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Old 07-10-2006, 04:04 PM   #11
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Is it something cultural? I haven't noticed the same thing around here in Belgium. I know lots of people who cook regularly. Actually, most of my friends (I'm 27) DO cook. Not that they enjoy it or cook gourmet stuff but they can throw a chicken breast in a pan and mash some potatoes.

As for why WOMEN don't cook as much as before, well, must be because they have gained access to other centers of interest and that's for the bast!

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Old 07-10-2006, 04:25 PM   #12
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If you are willing to dig a bit deeper, you will find that many women in the middle of the last century were expected to both work, and cook the meals, as well as keep up the cleaning. The men were expected to work and keep up the household and mechanical repairs, and take care of the outside work.

Social pressures were the main reason that the "housewife" usually did the cooking. It was expected. Every woman was expected to be Betty Krocker, and the school system taught it.

Due to the extraordinary workload many women were expected to shoulder, the anti-housewife rebellion, aka - women's liberation movement took place. Men were seen to have more freedoms, and a more exciting and fulfilling life. The American female wanted those same freedoms and opportunities. Children and familial values became an impediment to success, both for the woman and the man. And the American family has been in decline ever since.
I could go on with this but won't. You would all ban me from DC .

Suffice it to say that cooking isn't dead. It isn't as prevalant as it once was. People had to cook as there were few other options for obtaining hot food. Now, it's sometimes cheaper, and always more convenient to just eat out, or have food delivered.

I love to cook. Betcha didn't know that . All of my children love to cook as well. And they don't just cook, they cook very well. My youngest (20 years of age) is the most talented, or at least the most adventurous. And she creates new deserts, and main courses with and instictive flair that I have not seen duplicated. Of course she has an IQ over 140. But all of my family members have the high IQ's, and imagination that just doesn't quit.

I do know what you mean though. I know so many people who abhore the thought of preparing a meal. They don't even want to try.

Cooking isn't dead, but it is not as prevalent as it once was. And I feel saddened that so many people put all of their energies into obtaining material posessions, or the feeling of power that comes with a career, rather than spending their energies on the relationships that should be develped in their families, and with their freinds. And good food is an important ingredient in a strong family.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
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Old 07-10-2006, 05:04 PM   #13
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I wouldn't go so far as to say that no younger women today enjoy cooking (or take the time to cook). I'm in my twenties and I passionately, dearly and entirely love cooking and the whole subject of gastronomy. I have loved to cook since I was literally old enough to hold a mixing spoon and began inventing recipes when I was in grammar school. I learned from my mother (a superb cook) and both of my grandmas. As I've gotten older my love of cooking has only deepened and expanded, as I know it will always continue to (and this in the face of the fact that I have to "eat for" some serious health probs, which means that certain foods are out completely for me).

In my experience the fact that I so love cooking (and baking) - and actually most domestic type of things (not to saying that cooking is purely a domestic act, by any means) - does appeal to men, and I never went out with a chap who didn't appreciate a home cooked meal (yes, some were shocked that they didn't have to shell out for restaurants as you mentioned, Black chef). Now I'm blissfully married and I know that my husband dearly loves coming home to a freshly prepared meal made by his wife's loving hands. I feel a deep sense of happiness and fullfillment when I cook for my husband, my family or well, for anyone really because I just enjoy the act of cooking so very much

"The most indispensable ingredient of all good home cooking: love, for those you are cooking for" ~ Sophia Loren
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Old 07-10-2006, 05:24 PM   #14
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I'm with IC on this one. I used to cook all three meals everyday and enjoy it but once I began working, all my energy and interest were out the window. Thankfully, I have time this summer so I'm in the kitchen again and let's just say, everyone in this home is HAPPIER!!!
As for younger women not wanting to cook now-a-days, is only an assumption, I believe, as my 43 year old sister and my 35 year old SIL don't care to be in the kitchen...they simply say it's lack of interest. And that's because mother was in the kitchen almost 24/7 when we were growing up. Seems that I was the only one to become interested in cooking . I remember being 3 and mom asking me to go play but I'd rather stay and watch her cook. It's an interest you acquire, I believe.
If you have much, give of your wealth. If you have little, give of your heart. - Arab proverb
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Old 07-10-2006, 05:52 PM   #15
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My mother was of the era Goodweed mentioned above. Besides being a schoolteacher, she had many interests and hobbies, but cooking and cleaning were not among them. We always had a cleaning woman, but my dad worked second shifts at the coal mines, and she always made sure there was a nutritious meal on the table at noon. It really took planning, as she only got an hour off for lunch, and didn't have the convenience of a microwave or crockpot.

