May 20, 2013

"We can, and many have, argue about whether the proposal that families eat more home-cooked meals is a sexist push 'back to the kitchen' for women..."

"... as well as a romanticization of 'the way things never were.' There’s value to that. While there’s no reason that the responsibility for meals should fall toward women, if they are the ones who absorb the 'guilt' of the message about home-cooked foods, then a sense that every night requires a freshly prepared gourmet meal on the table will become yet one more reason that women can’t 'have it all.'"

76 comments:

Patrick said...

There's a lot of room between "home cooked meal every night" and "freshly prepared gourmet mean every night."

Just sayin'.

Patrick said...

In other words, in only two sentences, the writer showed her(presumably)self to be stupid.

SABR Matt said...

That is beyond ridiculous. Sorry, but saying that eating out causes a huge chunk of the obesity problem in this country is sexist now because women USED to be the ones cooking at home? It's not the proponents of home cooking are saying we cooked properly in the 50s...we didn't...we used way too many processed foods, too much butter, etc back then. But what is clear is the correlation between weight and times eating out. If it's sexist to point that out...what isn't sexist anymore? I would submit that it's sexist to assume that such messages are targetting women.

Chuck Currie said...

I cook dinner for me and my wife 5 to 6 nights a week - and, it's never crap in a bag or more crap in a box.

Cheers

Ann Althouse said...

If you know it's mostly women who are going to feel guilt-tripped (enough to do anything), is it wrong to guilt-trip?

Patrick said...

If you know it's mostly women who are going to feel guilt-tripped (enough to do anything), is it wrong to guilt-trip?

If you know it's mostly women who are going to be helped, is it wrong to help?

bagoh20 said...

No we should gilt trip random people who never ask for or promoted the change that we now don't like. Just random innocent people should be berated until we all feel equally miserable including those people who warned about it and resisted it.

"I think of a man, and then I take away reason and accountability."

Paco Wové said...

I look forward to the death of the "having it all!" trope, or meme, or whatever you want to call it.

If you want it all, you're a pig. Fuck you.

Larry J said...

I don't recall any man ever believing he could have it all. Why do so many women have this delusion? No one can have it all. We all have to make compromises.

Anglelyne said...

Lordy, do the women of the NYT ever stop scanning the environment in a state of scowling manufactured discontent, looking for something, anything to whine about? They're not happy (well, as happy as people like that are capable of being) unless they're feeling put upon, are they?

What do they care about what somebody out there might be thinking about their family life and cooking habits? It's remarkable what caricatures of hyper-conformist femininity these women are, worried to death that somebody might not like them, might disapprove of them. Somebody out there (or no one, probably) is "guilting" them, and they have to fall in line and conform?

Uh, why? I'm searching my soul for the "give a fuck" about other people's opinion of my cooking habits. Not a fuck can I find.

bagoh20 said...

I got attacked for suggesting women be guilt tripped about electing the worst president in history. You just can't blame women for anything. They need constant support, lest they feel bad about something actually important.

rhhardin said...

"We can, and many have, argue..."

Woman's place is in the classroom

***angel*** said...

sorry some women feel guilt. i rather think of the children.first.

Baron Zemo said...

I do all the cooking. Like Meade. Men make the best chefs. Let the ladies blog or whatever. Because you see if you are the one who is cooking you always get something you want to eat. Just sayn'

tiger said...

Stupid people who think that the 'personal is political' write and publish stupid things.


You see what she did there don't you?
Women don't go - they cause the obesity epidemic
Women do cook and all their advances are taken away from them.

This way no matter what is done- in the writer's view - it is always women's fault therefore always leaving women as victims.

What utter and complete nonsense.

n.n said...

A woman should remain available for sex and taxation. She is to be barefoot and perpetually pregnant. That was the outcome, if not perhaps the intent, of the sexual revolution, normalization of abortion, and the women's rights movements generally. The principles of evolution will not be mocked. Neither the natural order nor reason cede their dominion to fanatics.

