I realized my moms cooking was actually quite basic. _________

I grew up speaking Spanish & find it difficult to retrieve English idioms sometimes. I want to say that I’m looking for a phrase akin to Dorothys feeling when the curtain falls on the wizard of oz.

  • Well, "see behind the curtains" is one, though perhaps not as familiar to younger folks. "The scales fell from my eyes" is an old idiom, but more used for more "spiritual" cases.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 1:43
  • @HotLicks I don’t see much online for “see behind the curtains” even though it has the right ring to it. Thank you.
    – choco
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 1:50
  • Maybe woke up and smelled the coffee. Or, just got the email...or tweet. Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 3:50
  • Is your surprise more at the process of cooking (she uses few ingredients or fancy techniques) or the result (compared to other food, her food is basic or bland)? I ask because "my mom's cooking" could refer to either. Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 14:07

3 Answers 3


How about the idiom dawn on? From The Free Dictionary:

dawn on: Become evident or understood, as in "It finally dawned on him that he was expected to call them," or "Around noon it dawned upon me that I had never eaten breakfast."

Your example:

It (finally) dawned on me that my mom's cooking was actually quite basic.


I also thought of "scales fell from my eyes". "Opened my eyes" may work, and variations on that such as "eye-opening", "eyes wide open," and "clear-eyed". "Saw the light" is another.

(My main source seems to be Todd Rundgren songs:)




Possibly, you could find this phrase of biblical inspiration proper for expressing at least some of what is felt in the uncovering of the type of truth your sentence evokes; I am talking of the celebrated "Let there be light", the motto of numerous institutions of higher learning. In this reference we find the following words.

  • It’s just that, for the ultimate light to shine, a story must first unfold. So, our sages tell us, this light was hidden away for a time to come. Gradually we learn how to uncover that hidden light within each event, object and person that enters our lives.

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