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"The Woman Who Couldn't Boil Water"


Busboy
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I know quite a few people that either do not cook or do not enjoy to cook. Male and female. None to this extreme…although a few would probably like to live this way if they could afford it. I also know people that see food simply as something their body needs (this, btw, is very odd to me). Different strokes.

Re: Foodtv. Was this just a throwaway bit of the article? Because when I read it it was the main thing that I focused on. I do think that more and more people are sitting and watching Foodtv and then going into the kitchen to nuke a quick meal. I find this very, very disheartening. Lucky for me, Foodtv has reduced its watchable content and (except for Alton) I am not watching it as much and cooking more. Perhaps if they keep showing Sara Lee, more people will turn it off and start cooking more, too.

Re: Women’s Lib. Today we are lucky enough that we can choose to be in the kitchen instead of being expected to. That has not always been the case.

Confession time: I occasionally watch MTV Cribs (not that I seek it out but if I flip pass and it’s on…) and it always makes me sad to see these fantastically rich people with great kitchens and then hear them say they never use them or see their fridge with nothing but soda or kool-aid in it. What a waste!

N.

"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali
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That's a funny theory, because 90% of the foodies I know, including myself, are overweight (don't trust a skinny chef), despite the fact that they rarely, if ever, eat fast food.

How about foodies who happen to be skinny like yours truly? :raz:

Soba

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That's a funny theory, because 90% of the foodies I know, including myself, are overweight (don't trust a skinny chef), despite the fact that they rarely, if ever, eat fast food.

How about foodies who happen to be skinny like yours truly? :raz:

Soba

I think skinny foodies were starved (or ate healthfully) as children. They have a lower content of fat cells to deal with. I have a friend who was starved as a child; he can eat all day long (and does) and never gain an ounce. On a trip to Maine, we had breakfast at 9am, he wanted to eat lunch at 11, snack at 1, lobster roll at 3, tea at 4, and trying to get him to stop between 4-7 was a fight. I don't travel with him anymore.

Edited by emmapeel (log)

Emma Peel

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That's a funny theory, because 90% of the foodies I know, including myself, are overweight (don't trust a skinny chef), despite the fact that they rarely, if ever, eat fast food.

How about foodies who happen to be skinny like yours truly? :raz:

Soba

Or Ling for that matter. :laugh:

What the hell does this have to do with the article? I understand people not "getting" this woman, just the same as I understand people not "getting" women who chose not to have children.

Live and let live fer crissake! :hmmm:

A.

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I got the feeling food wasn't something she's willing to spend money on unless other people are around to see her do it. Character flaw I suppose, but a common one. What I did find annoying however was the tone of the article itself. Equating the inability to cook with some sort of feminism just reenforces the stereotype that cooking is "women's work". Also this tone of "well, she's liberated, but even though she works she is still a real woman because well golly she loves her kids and made her wedding gown into pillows and she lives on diet coke!"

Makes me wonder where I lie in that equation: I am ambivalent about having children, do math for a living, eat like a horse and got married in regular clothes. But, hey, I cook! Does that make me enough of a woman?

But what mainly annoys me is that the article header makes some general claim about people not cooking, and then the entire article turns out to be some insipid piece about some random lady named Francine who seems to have some food issues.

Edited by Behemoth (log)
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Or Ling for that matter.  :laugh:

Nah, we just have high metabolisms.

Even a year and a half after I started working out, it's higher than ever. Now it's six to seven meals a day. :shock:

Ok, back to your regular scheduled program.

So what if she doesn't live for food? That's fine, as long as she's happy and comfortable with her situation.

I didn't infer anything else from the article, other than it was a profile of an unusual if interesting person.

Soba

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Oh, I know an awful lot of Francines. Most of them approach cooking as women used to approach typing: "if I learn to type, I will have to be a secretary." And now, there are keyboards everywhere ...

These militant non-cooks make me laugh. The Francines I know think it's cool to not cook. They like to act discombobulated in the kitchen and say things like "I'm teaching MY children to be self-reliant." I think we can all agree that self-reliance goes way beyond "make your own damned dinner!" As a matter of fact, making your own damned dinner always meant self-reliance to me.

Eh, whatever. As long as they spend lots and lots of money on good restaurants, and hire me to give cooking classes at their house and don't invite their know-it-all foodie sisters or neighbors along, we'll get along great.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Oh, I know an awful lot of Francines. Most of them approach cooking as women used to approach typing: "if I learn to type, I will have to be a secretary." And now, there are keyboards everywhere ...

I know alot of Francines too.

Funny you should mention typing. It reminds me of an older woman who had a high school education thinking it was "quaint" that I could type so fast. She told me that she never learned how to type because she "wasn't gonna be no secretary". I told her I learned by having to submit typed essays and critical papers since I was in 7th grade and because I was the part of the first generation of PC users.

She just didn't get it.