As for dinner, what normal person expects, let alone receives, a gourmet meal? Who is The New York Times's target audience?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

There's a lot of room between "home cooked meal every night" and "freshly prepared gourmet mean every night."

Seriously true. Not every home cooked meal is a gourmet delight. For example, tonight we are using the last bit of a roasted chicken, which we bought already cooked at the deli section of the market.

Tonight....really not gourmet at all but it will be filling and good. Creamed chicken in puff pastry shells with a salad of greens, orange sections, red onions sliced and some sunflower seeds in a balsamic vinaigrette.

Chicken broth from the bones of the chicken with milk to make a white sauce. Throw in the diced chicken. Some carrots and celery that I had already pre blanched, but there is no reason you can't use some bagged frozen vegetables. Mushrooms..or open a can of mushrooms. Whatever other veggies you like in the mix. Some frozen peas? Broccoli florettes that have been diced small. WHATEVER.

This is the third meal that we have had on this one $5.00 chicken. First night the legs and thighs with some garlic and red pepper pasta and salad. Second was a chicken Ceasar salad with fresh rolls and fruit.

There are lots of meals that can be made quickly that aren't 'gourmet'. Even the good ole SOS would do. Meat loaf. Tacos. Sloppy Joes. Tuna sandwiches. Have they never heard of a Crockpot!?!?

You can't have it all. No one can and no one should expect to have it all.
But God Damn it, you can have a good grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup for dinner without feeling guilty.

glenn said...

Jesus Flippin Christ ... don't people understand that being a great cook is just as hard as being a great almost anything else. I'm not bad but my wife is so good that when she retired she opened a very successful cook in your home business. Get a life.

ricpic said...

It would be torture to force most kids to eat a gourmet meal since they rebel against dishes that are "yucky" and "gloppy," which to them means any complex mix of meats, veggies, spices and sauces, not straightforward.

edutcher said...

The Gray Lady sounds like they're admitting feminism was the crock we always knew it was.

Ann Althouse said...

If you know it's mostly women who are going to feel guilt-tripped (enough to do anything), is it wrong to guilt-trip?

I have yet to meet the woman who had any problem guilt tripping any body else, so...

n.n said...

There is another problem with this "insightful" story. What normal man would expect his wife to always prepare the meal, let alone a gourmet meal, in whole or in part? Doesn't The New York Times and its subscribers believe in a contextual division of labor and responsibility?

It seems that the first victim of progress was reason. Who lives in their fantasy world?

rhhardin said...

I prepare our meals. The dog seems to like it, and I prefer it that way.

rhhardin said...

The dog won't touch brussels sprouts, or anything cooked along with brussels sprouts.

So we don't make that anymore.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@rhhardin

Smart dog. Brussels sprouts are horrible.

Michael K said...

I got a chuckle from the story because the mother of my first wife was a career woman in the 1940s who came up with a bunch of quick recipes that were great food and easy to make in about 20 minutes. I still make some of the things she used to make.

My first wife, when we were young and poor, made some of her mother's recipes but she hated them because many were casseroles, which I love. After 18 years of marriage, we got divorced and she told me I would starve. Since then, I have been the cook in the family just as my father was. I still make some of her mother's recipes and enjoy them.

One of them, for example, was a tuna casserole made with chunk canned tuna, noodles and mushroom soup. It's great. A dessert was a can of crushed pineapple, a box of white bread mix spread over the pineapple in a rectangular pyrex dish and a quarter pound of butter cut into pats on top of the cake mix. My youngest daughter loves it and doesn't know where it came from.

Most obesity is coming from the low fat diet pushed by the government since the 50s. It's all carbs.

n.n said...

Dust Bunny Queen:

You can have it all, or rather some subset, over time, but there is no instant or comprehensive gratification except for a select minority, ever, and usually for a finite duration.

