My father wishes to interject a little of what he calls "reality" as it relates to yesterday's nostalgic look back at my grandma's cooking. Keep in mind that she was his mother-in-law, and that his marriage to my mother ultimately failed. (Not that this should, ahem, bias your opinion or in any way discredit the legitimacy of his claims.)
Anyway, my father seems to have a very different memory of my grandma's cooking. He alleges that she cooked all her meals to oblivion, slowly simmering them for six hours or more in her stove's built-in cooker. (She had a huge electric range and one of the burners was literally a recessed pot, like an integrated crock pot.)
I offer two points in her defense. First, they later replaced that stove with a beautiful Wedgewood gas range that had a pop-up broiler and an adorable matching salt and pepper shakers. More often than not, she would bake or broil a big piece of fish for dinner. Fish does not take nine hours to cook, therefore it was not possible for her to cook it to oblivion.
Second, the one dish that she did insist on slowly cooking for days on end was ratatouille, and hers happened to be splendid. Therefore on those occasions when she did feel moved to cook something to oblivion, she chose an appropriate dish for the occasion.
And third, assuming she may have cooked other items to oblivion in that giant electric pot from time to time, however rare that may have been, I am confident she had a very good reason for doing so. Like, for example, she wanted to use as few dishes as possible since her lousy son-in-law and lazy daughter never offered to help with the clean-up. Just projecting.
I hereby rest my case and shall now return to my nostalgia. Everything always looks so much better in rose, don't you think?