"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Phenomenal Female Blogger Feature for March!

Welcome Readers,

Please join me in welcoming our first featured female for the Women's History Month Contest as she shares some "food for thought" I'm sure you'll find interesting and empowering.


I was standing in the kitchen at the stove slowly stirring a pot of oatmeal. I had put the raisins in the water to soften them. I added milk, butter and sugar to the oatmeal just as I had watched my mother do when I was a child. Outside of McDonald’s oatmeal, I don’t eat oatmeal or grits without milk (cheese grits being the exception). I can skip the butter, but the milk adds a nice richness to the taste of the oatmeal.

I had boiled two eggs, sliced and seasoned them with pepper and a smidgen of Kosher salt just to give the eggs some flavor. My mother has hypertension, so I have to monitor her salt intake. I take my time and make her breakfast the way she likes it. I cook for my mother out of love just as she did for me.

My mother was an excellent cook, and she made most things from scratch. She catered to the wants and desires of her children and grandchildren until she wasn’t able to anymore. My middle sister and I did not like lemon flavoring so, my mother made two pound cakes: one with lemon flavoring and one with vanilla. She cooked sausage and bacon for breakfast. Whatever we wanted, she prepared just the way we liked it.

I am the youngest of seven: four girls and three boys. Two of my sisters share my mother’s love for cooking. I love good food especially if someone else is doing the cooking. The best thing about living near family is that the cooks in the family will always save me a plate. Since I moved back home to help care for my elderly mother, it’s been a blessing to have family close by because I eat well!

Cooking has been a "hot" issue in my dating life. It’s not that I can’t cook, it’s that I don’t. At least that’s what I tell the men that I meet. I’m single, so until recently, I never really got into the habit of cooking for myself. In the past, I cooked for some men I dated because I thought that’s what women did. My mother did it. My sisters did it. My nieces do it.

Contrary to popular belief, not all women cook. And yet whenever I meet a new guy, cooking always finds its way into the conversation.
One time in particular, I was talking to this guy on the phone on my way to work one morning.
I stopped at McDonald’s to get oatmeal. Sounding irritated, he asked, “Do you cook?”


“Don’t you get tired of eating out of a bag?”

“Sometimes. And when I do, I bring the food home and put it in my dishes.”

“Don’t you get tired of eating restaurant food?”

“I don’t always eat restaurant food. My sister and my niece cook.”

“What if they’re not around?”

“But they are.”

“But what if they’re not?”

“But they are.”

Then he went on a tirade about career women who don’t know how to take care of their men. This was the same man, mind you, who complained that I didn’t offer to pay half of the Buffalo Wild Wings bill. We had a six piece wing, onion rings, and a beer for him and ice tea for me and he was mad because he paid that whole big ole bill by himself.


What’s surprising is that many men are traditional in one sense, but so modern in the next. These men want Betty Damn Crocker, and yet can’t even hit a nail with a hammer. Calling Triple A or googling a repairman is the extent of their skill set.

Newsflash: We can’t Netflix at your place and chill and you get a fully prepared home cooked meal. Hello? I meet men who show up to the table empty handed, but still want to sit down and partake. They believe the hype that there’s a shortage of good men, so I should gratefully do whatever it takes to get their attention.

I understand that we all have our preferences, and if a man prefers a woman who cooks, that’s fine with me. I’m not the woman for him. I’m not in competition with other women for a man. I’m not going to cook for him to give me an advantage. I’ll cook for a man who proves worthy of the time and effort that it takes to prepare a meal. Let them chew on that.


Stephanie Gates is an educator by day and writer by night. In her free time she enjoys Kizomba and belly dancing. She is a frequent contributor to anthologies. To read more of her work, please visit her blog at www.stephaniesepiphanies.blogspot.com.

Thoughts? Agree or disagree?  How does food factor into your relationships?

Image credit: https://Pixabay.com/



  1. Thank you for the honor of being a featured writer in your Women's History Month series. I'd love to hear what other readers have experienced with regard to cooking and dating.

  2. Steph,

    It was a pleasure. You certainly "cooked" here. Pun intended. :-)

  3. It's nice to meet you, Stephanie! For some reason, now I am hungry. :) Wishing you well with your writing.

    Jen, thanks for hosting. Hope you all enjoy the rest of the weekend!

    1. It's nice to meet you as well Karen. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post.

  4. Karen,

    Thanks so much for stopping by. You are appreciated! :-)