Normal people, as you have observed, are required to moderate their behaviors and set priorities. Then we budget our time, resources: natural, financial, and human, accordingly. There is some tension at times, but it is really not that complicated. We use our knowledge, skill, and reason, and our ability to self-moderate our our behavior and ego, to avoid an irreconcilable outcome.

Big Mike said...

... then a sense that every night requires a freshly prepared gourmet meal on the table will become yet one more reason that women "can't have it all."

Unless, of course, it's the husband who's the gourmet cook.

You know back in the days of June Cleaver and Donna Reed and women on TV doing housework in nice dresses and pearls, wasn't that also the time when frozen TV dinners were invented?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You can have it all, or rather some subset, over time, but there is no instant or comprehensive gratification except for a select minority, ever, and usually for a finite duration.

@ n.n

I've heard it said that you CAN have it all.....just not all at the same time or all at once. Over my life time, I think that I've had it all and, frankly I'm glad and relieved that I didn't have it all at once. It would be too overwhelming

:-)

AllenS said...

DBQ, wow. I'll bet your husband never misses supper if he can help it.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

DBQ,

Tonight....really not gourmet at all but it will be filling and good. Creamed chicken in puff pastry shells with a salad of greens, orange sections, red onions sliced and some sunflower seeds in a balsamic vinaigrette.

You're way ahead of me. Mine's pork chops braised with sage leaves (fresh, growing in container out back) and tomatoes (canned); steamed broccoli; and store-bought garlic bread, probably "weaponized" (as we say in this house) with some fresh garlic, butter, and grated Parmesan. None of this is difficult or time-consuming prep-wise, though the pork chops do take an hour or so actually to cook properly.

People vastly overestimate the amount of time it takes to cook one's own meals. Last week I went to food.com and searched "salmon" and "mint." What I was looking for was a recipe for broiled salmon salmon steaks with a sort of mint sauce that I'd had long ago. At the moment I have waaaaay more mint than I have any idea what to do with. Well, I didn't find that, but did find two salmon recipes involving mint-based salsas. From doing those, I now know (as I ought to have decades ago) that anything involving throwing a bunch of tomatoes together with herbs, garlic, ginger, maybe some lemon juice is going to be yummy however inept you are in the kitchen.

Un-mess-up-able. Unless you count finding that the mini sweet peppers you thought you still had some of were all gone, and substituted a (seeded) serrano. When I made the second salsa, my husband was all, "Are there more serranos in here?" I said, "No, hon, just scallions." He then consented to try it :-) I'm the one here with the, as it were, "hot tooth."

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

DBQ,

Oh, don't knock Brussels sprouts. Mark Bittman has a recipe for roasting them with garlic and balsamic vinegar that results in something so brown you can hardly believe it's an edible vegetable, but is really, really tasty. Again, not difficult at all, and prep time next to nil.

AllenS said...

I can eat anything. Brussels sprouts? No problem.

Just thought of something. I can't do lutefisk.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Allen

I also made a strawberry rhubarb crisp from the rhubarb plants in the garden and some store bought strawberries. We have Umpqua vanilla bean ice cream in the freezer. God....I love retirement :-D

n.n said...

Dust Bunny Queen:

Exactly. The issue has been and continues to be argued on a false premise. It should not be surprising to anyone that the outcome has been a progressive dysfunction. Most notably between men and women, but also individually, and society generally.

ganderson said...

I think there is another point to be made- it's not about the food per se- I'm an adequate cook who does a majority (60 %, perhaps a tad more) of the cooking, but I think it's about sitting down to eat a meal. Anthony Daniels, who is perhaps England's most prescient chronicler of England's white underclass has often remarked about the number of people who NEVER eat a home cooked meal, never eat sitting down, etc. He views it, and I agree, as a sign of social dissolution.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

ganderson,

Better to call Anthony Daniels Theodore Dalrymple, as that's the name he mainly writes under. As to the rest, I entirely agree.

ken in sc said...

I grew up in the 50s. We never had butter except at my grandparent’s. They had cows. Actually we liked margarine better.

