Okay, I just got it. For centuries women have slaved over hot stoves, slaved!, to cook meal after meal after meal for their families. And you know why? Well, because they had to. Plus, people need to eat and all. And this was their role.
This always seemed like a horrible sentence to me. History, as I imagined it, consisted of women wearing way too many layers of aprons and bonnet things spending all their days stirring big black pots over fires in some hot, dark dungeon room. Sounds like hell to me. Hell with bad, itchy outfits.
What if these women didn’t want to cook? Well, I’ll tell you what. It didn’t matter, because they had no choice.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve enjoyed cooking since my EASY-BAKE Oven days. I also enjoy listening to the Adult Alternative Music Choice channel on my cable TV. But seriously, how many times can you hear the same Bob Schneider song over and over? That’s basically how I feel about cooking. How many times can my brilliant husband actually enjoy my Cooking Light Enchiladas or my Martindale Chicken Salad? As it turns out, quite an unbelievable amount of times, actually. In fact, said husband is happy no matter who is cooking…him, me, Cafe Express, and the list goes on…as long as food (and I use this term loosely) is around eventually. But back to point. I think if I were forced to cook all day everyday, wearing multiple aprons, I’d hate it.
Or would I? This weekend, I might have caught a glimpse of some our foremothers’ psychology and insights. And here’s the recipe. When you’re cooking, you’re still contributing to the betterment of the village, doing ‘women’s work’ or whatever people used to label it back in the day. But oh my holy casserole, you can do it alone. Alone! Alone by yourself with your thoughts. Alone with your bad self chopping things, measuring things, adding things by yourself, for yourself, and for, oh, um, for the good of the dish. The very important dish that you are cooking.
Maybe this is just the introvert* in me screaming out for silent time in my own head. Because I adore my husband, and I’m obsessed with my son. But, that said, when I began cooking ridiculous amounts of food on Sunday for some friends in need… and my brilliant husband put two chairs in the kitchen doorway to block baby con queso from entering ‘mommy’s space’… I not only wanted to kiss him from here to Kansas, I wanted to cook.
So maybe it wasn’t all bad in that dungeon.
Maybe I will.
And my dungeon will be granite-topped and very very French. In a good way.
*And yes, that’s right, contrary to some beliefs, I am an introvert. A classic introvert. Raised by extraverts. So I can fake it when I need to.