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Posts Tagged ‘Emily Matchar’

My reading has taken an interesting trend recently: cookbooks, more cookbooks and a book on the New Domesticity.

It started with An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler.

I asked for this book for Christmas but (with two-year-old twins, an increasingly demanding writing schedule and, you know, life) I just got around to reading it.  I made the very first recipe on page 17, for salsa verde (think Italy, not Mexico) and ate nearly all of it on slice after slice of sourdough toast.  (You can eat it on nearly anything — boiled vegetables, pasta, roasted chicken — but I had toast so I slathered it on and dug right in.)

The tone of this book can be lofty and precious at times, but if you don’t mind looking at food lovingly, profoundly and (at times) religiously, you’ll either eat this rhetoric up with a spoon or gently push it to the side of your plate and read greedily on for new ways of thinking about and preparing food.

The next book is Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity by Emily Matchar.

This book explores what Matchar has named “the New Domesticity” — a trend for highly educated, liberal women to spend considerable amounts of time and energy on (more…)

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A few days ago I read Mary Rechner’s essay “Why I Hate Food” and I’m still thinking about it.

It begins:

The aesthetics of today’s food culture (jam jars, wire egg baskets, communal wood tables) will soon appear as dated as macramé, but I fear the damage to a generation of women who are tending (and butchering) rabbits and chickens, and raising vegetable gardens (often along with children) has already been done. These activities are obviously more creative ways to spend time than watching soap operas, but urban homesteading and “the home arts” should not be confused with real art-making, which involves challenging the status quo, not feeding it.

The one sentence that really got me, though, was this:

The primary reason I refuse to place “eating correctly” at the center of my consciousness is because in doing so I would lose ground on my essential life project: living a dogma-free existence while maintaining psychic (and actual) time and space to write fiction.

And I thought, yes.

I like to cook.  I like to eat.  I like to cook and eat things that are made with recognizable ingredients (chicken, carrots, lentils, broth, milk, flour, butter, raspberries, etc.) (and no, those things do not add up to any particular/peculiar recipe!) and not things that come out of a package and are placed in a microwave.  But (more…)

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