t cook. Usually people are very sentimental about Mom’s cooking. My mother was just ok. She would overcook some things out of fear.

    1. Thank you for your comments. Later in life my mom would over salt everything. It was difficult to even get it down. I think she must have killed her taste buds from smoking 3 packs a day and she could’t taste the food!

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