"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > The Back Porch > Off Topic Discussions
Click Here to Login
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-04-2014, 11:39 AM   #1
Chef Extraordinaire
GotGarlic's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 20,603
The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Meal

Interesting take on home cooking: Home-cooked family dinners: A major burden for working mothers.

What do you think?

The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2014, 12:03 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 15,612
The "burden" of cooking has been discussed...always.

From my point of view, I never found it burdensome or a chore. I must, however, point out that the bulk of my cooking for a family occurred when I was a single mother of three, living (almost) hand-to-mouth, and holding down multiple jobs. In spite of all those obstacles, I still managed to prepare a decent, nutritious meal for my family.

I continued to do that when Buck and I married and he brought two more children to the mix. Both of us were working outside of the home and, again, multiple jobs for both of us. The children had school activities, and things they did after school and in the evenings, so our household was a busy one. Somehow the meals were prepared and cooked.

Even when I didn't know where the money would come from for the next meal or the rent, I didn't depend on packaged or pre-made foods. I've just never been one to consume something I can't pronounce.

I don't know what the answer is except that each person has to find what works best for them and take outside criticism and "expert" information for what it's worth.

"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2014, 12:11 PM   #3
Certified Pretend Chef
Andy M.'s Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 43,620
Just about everything you do generates some level of stress.

I think it depends on the circumstances and the individuals. Some men/women may take great pleasure from cooking and find it relaxing or even fulfilling. Others will hate it and do anything to avoid cooking. We personally appreciate the latter as that gave SO an income for many years.

Home cooking dinner and eating together as a family is the best way to go IMHO, although it's not always possible in today's world.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2014, 01:01 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
taxlady's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 18,863
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Yes, cooking can be a burden, but as the author wrote, " If we want women—or gosh, men, too—to see cooking as fun, then these obstacles need to be fixed first. And whatever burden is left needs to be shared."

Do they still teach cooking in school? If so, is it taught to boys? If you never learned to cook, it probably makes cooking far more of a burden.

Is fast food really cheaper than home cooked? That's not my experience, but I don't eat at Burger King or McDonald's. If home cooking isn't more expensive than fast food, then it's silly to talk about how expensive it is to cook at home.
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2014, 01:12 PM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 24,610
The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Meal

One of the middle schools I worked in offers Family and Consumer Sciences (cooking and sewing) as an elective, and it was pretty much half girls and half boys. Foods class is also offered at the high school, also an elective. When I was in high school, Home Ec (also cooking and sewing) was manditory for girls, except I was in so many extra curriculars that I got to opt out.

Some days, cooking can be a burden. Most of the time, for me, it's fun. I can understand how, if unappreciated and for multiple family members, it would be a hassle.
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2014, 01:56 PM   #6
Chef Extraordinaire
Kayelle's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: south central coast/California
Posts: 11,583
What a thought provoking, and well written article, and thanks for sharing it. I'm sure there were many points that "us who cook" never seriously considered.

We all come with preconceived notions don't we.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but rather by the moments that take our breath away.

Kayelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2014, 02:02 PM   #7
Executive Chef
Mad Cook's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: North West England
Posts: 4,502
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Interesting take on home cooking: Home-cooked family dinners: A major burden for working mothers.

What do you think?
I wonder if this "research" was sponsored by Messrs "Birds Eye", etc?

Admittedly, I've never been a working mother but my mother was and I wasn't brought up on "ready meals" and tins. Neither was mother - her mother was left a widow with 3 school age children in the 1934 with very little money and no Welfare State to fall back on, yet she always managed to produce good, nutritious and cheap food for her children.

As for the "tyranny" and the "burden" of having to cook a meal from scratch after a day at work - well, I used to find cooking my evening meal was rather therapeutic. I still enjoy it. I don't live miles from the nearest shop and, whilst I am nowhere near poor, I don't have a lot of cash to throw around but I still do things like making my own bread and making jams and chutneys because I like the taste, I enjoy doing it and it is a lot cheaper than buying stuff. Very occasionally, towards the end of a particularly expensive month, it can be a bit of a coin flip between a trip to the butcher or a bag of feed for horse but I never go hungry and neither does he.

Just a point. If poor mothers can't afford basic kitchen equipment such as a sharp knife as suggested in the article, how are they supposed to be able to afford ready meals?

Do US schools have domestic science/home economics classes for pupils? I suspect that behind the problem is that a lot of women don't know how to provide good food because they've never been taught, either at home or school.

Any criticism implicit in my reply is aimed at the authors of the article not the poor (in both senses) mothers. It's disgraceful in this affluent day and age that women with children should be left to struggle on in the sort of pest-infested, unhealthy "homes" described in the article. That's positively dickensian.
Don’t look for the light at the end of the tunnel. Stomp along and switch the bl**dy thing on yourself.
Mad Cook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2014, 02:03 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 15,612
I began cooking at age 8 so by the time I reached high school and had the option to take home ec, I wasn't interested. Particularly since the class mainly consisted of the teacher, who was stuck on herself, teaching proper manners/etiquette and, as far as cooking was concerned, complex things such as brownies and popcorn. The whole curriculum was a joke and no male student would have been caught dead in any of the classes. By then I was so far ahead of that I would've been bored out of my gourd. Instead, I took French, which has been quite useful to me along life's path.

My best friend has a daughter, with a family, who is a stay-at-home mom and could care less about cooking...anything. It's interesting, too, because her mother is an accomplished and good cook and always has been. Not sure where the daughter became disconnected in that area.

Her family is treated to all manner of packaged and boxed meals and otherwise prepared items. I just don't get it. She has the time and the financial resources to prepare her family's meals. Oh, well.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2014, 02:43 PM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
Zhizara's Avatar
Site Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 12,456
I think I've always enjoyed cooking, so being a working mother and cooking dinner never felt like a stress to me.

If you can't see the bright side of life, polish the dull side.
Zhizara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2014, 03:13 PM   #10
Master Chef
Sir_Loin_of_Beef's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Posts: 6,373
I was a single father from the time Plague of Locusts was 9 months old until he got married at 23, and to even his amazement, I put a hot meal on the table every night. Sometimes fancy and sometimes not, but it was always delicious, nutritious, and it made him feel ambitious (but not ambitious enough to do the dishes!). In fact, he had a friend named Justin, who I used to call Justin Time, because he showed up at our house right around dinner time, several times a week.

If you love something, set it free. If it doesn't come back, HUNT IT DOWN AND KILL IT!
Sir_Loin_of_Beef is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:07 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.