Real Moms Don't Cook

05/13/2013 03:14pm ET

MY mother is a great believer in takeout. She has her reasons.

First, she lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where you can summon salmon skin rolls, palak paneer, ropa vieja or a chicken Caesar, and have them at your door -- fresh and delish -- in 20 minutes flat. Why compete with the professionals, she wonders, when her kitchen accommodates only apartment-size appliances and her stove, ancient and packed with copies of The New Yorker, has refused to break the 200-degree mark for years?