Monday, April 23, 2007

Feminism takes a blow.

So, I have about three posts sitting in the "Draft" section of the blog, and decided to give up and just ramble a little when the last one discussed the process of exploding pigeons and the theological musings on the Devil and the Virginia Tech shootings in the same paragraph. I'm just kidding (maybe).

The truth is that nothing really happened in my life this past week, and I don't have anything deep or profound to share with you about the tragedy in Virginia that hasn't been hashed out in ten thousand other places. I studied, job hunted, hung out with friends, and enjoyed the weather, all very good and all, but in reality nothing fascinating or funny enough to justify using internet space on it. Not that that has ever stopped anyone from sharing the mundanity of life over the internet, but I digress.

Yesterday, though, I did have an interesting experience in two parts.

Part A: The setting? Our house. The players? My mother, myself, and some family friends/neighbors who dropped by.

The Background: I have a dress that I intended to wear at Christmas but didn't finish in time. Then I intended to wear it at Easter, ditto. (truthfully, it just needs to be hemmed; it's the jacket that goes along with it that is giving me problems.) So Neighbor Lady admires the dress, it's got pretty colors on it, and knowing my mother's prowess with the sewing machine, asks if she made it. To which my mother replied that I did. And, being motherly and not beyond a little bragging, also informed the Neighbor Lady of my fondness for cooking and baking. I'm not sure if she mentioned that I was decent at housekeeping, because, um, that might have been a little white lie if she did. (I *can* clean...when I see the mess...I think I have selective blindness in this area. Dust? What dust? And places I've cleaned just can't *stay* cleaned (mostly my fault) which feels like it puts the whole thing on the level of futile. But again I digress)

The EVENT: Anyway, this prompted further admiration from the Neighbor Lady, which included a comment that I would, "make a lovely wife for someone someday".

. . .

. . . um, what?

me outside: polite blank face

me inside: excuse me? Excuse me? Did I blink? Were we suddenly transported back to the fifties? Did you really just say that? Do you seriously think that whether or not I enjoy making messes in the kitchen has anything to do with being an emotional stable person to live in the same house with? Would I be unfit for the state of matrimony if I were to order out food every night? Am I fit for the state of matrimony if I was a wreck, as long as I can cook and clean? What does my interest in whether bread will rise better if you use this fermentation method vs. that have to do with anything? And who gave you the right comment on it??

Part B: The setting? Borders The players? Me and The Improvisational Cook

The Background: The thing is for me, I'm finding cooking to be fascinating not just as a way of expressing affection and controlling what I get to eat (Mom's--or in this household, Dad's--maxim of "If you don't like it, you make dinner next time" comes home), but for the simple applied chemistry of it. Why does this plus that equal unfortunately big explosions?! Why does certain things, like juice appearing in the pan, happen when you add heat to certain things like bacon? Would this happen with anything bacon-related? I feel tied to following a recipe because I don't understand the science that it's based on. So I'm excited because in the spirit of The Bread Baker's Apprentice, which goes on for pages in a completely excited, breathless tone about enzymes, sugars, and yeastie beasties, I now have a cookbook that isn't just a collection of's a collection of explanations followed by instructions. So for instance, from the bread book, I know that some breads have sugar in it as a food for the yeast. And although I haven't gotten around to doing this sort of thing yet, if I felt like it, I wouldn't be scared to substitute something interesting like a raspberry syrup for honey or molasses or maybe even plain sugar...because I know that syrups have lots of sugar in them that will serve the purpose as well. And I know how to calculate the percentages to figure out how much to add, as well. bwahaahaha RECIPE POWER! I will now have RECIPE POWER over things like SEASONINGS and MEAT COOKING METHODS and so and such forth. BWAHAHAHAHA


Ouch, that revealed a little inadvertently the fact that I'm a closet kitchen tyrant. Although I haven't yet grown so bold in my power as to serve the family something I know they won't like but I do (as in, any vegetable more exotic than potatoes, peas, and broccoli) (just kidding, I was just thinking of eggplant, which is unpopular here).

The EVENT: I got really excited over this one. I was a happy bunny all the way home from the bookstore. I bought a cookbook! I *bought* a cookbook! It was cookbook intoxication.

The Conclusions: So I had a pretty distinct double standard of behavior yesterday, and I wonder if most every modern American woman doesn't do things along these lines. At four o clock it's "Don't even praise me on anything that smacks of 'housewife'...I'm modern and free from the bondage of the kitchen apron!" and by six o clock it's "Oh look a new COOKBOOK! I'm so excited! I can't wait to make dinner tomorrow! Oh, and by the way, isn't that an adorable baby over there?! *cooing noises*" I don't have an answer to this, except that I know that I will continue to do this. I think it's basically a rebellion against being dictated to, however gently, about how domestic or career oriented I should or should not be. Then I turn around and embrace either option to the full extent of what I feel like. And that, my friends, is the American dream.


So, for anyone who cared about my problems with the Easter Bunny, in the end Greek Easter got postponed a week. So my angst over the bunnies (see below) was moot ANYWAY because bread doesn't keep a whole week, and I had to make them all over. By this time I was so sick of fighting with the recipe that I went ahead and messed with it and it came out beautifully. I will restrain myself from pontificating on the subject of what I did and why with difficulty because I know I can be a Bread Bore and I've pontificated enough today. Let's just say I was extremely pleased with myself.


Phil Adams said...

nice post! i lauged. i cried. i quoted.

looking forward to catching up ;)

have fun!

Marie said...

Thanks!!! I feel all famous and noticed :) :) :) Nice site by the way...

You'll be heading down this way pretty soon, won't you??

Phil said...

yeppers ;)

19th in fact