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Funny you should mention typing. It reminds me of an older woman who had a high school education thinking it was "quaint" that I could type so fast. She told me that she never learned how to type because she "wasn't gonna be no secretary".

She just didn't get it.

Emphasis mine. With that kind of grammar, she probably made the right career choice. :wink: I don't know how old you mean when you say "older woman" :hmmm: -- seriously how old? I'm finding people who don't cook at all ages, but they all have different attitudes and reasons for it.

We first- and second-generation girls were trained to be housewives. For me, the food part stuck, the rest of it went out the window. To this day, I do NOT iron anything, ever, and I only sewed Halloween costumes for my kids when they were little.

I wonder if Francine likes the story?

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Funny you should mention typing. It reminds me of an older woman who had a high school education thinking it was "quaint" that I could type so fast. She told me that she never learned how to type because she "wasn't gonna be no secretary".

She just didn't get it.

Emphasis mine. With that kind of grammar, she probably made the right career choice. :wink: I don't know how old you mean when you say "older woman" :hmmm: -- seriously how old? I'm finding people who don't cook at all ages, but they all have different attitudes and reasons for it.

We first- and second-generation girls were trained to be housewives. For me, the food part stuck, the rest of it went out the window. To this day, I do NOT iron anything, ever, and I only sewed Halloween costumes for my kids when they were little.

I wonder if Francine likes the story?

She's about 62, around my mother's age. I'm 35 so I suppose I could be an older woman to someone like Ling. :hmmm:

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I want to be clear right upfront: I am of the camp of those who found this article to be irratating, infuriating, and pointless. As I continued to read the article I became madder and madder. I even surprised myself as to the intensity of my reaction. Finally it hit me. There are several reasons but the last one is probably the real reason this vapid woman pisses me off.

1) First of all, who cares? I did not find anything about her that was intriguing or even interesting. As some who have posted here said better than I, she is not unique. Snore.

2) The main point of the article obviously was that she did not cook, didn't like to cook, didn't know how to cook, wasn't interested in learning how to cook. Just in case we missed that point, the author made sure that theme was repeated over and over and over again. Okay, we get it. Really.

3) I must admit that I have a visceral reaction to people who NEVER cook. It's a prejudice of mine and I'm working on it. However--and I know there are those here who will vehemently disagree with me--I found there to be tone of superiority about not cooking. If it was just the fact that she didn't cook for whatever reasons, that's fine with me. But it was that "look at me, aren't I just fabulous because I don't cook" thing that rubbed me the wrong way.

Asked about other traditional women's hobbies, she laughs at the idea of her doing knitting or pottery. She's more the rollerblading or horseback-riding type. And she thrives on running things. She was president of the Metropolitan Police Boys and Girls Club for three years and is now on the board. She opened a lingerie shop and ran it for nine years. She......................
Oh, shut up.

Blah, blah, blah, blah. Enough, already. So is she saying that all of her fabulous accomplishments would never have been achieved if she had to put a meal on the table a few times a week?

4) I found the following quote kind of sad:

The girls, who are now in their thirties, were proud of their permissive household, where, as Stephanie, the oldest, puts it, "people didn't eat together and didn't eat the same thing. You had what you wanted when you wanted it."

Growing up in a family that never ate together as a source of pride. Mercy.

5) By the time I got to the end of the article, I was seething. I finally figured out why. It hit me like a brick since I hadn't really thought about these things for a long time and my mother passed away many years ago. It was the fact that my mother raised my brother and I by cooking and cleaning and watching the kids of the Francines of the world, thus freeing them up to do all those "important" things. Francine is busy? Do you think my mother wasn't busy? Five days a week she had to take two buses out of inner-city DC (and back, of course) to get to the suburbs to begin her long day as a housekeeper. My brother and I were then what came to be known as latch-key kids; we just saw it as normal since almost every kid on the block was in the same situation, no big deal. After our father died when we were both very young, my mother managed to work--and I mean hard work--five days a week, raise two kids alone, make sure we went to school and stayed out of trouble, church on Sunday, every Sunday, and cook dinner for us EVERY NIGHT!!! For many of our early years, she even cooked breakfast for us before we went to school. Oh, and I forgot, one of her employers owned the building we lived in, so she was also the landlady. She was often seen sweeping the bums off the front porch in the morning. But I guess she wasn't as "busy" as Francine. Lucky for us and her employers she was a damn fine Southern cook. I got my first cooking lessons from Mae Alice aka Mable. She had/has a great deal to do with my interest in cooking to this day.

Busy? Honey, you don't know what busy is.

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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I must admit that I have a visceral reaction to people who NEVER cook. It's a prejudice of mine and I'm working on it. However--and I know there are those here who will vehemently disagree with me--I found there to be tone of superiority about not cooking. If it was just the fact that she didn't cook for whatever reasons, that's fine with me. But it was that "look at me, aren't I just fabulous because I don't cook" thing that rubbed me the wrong way.

