I love my mom, a talented person, but cooking has never been her forte. She cooked a few dishes well and that was it. When she cooked meat, I think she wanted to make sure it was really dead. I was a vegetarian for many years.
Thus, my sister and I taught ourselves to cook from a pretty young age. As adults, we have an unspoken competition: She who dies with the most cookbooks, wins! ;)
When I became a cooking demonstrator in a cutting-edge food emporium, I received further training from the chefs on staff who, unlike my mom, taught me to cook meat with a thermometer.