BTW, I cook more often than my wife. She cooks mostly on holidays.

Synova said...

You know... my grandmother didn't cook like me... my mother didn't cook like me. Meals were pretty standard. You had a roast or a chicken or some sort of bland meat (since we're talking Norwegian farmers) and you had a vegetable and you had mashed potatoes. You had butter. You had bread.

Every. Blessed. Day.

For breakfast you had leftovers (potato patties, fried, if you were grandma)or Wheaties. Well, you might have had leftovers for supper, too, but then Dinner was at noon and involved the meat, vegetable, and bowls of mashed potatoes.

You might have pot-roast on Sunday, and Chicken on Tues, or some other weekly (weekly!) rotation of meat, vegetable and mashed potatoes.

Other ethnicities had other standard *daily* meals.

The problem is we're used to variety and variety is more work.

Hamburger Helper every night isn't going to go over well. But it sure would be easier if you could send people off for the day with baloney on white bread and a banana week after week and get away with it.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

DBQ, there are a few things I balk at, and rhubarb is one. I don't know why; just never understood the attraction. Ditto gooseberries. Ditto liver. (The last is unfortunate, because my husband does like it.)

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Synova,

Other ethnicities had other standard *daily* meals.

We have a standard weekly meal: My husband gets sushi every Saturday night, I get shrimp tempura and some potstickers, and we settle down to an episode of depressing Swedish crime drama (Wallander, Kenneth Branagh version). Totally rockin', what?

AllenS said...

Take liver and cut it up into 1 inch cubes, toss them into a couple of beaten eggs, then into a bowl of flour, corn meal, salt and pepper, and then fry. I've never met anyone who didn't like liver cooked that way.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We used to be able to get calves liver or young beef liver in the butcher shops in the past. Like 'butter'!!! Not like the bitter old cow livers that we have today.....also not like the giant monstrous stewing hens that they try to fob off on us as fryers. Get REAL a fryer does not weight 8 effing pounds.....anyhoo

Calves or beef liver.. Bread and sautee in butter....REAL butter until not quite done. Remove from the pan...cast iron skillet if you got one. Thinly slice several onions and sautee in the same pan with more butter if needed until soft, limp and sweet. Can't have too much butter. Put the liver slices back on top of the bed of onions. Cover and cook for another 5 to 8 minutes over a medium low heat. You will thank me. Michelle's husband would thank me ;-P

Seeing Red said...

Mint? I loved this for summer, but the family didn't:

Parmesan & potato raviolis, sweet peas, lemon & mint.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

AllenS,

Take liver and cut it up into 1 inch cubes, toss them into a couple of beaten eggs, then into a bowl of flour, corn meal, salt and pepper, and then fry. I've never met anyone who didn't like liver cooked that way.

Well, maybe. But you're talking to someone who was convinced she hated scrambled eggs until a few years ago, and is still dubious about omelets. OTOH, also one who will make any dish full of chili peppers. There's a lot of mean vindaloo produced here. Mostly from a recipe so thoroughly tweaked by me that its own mother wouldn't recognize it.

Synova said...

Michelle, I can and do make sushi at home, I haven't figured out tempura, the potstickers come from Costco. ;)

Last night I made an excellent chicken adobo.

For tomorrow I've got stew meat that is going to be green chili stew.

I'm just saying... it's easier to do a variation on a standard "vegetables and noodles" or "meat and potatoes" day after day then to cook Japanese on Saturday, Filippino on Sunday, and New Mexican on Monday.

It's easier to have a good salad every single day than it is to have a good salad twice a week.

Tari said...

I WISH I had the time for more home-cooked food; it's cheaper and much healthier. But not because anyone around here is obese - just because I like to know what we're all consuming.

That being said, when I do cook a lot, I fall behind on everything else. Which is why we have had 2 awesome meals so far this week (with piles of wonderful leftovers waiting in the fridge)but the rarely-used couch in the formal living room is covered with piles of clean laundry. Sigh.