Francine definately has the Jordache look.

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I must admit that I have a visceral reaction to people who NEVER cook. It's a prejudice of mine and I'm working on it. However--and I know there are those here who will vehemently disagree with me--I found there to be tone of superiority about not cooking. If it was just the fact that she didn't cook for whatever reasons, that's fine with me. But it was that "look at me, aren't I just fabulous because I don't cook" thing that rubbed me the wrong way.

Francine definately has the Jordache look.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaa Definitely agree! And I bet her hair doesn't even move no matter how windy a day it is. :laugh:

Yes, I know that was mean and petty, but it's been a really stressful day.

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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Ah. I should have done this sooner. I googled Phyllis Richman and found out she recently retired after 24 years as the Washington Post food critic. I wonder if the reactions on this thread break down on generational lines. To me her piece read like something out of the south florida sun-sentinel that my grandparents used to get -- kind of retro chipper. At least now it makes more sense. I wonder if Phyllis is some buddy of hers.

Diva, your mom sounds like quite a woman. Much more interesting subject for an article, anyway.

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Such a sad article. I have no problem with women who for any reason choose not to indulge in culinary joy. If you catch Sheer Dallas on TLC, you will see the shining examples of such. Pathetic. One mom bought her daughter about 40G's worth of a diamond jewelry ensemble just so she wouldn't wear her veil over her face coming down the aisle. But in her defense, they did show her making sandwiches, and eating out. But I digress.

People are very ready to criticize those that do not fit their pattern. But to each their own. Their life is their business.

I find women like diva's mom much more interesting. But that's me. :wink:

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I don't find this article the least bit sad, nor does it make me angry. I actually found it fascinating, the way a scientist might view a perplexing test result. Because this woman is just so completely different from people like us, who love food. She doesn't cook because food just isn't that important to her.

Can you imagine? A kitchen that is spotless because it just isn't used? People like this do exist, and live fulfilling lives without obsessing about or even enjoying food. She even says that going to restaurants for her isn't about the food, it's about the whole experience, the social experience.

What fascinates me is I just cannot fathom how someone could not be interested in food, but every now and then I meet someone like her, so I know they are out there.

It's a glimpse into a completely different lifestyle, and no, I don't think I'd care to have her for a dinner guest. I like to eat with people who enjoy food. But, she might be interesting at a cocktail party.

:)

Edited by pam claughton (log)
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I worked for 8 yrs in a very wealthy neighborhood in NJ for a caterer/high end take out place. I got to deliver to some very nice homes and scrape my jaw off their spotless kitchen floors while I loaded more little black containers into their sub-zero refridgerators while competing for space with the diet coke cans. We occasionally had cooking classes in the evenings in the store...one woman sent the housekeeper to take the class.

but never forget "even the staff are people too"...comenting on the neighbor children dissing the nanny

I loved that job, really :biggrin:

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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Let's face it... for women, food really is the new sex. Like sex, there is a connotation of virtuousness to partake in no more than is absolutely necessary.

There are some that have a fairly comfortable existence with it, and accept it as an integral part of life. Unfortunately, there are plenty that are positively anxiety ridden about enjoyment of food, and make a big public show of how little they can eat.

This is just another example, and it's pretty clear that this woman places a lot of value of social interaction, spending a lot of time out of the house, regularly scheduling meals with freinds, and especiallu going to restaurants where she is known. It does feel like making a big SHOW out of not eating, as if to exhibit some great act of self-restraint.

It's fun to bring in baked goods to the office... the relaxed people dig in and enjoy the hell outta them, and the foodphobics start fussing and fretting as if there were a rat in the office kitchen (don't let that stuff near me!)

I'm sorry, it's cruel, but it's a hoot. :raz:

"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

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I finally read the article -- and like everyone else, my reaction is "wha?" Who cares? This wouldn't even be news if she had a twig and berries.

Stupid. It's because she's a woman and can't cook -- and pardon me, perhaps it's my generation (and I'm not really that young any more) but this truly is not notable in the 21st century.

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There's someone for everyone.    At last---a role model for Paris Hilton.  :wacko:

Believe me...i'm no fan of Paris Hilton, but even she cooks. I saw her make lasagna for their host family on "Interns" the other week.

Sometimes the remote goes missing...

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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Let's face it... for women, food really is the new sex. Like sex, there is a connotation of virtuousness to partake in no more than is absolutely necessary.

But apparently to provide excellent servings of it on demand to others. Preferably wearing something revealing, uncomfortable and impractical.

I think that's a whole other issue, though, and not really applicable to Our Case Study, Francine.

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quote=zilla369,Apr 21 2005, 06:12 AM]

There's someone for everyone.    At last---a role model for Paris Hilton.  :wacko:

Believe me...i'm no fan of Paris Hilton, but even she cooks. I saw her make lasagna for their host family on "Interns" the other week.

Sometimes the remote goes missing...

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