I was in my early teens when this incident happened. I was old enough to remember being a child, going to the library with my mother so she could copy recipes into her black and white notebook. I remember her making things then. I remember her baking a ham (not necessarily for any holiday either). The same ham that I recently reminded her of when she asked about a Thanksgiving dish from my childhood. I reminded her of exactly what she glazed it with. I remember her making gotlet chicken for us- boy did I love those little pieces of odd shaped chicken. To this day when I see them on the menu I can't order them because my mom's will always seem better. Does this sound like a woman who could only cook oatmeal? I didn't think so.
All I am saying is that I remember a time when she made an effort and I remember a time when she lost her way. It was that effort (and non-effort) as well as my dad's cooking and family celebrations that started me on this cooking journey.