AllenS said...

I went to the grocery store this morning, and cherries finally showed up. I bought two bags. A little more than $5 per bag. Well worth it.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Seeing Red,

Here we have what we call the "Mint Containment Zone," because it's a small bit of earth on one side of the driveway, surrounded entirely by concrete. I planted a bunch of mint varieties in there when we moved in here a couple of years back. In December '12 it looked like I should tear everything out, because it was basically all dead. Now? It's more like "Honey? Where did we put the RoundUp?"

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Synova,

Sorry to have misled you. Saturday night is when we order out from Momiji in Salem. It's the other six nights a week when I endeavor to cook something.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

the potstickers come from Costco

Ohhh oooooh. I have a great recipe for Japanese Gyoza. Otherwise known as potstickers in China. They are somewhat tedious to make but way superior to those frozen thingies. You can make a port or shrimp filling. Then you can freeze your own.

Gotta go to eat dinner here...but I will put the recipe on my food blog tomorrow.

Seeing Red said...

Mint is nasty, it'll take over.

HA said...

Having a home cooked meal with your family is a big part of "having it all."

Shanna said...

There's a lot of room between "home cooked meal every night" and "freshly prepared gourmet mean every night."

Seriously. I cook (or prep) on Sunday and just use that stuff for the majority of the week, but that's because I'm single and am cool with leftovers. But there are tons of easy/quick things you can make from scratch.

So I agree with you, this was a dumb statement.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Speaking of culinary trends ... my ex-local paper, the SF Chronicle, has a food section that I still read despite myself. I thought I'd quit after the long article about roasting fish on slabs of red salt mined in and imported from the Himalayas, but, alas, it was too late; it might be car-wreck-gazer-like fascination, but, still.

Anyway, this week it was koji, which appears to be a blend of rice and mold that's a miracle ingredient. You can buy it pre-made, but it's much better to buy the mold in dry form, mix it with your cooked rice, and then leave it for 7-10 days on your kitchen counter. At which point it will do absolute wonders for your roast chicken!

We used to have a Doberman named Kojak, and nicknamed (inevitably) "Koji." His usual response to a visitor to the front door was along the lines of "I got yer umami right here."

Lori said...

With 4 kids and a budget for time and money, years ago I put together a meal plan I could live with.

I agree that expected variety is an issue, but having ingredients for several meal "categories" on hand makes that possible. I like to rotate favorites/meal types. My husband is a great cook, but works late, so he cooks most weekends.

Easier for me to plan according to a loose schedule of: Mondays: pasta; Tuesdays: Stir-fry or fajitas; Wednesdays: Burgers/tacos/sloppy joes/meatloaf; Thursdays: Leftovers; Fridays: Pizza or other plans; Saturdays: grill; Sundays; casserole or roast or other plans.

Key is buying meat on sale because you know you will always use ground beef, chicken breast, London broil. Never buy it for more than $2-3 a pound and your budget will be good to go.

Special meals are seafood or pork. There's room for a lot of variety in this plan plus accommodating family favorite requests. Lately I've been experimenting more. My youngest has several dishes that he makes me promise "not to mess with."

Family meals are not that hard. Giving up otherwise "Free" time on weekends to plan and shop is kind of a pain, but worth it weeknights.

When I know I will have crazy busy weeks at work, I try to have extra in the freezer. When it happens unexpectedly, we eat out/order in and I don't feel a bit guilty.

My grandmother was a great cook, my mother admittedly (by her) so-so, but what I remember and treasure about both was their giving attitude.

Freeman Hunt said...

My parents divorced, and I lived mostly with my dad. He grilled every night. Delicious. I never wanted to have dinner at other kids' houses.

Freeman Hunt said...

I make dinner, and, except for holidays or other special occasions, I don't do gourmet. I do fast, lean, and delicious. Cheap too. I think people make dinner too hard. No need to be elaborate. As long as simple tastes good and is healthy, simple is enough.

Blue@9 said...

