Sunday, November 19, 2006

Man Pleasing Recipes

Today at church the minister spoke about the cookbook collection at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College at Harvard. Some argue that it is insulting to collect artifacts that are considered a part of the degradation of women, but she argued that you can learn a lot about a culture (or the culture of a family) by what they eat.

My eyes were opened at college when a professor spoke about being both a feminist and someone who liked to be at home, cooking, sewing and tending her garden. I was conflicted by the notion, unsure how you could be both a feminist and a caregiver, but I know now these beliefs/roles can function side by side. Cookbooks can be a wonderful starting point to good food, or a reminder that some foods are impossible to cook. I tend to feel like a collection of cookbooks is a way of acknowledging something, and the fact that recipes are written down to be shared shows a sign of respect toward the people who both created them and use them. They are literate women (and men) who choose to follow the rules of the recipe, or rebel and make things us as they go along.

Thanksgiving is upon us and I'll be cooking the turkey, brussel sprouts, a special red cabbage recipe L likes, and potatoes. I'll serve my mom's cranberry sauce and thaw a pecan pie she made L. My friends will bring a bottle of wine, an apple cranberry pie and squash. L will make the gravy and we'll spend a quiet evening together and talk and it will be nice. No one will feel oppressed by food, or even the world, and we'll stuff ourselves.


Shannon Forbush said...

I spent my morning off today trying to work out how to make pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin - fingers crossed! Didn't fancy a just-for-two big turkey dinner but I can't forego my pumpkin pie. I'll meet Paul for lunch - Pret a Manger's Christmas sandwich is remarkably close to a Thanksgiving meal - and maybe try and gather a couple of people together for a drink after work. Next year I've promised myself a proper holiday day of it!

Herself said...

Next year I will send you a can of pumpkin!