Thursday, December 01, 2005


Pia Catton [food editor and cook, evidently] attacks rather harshly, at first, women who haven't felt the need to cook--supposing they just don't know how. She begins with: "How was your holiday? For thousands of would-be cooks from the famous Generation X (or Y and maybe Z), it might well have been a disaster without the help of a nearby gourmet market, ready to deliver a "home cooked" Thanksgiving meal (assuming that Mom didn't save the day). Yes, these young women can make sense of elaborate spreadsheets, quote Shakespeare, and tone discrete muscle groups--all at the same multitasking moment. But put poultry in front of them and panic sets in. To achieve the fabled charm of a Thanksgiving dinner--and of course there is a lot more to worry about than just the turkey--you have to be a confident, if not experienced, cook. And cooking is the one thing that mothers don't bother teach their daughters anymore."

Or their sons, but why mention that, Pia? What is sooo hard about a turkey? She isn't blaming the non-cooking women; lest we misunderstand, she expalins: "If women in their 20s and 30s don't know how to cook, it's not really their fault. When were lessons on domestic arts supposed to be squeezed in? High school was devoted to studies, activities that impress colleges, and efforts to keep parents at arm's length. College was spent away from home, with meals coming from the cafeteria, the pizza place or a Ramen noodle container. Joining the work force precluded any sustained attention to home life too. Even getting married doesn't seem to force women to take out the food processor they registered for. The idea that a guy would expect a gal to know how to cook is practically prehistoric: Gender roles are so last millennium."

Oh! Please, spare me. The kitchen is not like a nuclear reactor. If they wanted to cook, maybe they WOULD cook? Nah, that's too simple. I'm thinking if they can figure there way through computer programs, spreadsheets, and phsycis, they can follow a recipe. Sure, there's an art to it, like anything. But not every man or woman plays like Chopin or paints like Picasso. But people can paint and whistle a tune. Yet, Pia finds young women today resentful of their lost kitchen time. She says, "...American women do heed the call of the kitchen. Priorities change, and the notion of being able to craft an edible portion of a dinner--or the entire thing--becomes a worthy ambition." Who is she talking about here? Ever tried to get a table at a restaurant any night of the week? There's always a wait. No one cooks.

Pia thinks we should all want to cook, and we should want to be darned good at it, too. Eating well at home demands the art of cooking, Pia decalres in her last line. She's probably one of the Rachel Ray attackers. Pia may not think cooking in thirty mins. is really cooking. Good meals are not difficult to throw together. Even so, some people do not like cooking. They do not like washing dishes. I appreciate the fact that many of these folks like to do math and are darned good at nursing. I could care less if they can cook. If they want to eat well in their own homes they can call out for delivery. Don't take them away from their labs, data, and cockpits to learn to cook.

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