Laughing at the notion that it's bad because it's "guilt-tripping."

I suppose we should also rid ourselves of the noxious propaganda that parents should spend more time with their kids-- now there's some serious guilt-tripping. Spending time with kids means compromising on the importent stuff, like "you time" and an impressive career.

Okay, maybe it sucks and it's unfair that women will feel the brunt of that awful guilt-tripping, but damn, welcome to life. It turns out that a lot of good things come from "traditional female responsibilities." But hey, men have been guilt-tripped for centuries to do more, make more, be more successful, etc. We just don't complain because these are actually good things for us and our families.

Chip Ahoy said...

Your remarks on food preparation interest me tremendously, which is a word that is spelled with only one u, apparently.

Mint salsa. I tried that with mango and jalapeño and now it mi mas favorito. Like pico de gallo.

tempura -- skip if you're not interested, please, it is tedious.

Oddly, I've found the flour is not so important, it can be any combination of a/p white wheat flour and rice flour.

The distinguishing feature is ice cold batter. Shallow fry. A japanese chef will stand in front of the hot oil and dribble batter directly onto the edges of the pieces as they are frying. To extend the shapes randomly to look vaguely like insects. It seems an absurd expansion of extra batter, but the extra toasted batter is part of the show. They must be eaten immediately.

Sweet potato is one of the best things to tempura but it must be cooked first.

My friends preferred catfish pieces over salmon. Weird, huh?

Mushroom pieces are interesting for this.

But I love onions.

Dust each piece with flour first, vegetable or protein. If it has a shiny surface like bell pepper then scratch it so the flour dust will adhere. Moisten first if necessary. The flour dust will help the batter stay on.

Have the bowl of batter right next to the oil to minimize the dripping mess. It is a messy thing to make

So the batter will have an egg and ice, water fries crunchier than milk-based batter. Some people like to use soda-water for it's effervescence. The batter will work without carbonation, the ice cold batter will splatter and that's the desired effect. But if you do add baking powder then know that using too much will cause foam and when that fries it is unpleasant. Keep the batter loose, looser than pancake batter. It will thicken as you go along because flour sloughs off into it so if the batch is large then you must adjust the batter one way or another, with more water, more ice, or whatever. I like to sweeten the batter a little bit.

So, there you go, ice cold batter into 325℉ oil, splatter, dribble dribble dribble, out. In, out, in, out, in, out. It goes quickly.

The tempura sauce prepared in advance is dashi -based with soy sauce and sweetened with mirin or sugar. Sometimes it includes toasted sesame oil, bits of green onion, sometimes garlic and ginger, and such. Dashi is kombu seaweed, a piece of it steeped as tea. The dashi can also includes flecks of shaved dried smoked skipjack tuna, but it's not necessary. Dashi is sold in granule form for convenience. Taste it to make sure it is delicious by itself.

I made this with girlfriend one time because it is her favorite thing. She was amazed, AMAZED, we could do this at home. She asked, "Can I take the extra home with me and microwave it later?"

"No."

"Why not?

"This heavenly delicate dish is too ethereal for that."

hombre said...

Women cook?

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Kirk Parker said...

DBQ,

"This is the third meal that we have had on this one $5.00 chicken."

Preach it, sister! Chicken is the second miracle food, right after the #1--not surprisingly from the same species--eggs.

(Relax, Homer--pork in all its various guises is #3.)

Oh, and regarding liver: we used to get liver, and tongue, from the local market when we live in rural Southern Sudan--nobody else wanted it! Their loss. (But I still don't get it. Nobody raised livestock there--it was a tsetse fly area--but there was a fair amount of hunting, and didn't they eat the livers from the antelope and gazelle and (very) occasional cape buffalo they took? Alas, I never pursued the question so I don't really know...)



rhh (following up on dbq):

But your dog does like broccoli, right/


MDT,

"People vastly overestimate the amount of time it takes to cook one's own meals."

