Because we’re not home to celebrate Mother’s Day with the most important ladies in our lives, we asked a few students to share what their moms have taught them about food and cooking.

Eat protein before an exam, and chocolate always.

“Whenever I was sick or if I had an exam coming up, she would make sure that my dad made steak for dinner because she said I needed the protein. She also is a firm believer that chocolate is always a good thing.” – Mimi Takano, Media, Culture & Communications, Steinhardt

Photo courtesy of Mimi Takano

How to steam vegetables.

“When steaming/boiling/cooking green vegetables, don’t cover the pot/skillet with a lid. If you do, the vibrant green color will fade!” – Joyce Wong, Hotel & Tourism Management

It’s OK if you don’t know how to cook.

“My mother stores take out menus in our kitchen appliances, so that about sums up her relationship with cooking. However, on a rare occasion, she’ll use the oven to make the Pillsbury ready-to-bake cookies, which tends to activate the smoke detectors.” – Nolan Flaherty, CAS

“My mom can cook 3 things: quinoa, salmon, and butternut squash. Which is great. I love those three foods to an extent. However, my mom’s small repertoire in cooking drove me embrace cooking for myself and ravenous brothers. So, by my senior year I was a full-fledged single girl cooking for one. I think the inability of the women of my family to cook has pushed me towards food.” – Cate Wright, CAS

“By not being a great cook, my mom taught me to be a good cook. This happened out of desperation after weeks of split pea soup (which is delicious but not in such large quantities) and a realization that my family and I could eat delicious things all the time if only I cooked them myself. By taking dinner into my own hands, I learned how to grocery shop efficiently, and what food actually is.” – Katya Simkovich, Food Studies, Steinhardt

Photo courtesy of Katya Simkhovich

You can travel the world through a meal.

“My mom would have themed nights from cuisines of different countries to introduce us to new things. She would make meals with foods from on country, like edamame and sushi for Japanese night; it was like having multiple specialized restaurants in our home. And it exposed us to foods we might not have thought to try so young otherwise!” – Tallie Gabriel, Drama, Tisch

It’s not a party if there’s no food.

“She’s not much of a cook but her one thing was that whenever you’re serving chips or pretzels or something that comes out of a bag, make sure to put it in a bowl first.” – Emery Donatelle, LSP

“My mom taught me that it’s always better to have too much food for a party than not enough.” – Erica Arnold, Global Public Health, CAS