jewin' the fat

Killer Queen Cuisine – Cooking for the UnDomesticated Goddess
April 24, 2010, 10:36 AM
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Thanks a lot Poh. You too Nigella, KylieMyrna – hell, even those women from Better Homes & Gardens are making me feel like a pariah, with their easy-as-1-2-3 bread and butter spectaculars and feed-the-poor-tired-and-hungry enthusiasm for kneading bread and basting flesh. 

Personally, I’d rather pop a Coopers and watch someone do it for me. And most nights, I do. 

See, I suffer the unusual and glorious ailment of living with a Kitchen God. That’s right, a God. Masculine. Dexterous. Full-flavoured. Talented. Gentle. Often sans shirt. And possessed of a natural ability to turn the most banal of canned items into culinary gold. It’s a delicious predicament. The only downside is this: It means I don’t cook. I can’t cook. I have no desire to learn to cook. My mother learned to cook because her mother-in-law is a domestic goddess. My sister learned to cook because her mother-in-law is a domestic goddess. And without a husband or mother-in-law to inspire/shame/berate me into kitchen up-skilling, why bother? 

‘Nuff said.

 I mean sure, I can boil an egg and put together a pasta – if I really tried I could probably marinade a chicken breast and not burn it – but with little or no reason to put myself out (thanks to Kitchen God), I will forever remain a Lady of Lunchtime (and dinner-time) Leisure. 

When I first moved out of home, there was a mad-scramble to accumulate recipes. It  was clear that I would not be mastering complex french cuisine, and so I collected easy, 1 pot standards that would see me through the week and remove the temptation of an ever-rising tab at the local Thai take-away. And they were pretty outstanding. On paper. Likewise, these days, the slow cooker is still tucked away in its cupboard, gathering dust and derision from generations of women who loved nothing more than feeding their loved ones. The carefully removed Food and Wine pages of the Sunday papers are dutifully tucked in and amongst the unopened pages of recipes books, which proudly proclaim simple satisfaction in ten minutes or less. That is, if they were used properly. Or at all. 

I was brought up in a family where women were confined by their gender to traditional roles of domesticity. My father brought us up to become financially independent, educated and self-reliant. Professional fulfillment was ours to take. Except that as well as career achievement and happiness, there was an another hope for three daughters – personal fulfillment, families, yes – but futures filled with more possibilities than just a variety of baked goods.

It’s tough being a woman these days. Body surfing in a bikini is hazardous. Body-scaping for a bikini too. Toddlers are promotion-kryptonite, and nannies are a definite no-no. The higher we climb, the less able we are to manoeuvre between a precarious stacked ladder and a double-glazed 3 inch thick glass ceiling – and now? The competition is only going to become more fierce, as men suddenly realise that the kitchen is not just a place to “mix it up”, and that the nutella isn’t actually a welcome addition to the bedroom, but more like a welcome addition to a batch of brownies. 

But never fear. For every sharply dressed and confident SNAG who grows his own herbs, strawberries and chilli, and who knows the difference between a heavy based saucepan and a large tin bucket, there are still a few sharply dressed, confident and spoiled mummy’s boys who can’t boil the kettle without alerting the fire department. 

Making sure the one you find supplements your skills – that’s personal happiness ladies. And at least one of you will use that damn slow cooker.


2 Comments so far
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MAN I’m hungry now.
Love your work
Miss your face

Comment by janoosh

You make a mean sweet potato with the works!
I do believe that is a valuable skill?

Comment by Shmee

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