My mother was a basic cook and used the original Betty Crocker Cookbook as her guide. She was extremely particular about what she cooked so that it didn't "mess" up her stove or kitchen. She nearly shuddered when my daddy asked for fried eggs on Sunday mornings. That meant she'd have to wipe splatters off the stovetop. We also rarely had any type of roast that would splatter/spit in the oven. Her broiled steaks were bovine hockey pucks.
When she realized that, at age 8, I could cook, she quit cooking and left it to me. I began with her old Betty Crocker book and added others of my own as time went on. She did have a recipe file, but wouldn't allow anyone to copy any of her recipes. Although, I do remember in a fit of defiance, one day while she was gone, I thumbed through the file and copied a handful of things I remembered liking. I have no clue where that recipe file went.
I've been enjoying everyone's fond "mother's cooking" posts. I'll live vicariously through them, since I don't have warm fuzzy childhood or adult memories of that.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!