The Boy Can Cook!! - Put the Kettle on.... Blog at - 284613

Put the Kettle on....

The Boy Can Cook!! 
Sep. 21, 2012 1:45 pm 
Updated: Sep. 26, 2012 3:16 am
My son, Steve, just recently moved out on his own.  He's been gone from the nest since January when he packed up his bags and headed west.  He got a job as a youth corrections officer at a state facility in South Dakota, which is 1,400 miles from home.  My older sister lives out there and he moved in with her.  I don't think I could have "let" him move that far from home if she wasn't there to look after him.  Steve is 23 years old, but he's my "baby".  The facility he works for has housing available on the grounds and he quickly put himself on the waiting list for a place.  His name came up the beginning of September and he officially moved into his own place two weeks ago. 

Steve has always been very independent and I've had to listen to him since he was 16 years old tell me just how many months, weeks, days until he was a "man".  Then, every time I tried to give advice, I would be reminded, "Mom!  I'm a man!".  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  A man he certainly is!  As soon as he was informed there was a place available for him, the phone calls began...  "What are the things I should get first?"  "How much do you think my electric bill will be?"  "Do I really need a landline?"  And the questions went on and on.  Yup - he's definitely a man....  Trying to set up a new household from 1,400 miles a way was different, but I think between the two of us talking we covered the most important "first" purchases....  bath towels - check.  dish soap, laundry soap - check.  toilet paper - check.  He informed me he was going to use his backpacking dishes, pots, etc. at first.  He also borrowed a portable gas grill from my sister and brother-in-law; that way he could cook meat and not dirty a pan.  If nothing else, Steve is always thinking of ways to cut corners!   The next day he calls me to say he decided he just may head over to the center for all his meals.  Employees can eat for $1.25 a meal and the food is not too bad.  I figured he would get tired of not having food in his house and only eat there when he was actually working.

His new home is nothing fancy - it's a mobile home located on the grounds.  First he described it as "not a trailer park because there was lots of room between him and his neighbor, but maybe more like a campground."    Then he called and said he prefers to describe that he lives in a community with security guards, password-coded entry, a track, baseball field, chef, a gymnasium, and many other amenities.  It does sound like a pretty good place, and better than how I described it to my friends at work:  "Steve lives at a Juvenile Detention Facility".

Then, last Friday he called to tell me he was cooking his first meal at home.  Ooohh..  I couldn't wait to hear what it was going to be!  He says, "I'm grilling hot dogs.".  "Oh!" I say, "What are you having with them; pasta salad, baked beans, macaroni salad??".  "Oh no... nothing like that.  Just hot dogs.  Oh and buns.  I got a pack of 8 hot dogs and a pack of 8 buns.  I figured I should go all out."  So, I ask him if he remembered the ketchup, mustard, relish??   Oh no, he says.  He was simply grilling the hot dogs and eating them in the buns.  I began to worry....

Steve has Thursday through Saturday off, and this past Thursday he called me on his way to my sister's house.  He joined a trap-shooting club and they shoot on Thursday afternoon/evening.  When he's finished there he has a standing invitation to have dinner with his aunt and uncle.  I began to worry a little less.  At least he'll have one good meal a week; my sister is a pretty darn good cook.

This afternoon I got a phone call from Steve.  He was heading home from the store where he had just purchased $26 worth of food and he seemed quite proud of himself.  He had purchased some cereal, milk, and other items.  He was going to cook at home again.  I hesitated in asking, but I really did want to know, "What are you making tonight?"  He said he bought boneless/skinless chicken breasts and some fresh basil and some cheese and some walnuts.  He planned to grill the chicken and season it with the fresh basil.  Then he was going to melt the cheese over it and top it off with some of the walnuts.  Wow!  From hot dogs with no toppings, to a pretty decent sounding chicken dinner!   

