Wednesday, March 28, 2012

less about knitting, more about food

This is technically my yarn along post, but I don't have any actual knitting to show and I haven't started these books yet. So I'm cheating, sort of.

Here we have The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters, and Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen.
Also, I finished A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove, and I recommend it. At first I was bored...frankly I didn't care about hunting and preparing the wooly mammoth and the early history stuff didn't pique my interest either, but once she got to the 1800s things got more interesting. Even more, the chapters dealing with the 20th century were a great read, because I always wonder what happened to our society with regard to preparing healthy foods. The author doesn't answer that question for me, but she discusses the circumstances of women throughout the World Wars, the crazy baby boom time, and beyond, and also brings up the point that we watch the Food Network like addicted freaks but most women don't / can't / won't cook what they see on TV. We can't get enough of Ina Garten roasting a chicken or braising a brisket, but then we pick up some KFC or, if we feel classier, a prepared meal at Whole Foods (or Wegman's, if you live where I do).

I'm no gourmet chef by any stretch of the imagination, but every night my family knows there will be a homemade meal with a protein, a vegetable, and a starch on the table. The kids will have their glass of milk, there will likely be cut-up fruit for those who won't eat the veg, and we will sit together to eat the meal. The whole family is expected to find something they like on the table, and unless it is something I know the kids hate (like chili or red beans & rice) I do not make something different from the main dish.

Sure, we occasionally (about once a month) order pizza, or have sandwich night or leftovers-from-the-fridge night. And like I said, the meals are super simple and not gourmet. But I know my way around my kitchen and can make many decent meals from memory.

I was talking to an educated woman today, a woman I respect and admire for her professional knowledge and ability, and she claimed she "could never make a chicken." And I was like, really? You couldn't roast a chicken? The directions are right on the plastic wrapper! I think what she meant was that she has no interest in roasting a chicken. That's a different story, I suppose.

Sometimes I have no interest in cooking. Truthfully, most nights I have no interest in cooking because after a long day of housework and mothering, who wants to haul out pots and pans and then have to clean all that up? But something inside me says I should do it, so I do. My family seems to appreciate it. And moreover, I don't know what I would feed my peeps if I didn't cook each night.

Do you cook? Every day? Just for holidays? If not, is it because you hate it? Or you don't know how? I'm super curious about this, especially because I find in the crafty-mom-blog world there are a lot of women canning, baking bread, and hard-core gardening along with their sewing and knitting. So I am perhaps confused in thinking my generation (30-somethings) DO cook. Do we? Or is my perception skewed because of the online company I keep?

Oh, and those are beads up there in that picture. BEADS! It is possible that I have lost my mind, but in an effort to use up some languishing laceweight yarn, I'm going to attempt a beaded cowl. First time ever using beads with knitting...scary!


Jenn said...

I don't cook much but that's because hubby does- he enjoys it and I don't. I can cook, and I enjoy baking and look forward to canning this year. Planted my garden this weekend! I agree-many of us who do handwork seem to be more inclined to work in the kitchen too. I have many friends who don't do anything 'creative' including cooking.

Staci said...

I cook, pretty much nightly. And I cook well, I think. I'm not incredibly creative, but if I see something that looks good, I assume I could do it, whether or not I'd actually bother :). I have many friends who cook daily also, but that may be, as you said, because of the company I keep. I know a lot of intelligent women whom I'm sure have the ability to follow directions as well as I, but their families east purchased food a lot to save time or because they prefers not to cook...

Karen said...

As money has become tighter and the children more plentiful I've learned to cook more often, with better skills, economically, and in a more organized way than I ever thought I could. But I HAVE to, it's a necessity. I've also found that even with the time and steps that it takes to cook it's still less stressful than taking everyone out for a meal, believe it or not. This isn't to say that we never eat out, but it's a much less ready option for us now.

Liz said...

I cook at least one meal a day, but that is mostly thanks to my husband who continues to do 90% of the grocery shopping and he buys easy to prepare stuff :)