I made two pies (and a 22 pound turkey) for our church’s annual Thanksgiving Bazaar. It took me an entire afternoon, with all the multiple interruptions and my lack of pie-making experience. (I made my own crusts.) But I’m proud of them, so much that I even took a picture of the apple one (grown from our tree!) I went on to read in our local paper of a 97 year old woman who made EIGHT pies for the Bazaar. Makes my two pies look pretty measly.
Yeah, yeah, big deal, say many of you, and I agree. I’ve always contended that anyone can cook if they have the desire and time to do it. I’m under the impression that people (men in particular) will judge any woman as a great cook not upon what she cooks, but upon the frequency by which she cooks. For instance, I didn’t get the chance to meet David’s grandma in person, but I have heard countless stories of her culinary abilities. She was, as David claims, MacGuyver in the kitchen. If you showed up unexpectedly, she would have a mouth-watering meal whipped up in no time, from a seemingly empty refrigerator. I have heard stories about her fried chicken, made better by the fact that she raised the chicken and butchered it herself that very morning. I deduce that these great cooks are memorialized not only for their cooking abilities (which were no doubt fantastic) but for the sheer quantity of meals they put out per day and/or week.
I don’t know about anyone else, but if I make homemade lasagna for supper on Monday, that about does it for the week. I enjoy cooking, but the effort required to make these good home-cooked (and male-appreciated) meals takes up a lot of energy. It could very well be the best lasagna that anyone has ever tasted, but I have the sneaking suspicion that at this point in my life I wouldn’t be deemed a great cook due to the infrequency with which I make these delectable dishes.
So, women who cook homemade lasagna on Monday, chicken and dumplings on Tuesday, Salisbury steak on Wednesday, pork chops and stuffing on Thursday, chuck roast and scalloped potatoes on Friday, salmon quiche on Saturday, and fried chicken on Sunday fascinate me. They invite my envy and awe. If they happen to have small children, they might even rouse my suspicion of their human status. They are, in my book, the truly great cooks.