juliespeaks

The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.

EASY WOMEN

on February 11, 2012

EASY WOMEN

            We have become simpletons. I’ve opted out. The magazine racks at prominent bookstores contain a section labeled ‘Women’s Interest’ which displays publications about food, decorating and the like. Without exception every issue features articles billed as ‘quick and easy,’ ‘simple deserts,’ ‘dinner in 10 minutes,’ ’25 quick ways to spruce up your bathroom.’ The same phenomena appears in daily newspapers and on television.

Where did the writers of these articles get the idea that everything has to be easy and done at the speed of light? Women who gobble up publications like that will never know the pleasure of sinking their fingers into a bowl of risen dough and kneading it. They will miss the satisfaction of having planned a party without resorting to a caterer.

The frozen food industry is undoubtedly thankful for the millions of people who wouldn’t know what to do it a waffle iron or a food processor. I pity those women who cringe at the thought of preparing anything as time consuming as coq au vin or vichysoisse. Their taste buds never get tested by cardamom or cumin. They miss seeking out uncommon ingredients and rarely, if ever, take the time to browse the aisles of an Asian supermarket. Like little children who feed green vegetables to the dog, they are unaware of what they are missing.

I wonder. Does that quick and easy mentality apply to other things as well? To a child’s birthday party? To choosing and reading a new book? To the bedroom?

When I was a teenager I won a copy of the classic Betty Crocker cookbook. It is now more than fifty years old and though I have many others, I wouldn’t part with it. Written before there were packaged brownie mixes, it is the only one I have that contains “from scratch” recipes. Just today I used it twice: once to check the proportion of berries and sugar for blueberry pie and again to look up the roasting time and temperature for a rib roast.

Betty would never board the “do-it-quick-and-easy” train and I’ll happily stay right behind her in the caboose.

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