Indeed. Compare the average wait in a restaurant (not just the wait time after you order, silly--the entire time from the moment you get in your car or--in deference to the NYT readership--hail the cab or head toward the transit station) ((just to clarify, "silly" is not directed to the eminently reasonable MDT but rather to the hypothetical reader)) to the time it takes to prepare a decent meal at home. Which one wins out in overall elapsed time, on average?

"At the moment I have waaaaay more mint than I have any idea what to do with."

The perils of living in Western Oregon...


Tari (and everyone else):

Leftovers leftovers leftovers! With rare exceptions, tt doesn't take twice as long to cook twice as much... and if it isn't worth eating twice in a row then why are you cooking it in first place??

Matthew Sablan said...

Men can cook.

Pretty sexist of the author in the quoted piece to imply men can't.

Roger J. said...

Wonderful piece and great recipes--agree with DBQ--the most economical meal choice is on of the ubiquitous cooked chicken for 5 to six dollars--you get a wonder chicken, then you get left overs for chicken salad or tacos, and you get the stock for chicken and dumplings. You can have three great meals for the basic cost of one 6 dollar chicken.

As for cooking in the 1950s--I grew up on casseroles--wonderful things. My GF's son who now has a 6 figure income asks here to cook tuna noodle casserole when he visits.

Kudos to Patrick for cutting to the heart of the matter in his initial post.

Nomennovum said...

What many mothers don't know (and sometimes never come to realize due the the influence of feminist "thought") is that good cooking is a fun and relaxing activity. To have others enjoy the fruits of your labor is the reward. It's wonderful that you have gained the knowledge of what kinds of food "are good for you." Now go make it palatable. Your kids must eat it to realize its benefits. Brute force and threats will only ensure that the dog will eat your swill. Even brussels sprouts can be made delicious.


Settled: Telling, suggesting, implying, hinting, pointing out to, warning, admonishing, often even asking a woman to do anything is sexist and/or shaming and shows insecurity on the part of a man ... and very nearly proves he has a tiny dick.

gerry said...

I'm glad all I ever wanted was wall-to-wall carpeting and air conditioning.

Of course, I'm not a woman.

Peter said...

"With rare exceptions, tt doesn't take twice as long to cook twice as much... and if it isn't worth eating twice in a row then why are you cooking it in first place??

Twice? One can easily make three or four meals on Sunday afternoon. And if that's just too much, the extra can go in a big ziplock freezer bag.

The "secret" of processed foods is that salt and sugar are two of the least expensive ingredients on earth; people like the taste of them, and they have an indefinately long shelf life. Therefore processed foods are loaded with them.

But, eating excessive amounts of sugar and salt, day after day, will surely create bloat. And, really, it's just not that much work to put something together from "real" ingredients.

Beldar said...

"While there’s no reason that the responsibility for meals should fall toward women, if they are the ones who absorb the 'guilt' of the message about home-cooked foods, then a sense that every night requires a freshly prepared gourmet meal on the table will become yet one more reason that women can’t 'have it all.'"

^^^ That's one of the stupidest and most irrational sentences I've ever read.

Let's accept the premise: That there's no reason [why] responsibilty for means should fall toward women.

If so, then there's utterly no reason to entertain the contrary hypothesis that responsibility DOES fall on women. And that hypothesis is the necessary predicate for the further conclusion that "a sense that every night requires a freshly prepared gourmet meal on the table will become yet one more reason that women 'can't have it all.'"

You can't conceal the inconsistency by trying to patch these two inconsistent propositions into one sentence with a "while ... then" linkage.

Sloopy, sloopy thinking and abysmal writing. F-minus.

Beldar said...

Bah. Karmic debt requires that I make several typos in a comment in which I criticize someone for sloppy ("sloopy") writing. But my fault is in the proofreading and in my haste, for which this author has less excuse.

JRPtwo said...

The debate is entertaining, but it can change one's life to learn to make 10 quick healthy dishes without a recipe. (Well, maybe not your life, but your health and your finances.)

