Monday, November 01, 2004

Revolutionary Cooking

Sometimes I resent cooking. I have days when it feels like spend all my time either prepping to cook, cooking, or cleaning up from cooking. I cook two to three meals a day (we do tend to skip breakfast), most every day. Some days Mr. Blessed picks up something, which is wonderful, because that is one less load of dishes for me, or one hour I can spend doing something outside of the kitchen.

And there are days when nothing seems to work. Our recent running joke concerns a dish I thought would turn out pretty good but Mr. Blessed christened “Snot Noodle Casserole.” It wasn’t a mean comment, Gentle Reader; it was an accurate observation. Still, most days I manage to be the windshield, not the bug. This is due almost wholly to the Food Network show Good Eats, which has taught me the basic building blocks of food science. I understand emulsification now, and how to prepare different cuts of meat. This Texas girl was a vegetarian for many years, in no small part because I didn’t want to contend with figuring out what to braise and what to broil. Well, and because I hated plants.*

I love Alton Brown’s passion for teaching, and the way he fights the good fight for families and community against the dehumanizing and corrosive effects of outsourcing family roles, such as that of the cook:

Here’s what it comes down to kids. Ronald McDonald doesn’t give a damn about you. Neither does that little minx Wendy or any of the other icons of drivethroughdom. And you know what, they’re not supposed to. They’re businesses doing what businesses do. They don’t love you. They are not going to laugh with you on your birthdays, or hold you when you’re sick and sad. They won’t be with you when you graduate, when your children are born or when you die. You will be with you and your family and friends will be with you. And, if you’re any kind of human being, you will be there for them. And you know what, you and your family and friends are supposed to provide you with nourishment too. That’s right folks, feeding someone is an act of caring. We will always be fed best by those that care, be it ourselves or the aforementioned friends and family.

We are fat and sick and dying because we have handed a basic, fundamental and intimate function of life over to corporations. We choose to value our nourishment so little that we entrust it to strangers. We hand our lives over to big companies and then drag them to court when the deal goes bad. This is insanity.

Even on those days when nothing goes well, and I burn the chicken and undercook the potatoes, I agree that our family is doing our small part in the revolution to reclaim our humanity from MegaCorp. Liberation begins at home. As the man wrote, "He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative."

*I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants. ~A. Whitney Brown

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