29 June 2009

The Joy of Cooking

It's amazing to me how many people have idyllic kitchens and can barely serve up a cold bowl of cereal without reading the instructions on the box. This is a sad byproduct of my generation's "equality" effort. "Equality" seems to mean that we order in each night and think cooking is something our mother and their mothers should be doing. Not us. Certainly not us. 

And yet, the status kitchen - outfitted with the best that money can buy - is expected these days. And when paired with owners that can't or won't cook I find it terribly amusing. The culinary equivalent of owning a Maserati without possessing a driver's license. Or worse...no intention of driving. Ever. 

I can't speak for others, but I want those gleaming stainless appliances and sparkling counters so that I can celebrate the joy of cooking. (And, hey, if I can fix my lipgloss in the reflection on the quartz counter, so be it!).  

Which ties in to the looming photo of Giada de Laurentiis above. Some pundits suggest that her popularity is largely due to the fact that she helps perpetuate the fantasy of the gorgeous wife who just happens to be a regular Julie Child in the kitchen. 

Giada has movie star good looks, killer cooking skills and (and this is the kicker here) she's having a great time cooking. She truly enjoys preparing meals for her family and friends, and I can only hope that some of that enthusiasm spills over onto other girls my age. It's a way of giving, connecting, bonding and living. Cooking - and certainly eating - is in fact one of life's most enjoyable daily activities. Doesn't it make sense to master the skill so you can add yet another skill to your mental résumé?

Giada, please....keep doing what you're doing. Keep smiling, keep teaching us the proper way to pronounce "mozzarella" and most of all, keep showing us how you're bringing sexy back to the kitchen. My "sisters" need a little reminder now and then that an apron can indeed look pretty good if you know what you're doing.

{Editorial note: much thanks to Paul for entrusting us with his blog for a few days. It takes courage to let someone hold the reigns on your "baby" while you're away. I am genuinely flattered to be one of the crew he invited to hold court while he's gone.}


  1. Giada is very cool. My husband in particular likes to watch her!

    I've designed many deluxe kitchens, and very often it's the housekeeper who gets to enjoy the fab appliances and other accoutrements.

    When a client expressed a desire for a wood burning bread oven, I thought "This oven will never see burning wood" To my pleasure, I was wrong. I've eaten many delicious home made breads and pizzas from that oven . The home chef (a very busy lawyer)enjoys cooking with it, as much as I enjoyed designing it into his kitchen!

    You never know!

  2. Oh My - I dont even't know where to begin ! My kitchen gets worked to the bone - I wish it was self cleaning - and it is no where near fancy. I make just about everything from scratch because I take great pride in feeding my family healthy nurtitious meals. I love to see people enjoy the fruits of my labour, and couldn't be happer when someone accepts a second helping!

    It makes me insane to see gourmet kitchens used for heating up store bought lasagna or any other prepared meals. The truth is that it's easy and very rewarding to take the time to learn how to cook.

    nice post!

  3. I can't imagine life without cooking. When I'm away from it for too long, I get kind of nuts and feel as if I simply must get back into the kitchen.
    I have a bad habit of looking at other peoples' carts at the grocery store. A lot of them make me shudder and I wonder if they use any appliances beyond a microwave. I am really lucky to live in an area where hand-craft and home-grown produce is still a way of life for a large part of the population. Just this evening we had wax beans and beets from my uncle's garden, herbs from my sister's place, and a turkey breast from the Mennonites at a local market. Yeah, all that takes a decent amount of time to prepare but I can't imagine not using basics and taking short-cuts.

  4. I love cooking!! I'd much rather cook a good meal than go out or pick up take out. Well, OK, sometimes I get an overwhelming urge for Chinese or Thai food, which are much easier to buy than make at home -- but otherwise, I'd rather cook it.

    I totally don't get people who say they don't/can't cook. How can you not cook?? Do these people eat restaurant food for every meal?? There are millions of recipes out there on the Net, as well as recipe books for every taste. If you can read, you can cook!!

    I have no idea who Gaida is, but I can see how she brings sexy back to the kitchen!!


  5. I cannot imagine not cooking. I live alone and I somehow manage to make dinner for myself every night. I think that the home-cooked meal has become a casualty to current times because people buy into the lie that they're "too busy" to engage in mundane tasks like providing your own sustenance. Making the time to cook is a question of priorities, not one of busyness. If I bake a loaf of bread on a Saturday morning it's not for a lack of other things to do, believe me. I bake and I cook because it's important, not because I need a new hobby.

    Americans are fat because so many of them are so separated from how their food's prepared. How can you tell anything about appropriate portion sizes when you don't know what's in your food? If there's anything good to come out of the economic tumult of the last year, it's that more an more people are being forced to eat at home again.

    If having Giada DeLaurentis all over the TV is another way to get people to start caring about what they eat every day, then more power to her!

    Thanks for a great post Franki!


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