Skip to comments.Women Who Can't Cook
Posted on 06/28/2002 9:58:05 PM PDT by Shermy
By Oyunga Pala
According my philosophy, and several near-death food poisoning experiences, I have finally come to the conclusion that domesticated, kitchen-savvy women of our mothers' generation are a dying breed.
Most young women today can't cook. I don't know whether to describe this as a national tragedy or the coming of age of the equality wars fought by feminists in the sixties and the seventies. Now before all you women come out and accuse me for the umpteenth time of male chauvinism, I would like to state for the record that my culinary skills are exceptional (even if I say so myself). I know I can cook and I believe most bachelors of my generation can and when I say cook, I not talking about making tea and eggs - the stereotype bachelor's staple. I am talking about a wholesome meal of chicken-in-coconut with rice or marinated beef that will have your mouth percolating with the complexity of half a dozen tastes and spices - a little mint here, a little ginger there, cardamom, garlic and spring onion somewhere - all conspiring to bring pleasure. If all this sounds like gibberish, you are one of those women new age men like myself intend to stay oceans away from.
This isn't about women cooking for us. That notion went out with the break dance. The bone of contention here is women who love good food but have a problem cooking it. So you end up on a staple diet of frizzled French fries, crusty pizzas and bubbling cokes. If you were weaned on healthy, fresh height-inducing dishes, a sudden switch to fast foods is simply tragic. At what point in our history did the microwave oven take over from the good old gas or electric burner? We are slowly being turned into ready-meal junkies and before long, you could find yourself seriously addicted to takeaways. This concept of ringing someone and having them trek around your house bearing a weighty load of pizza, Chinese meal or curry was the preserve of soccer junkies and remote control addicts.
Have you ever tried dating one of these modern, upwardly mobile, executive types? They still think the inability to work the corners of a saucepan to produce whole-meal, nutritious ugali is a sign of sophistication. So in its place, they spend the entire afternoon shopping for ingredients for glamorous sounding dishes like beef stroganoff, kedgeree and Wiener schnitzel. Eight hours later, you are presented with a large plate splattered with a botched-up recipe book prescription. It doesn't smell like anything you remotely recognise and she has labelled it some exotic name like 'a la Dolmio' hoping you would be impressed. You get the lost puppy look so any thoughts of scooping the obviously unpalatable mixture over your shoulder through the window are banished. At the back of your mind, you mutter 'the things we do for love' as you take a spoonful. It balances on your tongue, mid way between your throat and your lips just as all the food poisoning headlines you read in this lifetime flash through your mind.
But she still has that tell-me-it-tastes-good look. You swallow with a little prayer and hope that your medical insurance cover is comprehensive. All I can say is that bravery has its limitations. Considering we were raised in the same times, I'm still amazed that a lot of women in my generation can't put together a simple basic meal for a bunch of guys without breaking into a sweat or breaking a nail. Who planted it into their heads that good food can only be found in a cookbook? I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I have just about had it with being used as a guinea pig for recipe-book tragedies. Whatever happened to basic meat and starch?
It is for that reason that I urge any forward thinking men to take over the cooking if they intend to enjoy their retirement benefits. We have to wrestle back the power to control our culinary destiny. Besides, the girls will think you are romantic, sensitive and different. The bottom-line, folks, is that no amount of loving is worth a plate of over-salted stew.
I speak out for the masses of unsuspecting men at the receiving end and I have had my fair share of near-death experiences. A lot of these women really don't realise what awful cooks they are until they try to impress some new man in their lives. It reminds me of a female buddy of mine. We will just call her Becky. Becky was a tom-boy; she used to hang around us for so long that we stopped thinking of her as a girl. During sports on satellite TV weekends, we did the cooking for obvious reasons. Becky had once felt brave enough to invite the boys over to her place to sample her version of the stir-fry signature dishes she had seen us whip up so many times before.
The attempt was so bad the dog wouldn't touch it. Needless to say, we decided never again to sample her cooking and always covered up by bringing takeaways or doing the cooking ourselves.
But Becky was the strong headed type and in spite of our counsel, she decided to take the quantum leap from boiling eggs to attempting a gourmet meal to impress her new catch. She wouldn't let us help her so we just stood aside and watched her cut the red wire so to speak. Becky decided to invest in a recipe book and picked out a dish called 'spicy Thai style ginger chicken'.
It was a seemly straightforward procedure she claimed. Cut up some chicken, stir-fry the rice in a pan, add some cream and spice and bingo! Or so she thought. First of all, we spent the better part of the morning combing the city for one of the missing essential ingredients - 2 sticks of lemon grass, (outer leaves removed, chopped). By the time we got back, she was frantic because she had less than two hours left before her date showed up. This minor set back in the preparation time and misunderstanding of how low the flame was supposed to burn meant that she had to get her make-up and hair done while still making sure that the ginger chicken was spicy and done. The chicken was eventually done all right. In fact so well done that by the time she had finished scrapping it off like toast, there was hardly any chicken left on the drum-sticks. Even the belated addition of a splash of mayonnaise could not save this culinary disaster.
But with a brave face she served the meal to the poor guy. He had a spoonful of it and his taste buds went into comatose. We concluded that he must have committed a few good deeds in this lifetime for he didn't die but as he secretly confessed later he would have thrown all over Becky's Sh40,000 Persian carpet.
A tip from Casanova's memoirs: The way to a woman's heart is through her stomach but don't ever forget to clean up her kitchen.
Why would you want to do that, anyway?
If she can manage the lemon grass, who cares? :)
Winter Squash Soup With Lemon Grass And Coconut Milk
I know G.D. is a fan of good and healthy food.
Many years before there was a dot or a com, I labored all lday over a soybean casserole which, when finally served with pride in a lovely Mexican bowl, was ridiculed and gagged at by my kids and husband. Casserole went into dog dish. Dog took one sniff, stuck his nose in his dish and slammed it into the wall like a hockey puck. Casserole went out on the roof feeding station of the cats. Cats ignored it. Then it went to racoon feeding place. Racoons knocked on door indignant, hands on hips. "You expect us to eat THAT?" Finally it went over the edge, tossed out over the mountainside where we lived. By morning, it was gone. No wild animal carcasses, so it agreed with someone(thing).
So, yes, I understand about women who cannot cook. I've ALWAYS been one of them. So was my mom and her mother before her. It's a proud family tradition. Stick that in your microwave and nuke it!
Same here .. typical Irish Family .. We boil EVERYTHING ... LOL
Most cultures have traditional dishes because most women can't cook.
The exception of course is the French, Italians and Chinese and while women of those cultures can cook (My mother was Italian and could she cook) the greatest cooks are mostly male and are called chefs.
And created by a male, Anglican priest as if that matters...
Now, some of those late afternoon, early evening meetings that are required for her success in the community result in a few pizza takeouts, but its worth it.
I thought that this article was interesting in several ways - one of which is it being from Africa, but could be from right here.
Then he does things like add extra cheese to stupid Kraft Mac n Cheese so that the kids whine when I make it as per the directions! He does it on purpose, I know he does.
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