And that's when I remembered -  when he was a kid, I learned that in order to keep my sanity it doesn't pay to worry about Steve!  Somehow he always manages to come out on top of a situation!  If I wasn't so far away I'd hop in my car and join him for dinner.....  I'd have to bring the salad, though, he doesn't "do" vegetables.
Sep. 21, 2012 3:28 pm
Hi, Mother Ann. Doesn't it seem like yesterday when your kids were small and you were cutting up the meat on their plates? My son is engaged and it won't be long before he flies the coop. Steve sounds like he at least knows how to turn on the stove. My son only turns the stove on to make macaroni and cheese. I enjoyed reading your blog!
Sep. 21, 2012 4:12 pm
What a nice article about your "baby" leaving home. My "baby" is 23, and I know how you feel!
Sep. 21, 2012 7:38 pm
Ahhhhh! I know what you mean about that one good meal. You know what? I'd like to believe that even though our boys are grown men they will always need us :) Hugs!
Sep. 22, 2012 3:55 am
Lela - Yes, it does seem like only yesterday. Our "adopted" grandchildren are 10, 7, and 5 and are just starting to get involved in soccer, etc. Boy is it bringing back memories of when my kids were small!!
Sep. 22, 2012 3:58 am
Paula T - He's actually been gone since January, but then he moved from "home" to my sister's house. Now he's actually on his own, in his own place. For some reason that makes it more official. And that makes it kind of bittersweet to me; when he was with my sister I was still thinking maybe he'd decide to come back to Ohio. Now that he's setting up his own place, I guess he plans on staying there.
Sep. 22, 2012 3:59 am
Hi Cat! I do believe they'll always need us - no matter what they say! LOL
Sep. 22, 2012 8:55 am
Sounds like your son is well on his way. Be it hot dogs or chicken breasts, he won't starve that is for sure. How nice that he has his Aunt and Uncle close is always good to know that family is there.
Sep. 22, 2012 11:04 am
BN: It's sort of comical that the first 2 meals he cooked himself were hotdogs and chicken. As he got older he said hotdogs weren't healthy - and rarely ate them; and he complained that all we ever ate was chicken. Yes, it is a huge comfort knowing he has my sister and brother-in-law close by. We're a pretty close knit family and I couldn't imagine him all alone...
Sep. 22, 2012 3:24 pm
I think it is time you found out if he has internet access and if so, get him signed up with AR! Both my boys were part of the wallpaper in my kitchen and able to do quite well on their own. I'm sure Steve will too. It is stunning to find out what they have learned from us almost by osmosis.
Sep. 23, 2012 4:03 am
BSM: He'll have internet soon. He knows about AR - from me and my sister. He'll tell you he knows way more about cooking than me - he had 2 cooking classes in high school and he took a Science of Cooking class in college.. ;) The college course did sound like a cool class and I still have his book somewhere around here.
Sep. 23, 2012 12:27 pm
Glad to hear he is doing well, was just telling someone that story about his trip to someone the other day. Were your ears burning? #2 son wanted to move out of Toledo asap, he ended up in Cincy and doesn't want to come back. He is close enough to visit often though. Just bought his first house. Spent part of the weekend down there helping clean. O M G. But it is his, eventually he will get it remodeled. He sends me pictures by phone of his dinner meals he creates. He refuses to come here, but wants me to post his food pics here LOLOL. Gotta love 'em.
Sep. 23, 2012 12:28 pm
Whoops! Too many someones in that sentence, but you get the gist :)
Sep. 23, 2012 3:53 pm
Love, love, love the story of you and your boy! Sounds like you managed to instill some survival skills! Way to go, Mom!
Sep. 24, 2012 3:12 am
sassy - I didn't even notice the extra "someone". LOL Yup - gotta love 'em! We laugh about his adventures all the time. I'd love to see your son's creations - if he's anything like Steve they are creative... :)
Sep. 24, 2012 3:14 am
Thanks Bibi, but I kind of have to give most of his survival skill credit to his dad. I've always said there are 2 people I'd feel comfortable lost in the wild with - my husband and my son. Both could find our way home and we'd be eating good while we were lost!
Sep. 25, 2012 2:00 am
Very nice. Thanks for posting. Reminds me of the time 25 years ago when I struck off from my parents home and started off in a small trailer in the North Carolina mountains. Your article brought back a flood of pleasing memories. Lots of small decisions that I'd never planned for, but was so much fun figuring it all out. Have a great Fall day!
Sep. 26, 2012 3:16 am
bianchiveloce - glad I could bring back some memories. I didn't venture too far from my family, I like the comfort in knowing they're close by!
Click to Change your Profile Picture
Mother Ann

Home Town
Streetsboro, Ohio, USA
Living In
Ravenna, Ohio, USA

Member Since
Oct. 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Dessert

Hiking/Camping, Camping, Walking, Reading Books, Wine Tasting

Go Pro!

In Season

Fresh Summer Meals
Fresh Summer Meals

Enjoy the bright days of summer with easy recipes.

Do Healthy Your Way
Do Healthy Your Way

Low-fat, low-carb, paleo, vegan. Get recipes for your lifestyle.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and helpful cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for just $7.99!

About Me
I've been married for 32 years, and live in Ohio. We have a daughter who is married and lives nearby. Our son graduated from college and moved to South Dakota. He has his own place but still goes to visit my sister and brother-in-law and have dinner with them occasionally. We have a black lab that gets to go duck hunting with dad, 2 cats, 2 cockatiels. We own a Mexican restaurant and are learning alot about the food industry. I love to eat, go camping, read, spend time with family and friends, watch movies, and drink wine; not necessarily in that order.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake - anything chocolate is fine with me. Seafood, chicken dishes and slow-cooker fare.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband and I enjoy cooking together with wine. We pop open a bottle of wine and get cooking. :-)
My cooking triumphs
Whenever I can put together a meal that gets many compliments and leaves the diners satisfied is a triumph in my book! I love to cook meals for family and friends.
My cooking tragedies
When I was first married we had my grandparent's-in-law over for a pot roast dinner. The meat came out great, but the potatoes and carrots were still half raw. My husband's grandfather went to cut his fork into a carrot and it flew off his plate. He looked at me, winked, and said he loved his carrots that way!
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States