Every neighborhood had one. The mom who couldn't even get grilled cheese right, who somehow managed to burn the toast while leaving the cheese rubbery and undercooked. There was one culinarily impaired mama we remember, we'll call her Mrs. J, who thought you could cook hot dogs simply by running them under hot water. One night she served a plateful of flimsy, grayish-pink wieners, with a dollop of emerald green relish on each one, to a table full of hungry kids. Another time, Mrs. J tried her hand at tuna sandwiches. She left the tuna in large, unsavory chunks, drowned it in generic-brand mayo and shoved it between slices of (we're not kidding) COLD FRENCH TOAST. And one mother we know in Ohio, in an attempt to serve her kids an "ethnic" meal, topped some chicken breasts with pineapple syrup (the kind that's sold as a dessert topping), sprinkled on some cinnamon and called it "Polynesian surprise."
Sadly, we at Mothers Who Think could go on and on and on about the grody meals our own mothers subjected us to -- the tuna casseroles topped with soggy potato chips, the meatless meatloaf, the spaghetti with ketchup sauce, the chicken pot pie made from two weeks of leftovers, none of which were chicken. If we thought about it hard enough, we might even be able to drum up an example or two of meals we've made for our own kids that were not nutritionally balanced (rice with a side of mashed potatoes) or "creative" (rice and peanut butter -- "I swear it was all he would eat!") or conventional (smoked oysters and Cheerios).
Now it's time for all you mothers who day after day bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan to share your tales of Whether it be a meal cast from your own hands or one that your dear mother made for you, we want to hear all the sticky, caloric, undercooked, made-with-Spam details. Send all entries to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, Sept. 11.