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Category Archives: Cooking

The Loss of Simple Pleasures (as Exemplified in a Brownie)

     KAREN I. writes: Have you seen the latest fake food product designed to save time? It’s called Shake and Pour Brownies by Betty Crocker. Preparing this concoction entails adding water, shaking for 45 seconds, then pouring the chemical laden goo into a greased pan. Apparently, mothers are now too busy to add eggs […]

Defending Julia

   JULIA CHILD supposedly detested the word ‘housewife.’ She was a great cook, but was she a lousy wife? In this entry, a reader contends Mrs. Child emasculated her husband, Paul. Here, another reader disagrees. MRS. P. writes: Paul Child strikes me as a man who was his own person and not easily emasculated by anyone let […]

More on Home Economics

  NORA WRITES: I just discovered your blog and very much appreciate some of the thought-provoking articles and arguments on it.  The entry on home economics was a bit nostalgic for me as it was part of the elementary school curriculum starting in second grade at a Benedictine convent school for girls.  In our school it […]

Reality Shows and the Longing for Normalcy

  SAGE McLAUGHLIN WRITES: Eric writes in the entry on feminism and cooking that, “I am noticing a lot of cooking-type reality shows…I wonder how Hollywood turned meal preparation into a gladiatorial competition.” As a fan of cooking shows (though not the “reality” versions in which loud-mouthed, vulgar chefs abusively deride younger, less experienced ones), I […]

It Ain’t Dinner Without Dad

  RESPONDING TO this entry on the decline of the family meal, Mabel LeBeau writes: I haven’t figured out if by modern definitions I’m feministic or feminine or merely female in gender, but have found the most effective way to conduct a family meal is participation by the father figure. If Father is the one to […]

The Concupiscent Eggplant

      I would never grow eggplant if I were Puritanical. I would shield the eyes of the young from its fruit. The eggplant is a masterpiece of suggestion. Actually, this is not suggestion but bold sensuality. With its glossy skin, midnight colors, plump or pendulous bottom, and creamy white flesh, it is positively indecent. It is also one of the most bewitching of fruits. The simple pleasure of holding a newly-harvested […]

Julia and Non-Julia

    Meryl Streep is a great actress and Julia Child is a cultural force and an inspiration to anyone who has spent years in the kitchen. Nevertheless, I will not be seeing the new movie, Julie and Julia, in which the famous actress plays the famous cook. It may very well be that Nora Ephron crafted a […]

Tarts Lost. Tarts Saved.

  I know a woman who once placed a homemade tart on the front passenger seat of her car. It was a Provencal recipe made with roasted red peppers. She set off for a social event where the tart would be unveiled and eaten. The woman was racing along when she was forced to make a sudden stop. […]