A good start is Mark Bittman's NY Times article on customizable vegetable soups. link

As Bittman says, "Print the following page, stick it on your refrigerator and work your way through it. By the time you’re done — 12 days or 12 weeks later — you’ll never again need a recipe for vegetable soup." If that works for you, try his book, “The Minimalist Cooks at Home.”

Dust Bunny Queen said...

As promised. My recipe for Gyoza or Potstickers. It seems like a lot of work....Ok it IS a lot of work....but well worth it.

Give it a try

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Chip Ahoy,

Mango/jalapeno/mint salsa: I will try that. Hell, I can taste it right now, before trying it. It's just that I'm nervous around mangoes. (Oh, dear God, now I sound like Monk or something. But, honestly, I don't know what constitutes ripeness in a mango. The mangoes I've generally dealt with have been diced and frozen. NTTAWWT.)

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

DBQ, thanks for the gyoza recipe! If you think that's time-consuming, try making samosas. Worth it, though.

I haven't got a meat grinder, so the packaged ground pork at Fred Meyer is what I've got, unless I can nerve myself to talk to a butcher.

I do do massively time-consuming culinary projects from time to time. Lasagne with homemade noodles and homemade bolognese sauce -- that is a two-day special-occasion project. That wonderful Italian braise that practically involves nothing but pork shoulder and whole milk -- that's another great one, single day, but several hours, during which you can do anything else.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

JRPTwo,

One of the things I like about Bittman's books is the "hey, just throw it in the pot and see whether it works" attitude. It's not really an attitude he can maintain consistently, because he is, after all, in the business of writing cookbooks; but there's an air throughout his books of "these are just some of the things you could do here, so feel free to make up your own."

The exact opposite of the Cooks Illustrated approach, but I love 'em both. Go fig.

Teri said...

Nomennovum said...
What many mothers don't know (and sometimes never come to realize due the the influence of feminist "thought") is that good cooking is a fun and relaxing activity. To have others enjoy the fruits of your labor is the reward.

I have several "signature dishes" such as a curry that I have been making for 20 years, that no Asian on earth would recognize as a curry. My family absolutely vacuums up. Every once in a while there is an article about the monks who make the exquisite sand drawings, and then blow them away.

Pretty much the same: 90 minutes cooking my curry in layers, don't burn the onions, don't curdle the yogurt . . . . serve it up and in 15 minutes the pan has been licked clean. That there is a religious experience.

Teri said...

Oh, and the faux outrage? As a confident, intelligent, conservative feminist I have applied brainpower to the challenge of producing home-cooked meals nearly every night.

I use software to collect my recipes, plan my menus and shopping lists. This has an import wizard that lets you copy and paste recipes in a text box, and parses it for ingredients and directions and calculates nutrition values.

Since the import is so easy, I have my "old faithfuls" plus all sorts of things I've found on the internet. Recipes have to taste good, be relatively straightforward and not take too long. It's a fluid balance, for instance, if it tastes REALLY good I'll put up with a longer prep time. If they don't taste good, they're not in my collection no matter how easy, quick or economical they are.

Every Saturday I spend 90 minutes choosing a menu, adding the recipes to the shopping list, and crossing off what we have on hand, and then we eat good, healthy meals, a few of which qualify as "gourmet" as far as I'm concerned.

When my husband retired a year ago, I went through my recipes for the ones that were reasonably simple. He's built up a repertoire of 15 dishes that he does really well, and I rotate through them based on what's on sale, what's in season, and what I feel like.

I cook on the weekends, and he cooks weeknights, and he does a fantastic job. One of the recipes, a baked breaded fish filet, tastes better than when I used to make it - he tried it with panko crumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs and that transported it to paradise.

If you think about starting this system from zero it may seem overwhelming, but the bottom line is that I like to eat food that tastes good, so I made it happen, in stages.

It used to be that we couldn't afford to eat out. Now I don't want to eat out unless it's something that he or I don't usually cook for ourselves.