Children, Motherhood, Parenthood, Uncategorized

In-house ‘chef’ makes mom look bad

Two weeks ago, we vacationed in the Outer Banks with three other families.

There were eight adults and 10 children. (Yes, parents were outnumbered by their children – but the number of bottles of alcohol outnumbered all of us, so we were good to go.)

In an effort to avoid eating out every day, each set of parents selected a night to cook a meal.

It was almost like eating at a five-star restaurant every night.

We had the typical “American fare” of hamburgers, hotdogs and brats the first official night there – on the grill, of course.

The second night was my family’s night to cook – we opted for Mexican cuisine since that is one type of food that despite not being of Mexican heritage, I can cook (because really, who can screw up browning meat – which my husband did – and tossing in a packet of Ortega taco seasoning …). Shredded lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and salsa/nacho chips. Hell, I even made cheesy rice on the stove top and refried beans in the microwave. Boom. Dinner served.

We also had an Italian pasta, chicken paprikash and pizza burgers on the other nights. The final night, each family opted to leave the rental in search of seafood, or anything else they were craving that we had yet to make in the house.

Dinners were served buffet-style in the nearly gourmet-kitchen. Some nights we used paper plates while other times, dinner plates were used and then tossed into the dishwasher that ran almost three times per day. (Remember, this was vacation … so even the Red Solo cups were dishwashed – we managed to use them even if the rims were a bit deformed after being heated.)

There was never a shortage of food.

All food was homemade – including the side dishes.

Even breakfasts – and that is where I am still fighting the battle on the home front.

One of the dad’s made it his mission to create outstanding, yummy, finger-licking-good breakfasts every single day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

French toast. Pancakes. Waffles. Eggs. Bacon. BLTS were even considered breakfast on vacation.

And ever since we made our return back to Ohio, all my kids want to eat are homemade breakfasts.

No one has time for that here.

That was VACATION I keep telling them.

Here, in Ohio, we have this awesome device called a microwave that cooks their frozen pancakes to perfection. Instead of a waffle maker, we toss in the frozen waffles and stand by until they pop out of the toaster.

Eggs, bacon and the like are considered “weekend breakfasts” in our house. During the week, cereal and PopTarts are my go-to items for my kids. Maybe toast if I feel like lugging out the toaster from storage.

However, just this past Sunday morning, I was feeling a bit adventurous and made French toast for the first time in my life for my oldest who was craving a bit of vacation.

I didn’t burn it and he ate every bite! I felt like a five-star mom cooking in a one-star kitchen.

Two days later, I bought a cast iron skillet. So, maybe a two-star kitchen now?

Melissa Linebrink is a reporter/bi-monthly columnist for “The Mommy Wars” printed in The Chronicle-Telegram. She has been featured as a blogger on the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Conference site, She also writes, edits and manages her blog, She can be reached at



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