The Atlantic serves up a legitimate beef with a myth that I think any housewife of the last 20 years is quite familiar with. Women have put vast amounts of effort into trying to make the “gourmet meal in 20 minutes” fairy tale come true for their own households or claiming they manage it…somehow. This mother just threw down her spatula and picked up her laptop instead. I appreciate her doing it.
She does live in New York City, the paradise of eating out pretty cheaply and decently if you want to do that, but her basic point that a watered-down fancy-chef recipe simply isn’t reasonable for normal life is a sound one.
Many women are afraid of not being “diverse” in the food they give their children, especially SAHMs, who believe that because they’re home all day they need to provide “real, HIGH QUALITY food” that they prepared with their own hands from numerous exotic ingredients. An example of this is the homemade bread fad. Although is it a fad if it, like homeschooling (which it did not come out of but which was one of the subcultures dragging it into acceptable non-fringeness) is now something all kinds of non-home-centered women feel is something they ought to do? Making one’s own bread at home daily is relatively modern. Like other kinds of cooking, in the past anyone good at it did it for most of the other people in their neighborhood. But these days women are supposed to “easily” make their own bread all the time, with all kinds of “one weird tricks” to make it not take a long time or be physically demanding. (It still does and is though.)
Cooking is one of those things where a lot of women would be better off buying the decent takeout and ready meals without being shamed over it because they’re housewives. This is so totally a real thing, it’s super sad and depressing how women beat themselves up over this, or make little snippy comments to other women for the crime of buying potato salad from the deli instead of making it at home “Because it’s so easy and quick, why spend the money?” Because my time isn’t actually worth zero dollars and including my time, it’s cheaper to drive to the store or fire up GroceryDeliveryExpress2015 if you live near one and order the salad in bulk.
Anyway, the article is interesting and talks about how cookbooks used to be written by fellow housewives, but then EVERYTHING CHANGED IN THE 1980s. Thanks Boomers!