I learned my love of cooking and entertaining from my Grandma Snarr, and by the time I was old enough to reach the counter, I was always helping. By the time I was 14, my mother started letting me do the cooking during the summer. At first, she planned and supervised the meals, but by the time I was 16, and could drive, I was studying the grocery ads, planning the meals, doing the grocery shopping, preparing the meals, cleaning up the kitchen and packing my Dad's bucket. That freed my mother up to spend time gardening, something she loved dearly.
In return for my labors, once my chores were done, I was provided with a cute little convertible, full of gas, to run around in.

Once I left home, they started going out to eat for lunch. And after they retired, they went out to eat every night. My husband's folks did the same thing. They always hit the "Early Bird Special" at Perkin's.

We raised a grandson, and it amazed me how many of his friends virtually lived off fast food, frozen pizzas and the like. I remember one night I made seafood pasta, and E's friend asked him if we ate like that every night. E said, "Well, yes."
We get by with a little help from our friends
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Old 07-10-2006, 08:50 PM   #16
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My mom, her sisters and their mom all had jobs outside the home, took great pleasure (and considerable pride - vanity runs deeply in our family) in their cooking and baking. Personally, I think my mom always had real flair for combining flavours - I think she may have been ahead of her time, there. Oddly, I didn't learn to cook from my mom (busy or lazy), but I did learn how to eat and what was good. My own girls remind me of me - they've been lazy to learn and also very busy with school activities, but I know that they know good food, so there's hope. I've never NOT worked, since about the age of 15, but I honestly do like to come home and unwind by preparing something nice for my family, and I have quite a few friends who do the same....so I guess women (and men) who like to cook really are out there, you just have to find them.
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:19 PM   #17
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want a good 1st or 2nd date... try cooking TOGETHER.

there's nothing more fun and IMO, more insightful than shopping for ingredients together and preparing a meal together with your date.

that's the ONLY way i know to get most ladies remotely interested in cooking... and most seem to like it. the hard part is getting them to enjoy it as much as i do.

i'm in the kitchen... at least 3x per day on weekends and 2x per week most of the night. most of the women i date or have dated have explicitly told me..."it was the cooking."

then i reply..."kids shouldn't be raised on burger king and sonic... that's why i cook." you should see the looks on their faces.
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:04 PM   #18
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you are definately a smart person!
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:51 PM   #19
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I'm a 22-year-old female who has been cooking/baking seriously since I was 15...

Anyway, in defense of my generation, these days there are so many different alternative (and more convenient, usually) means of feeding yourself that cooking/baking has become a hobby. Like other hobbies, it is not a necessity, but merely a means of entertainment and self-satisfaction...a craft, like knitting or crocheting. The hobby of cooking is competing with all the other hobbies of 25, 50, 75 years ago and more, in addition to all the hobbies of the electronics/computer/television generation.

It all comes down to priorities. Time is precious when there is so much to do, and so little time to do it. That's why 30-minute meals and semi-homemade cooking have caught on, and most crock pots and dutch ovens are rusting in the cupboards!

So, that's why I think it seems that less people are cooking. The kind of family/social circle that depends on the dinner table or the dinner party is not the norm anymore.
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Old 07-11-2006, 12:19 AM   #20
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The reason why people don't cook is because the opt out for the easier route. Why spend the time in the kitchen when you can get fastfood or take out from the local Mexican restaurant? I also think that most families have too much to distract them from cooking and grocery shopping like getting the kids to soccer, cheerleading, or other functions.

But on the other hand when my parents were raising my brother and I, my mom always managed to have a hot meal on the table every night. She also packed our lunches well until we were in high school. My brother and I had many extracurricular activities that also took up alot of her time and she still managed. Also, when we where older she held down two jobs and we where expected to help with getting dinner and breakfast on the table. Both my brother and I learned to cook at an early age out of necessity to help her out. Which I am glad that I learned to cook, no top ramen or macaroni dinners for me when I was living on my own.

I also think that some of today's children are not expected to help out around the house as in past. My brother and I had chores that we were assigned on a weekly basis. This helped my parents to do other things like preparing family meals, going on family outings, etc.

Lastly, going out to dinner for me is a treat. I love to cook for friends and family and would rather do so than go out to a meal in a restaurant. Plus, lately the restaurants I have been to have not met my expectations. They are too expensive for the quality of food that I received, but that is another topic.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

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26th president of US (1858 - 1919)
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