So I read this post on the Rage Diaries about people getting all judgmental about people cooking or not cooking. Lisa Schmeiser makes a really good point about the fact that most people, your desk jockeys, spend about 10-11 hours working and commuting and for parents, add another hour on to that for basic childcare. That does not leave a ton of time for healthy, home cooked meals.
It all started when Michael Ruhlman posted on his blog how awful it is that people don’t roast chickens. He goes on and on about how stupid people are and how easy it is to roast a chicken. Then Russ Parsons with the LA Times posted this article on the power of the quesadilla as a quick and easy meal. He was responding to Michael Ruhlman’s lament about how awful it is that people can’t roast chickens in the middle of the week. Russ Parsons wins a warm place in my heart when he breaks it down thusly:
“Ruhlman’s reasoning was that it takes only an hour to roast a chicken. Technically, that’s true. Not in real life, though. I tried it the other night just to see. I left my office downtown at the normal 6:30 p.m. An hour on the Blue Line got me to Long Beach at 7:30. Stopping by the grocery to pick up the chicken made it 8 by the time I got to the house. It takes 20 minutes to heat my old O’Keefe and Merritt oven to 400 degrees and then 50 minutes to roast a chicken (plus a 10-minute rest to let the juices settle).
Sorry, I’m just not European enough to sit down to dinner at 9:15 on a weeknight, and judging from freeway traffic and the crowd on the MTA, I’m not alone in keeping that kind of schedule.”
So Michael Ruhlman gets all defensive with this tweet. Yes, he gets all mad that a working professional who works outside of the home (even if they work in food) doesn’t have the time at the end of a weekday to roast a chicken. And the crazy gets crazier as this nitwit posts this tweet in response to Michael Ruhlman’s. As it turns out, the offending tweeter (or twit) is a FOOD WRITER WHO WORKS FROM HOME and is married to a chef. Listen lady, PEOPLE PAY YOU COOK RECIPES. Your life has no bearing on anyone else’s life. Stop being an asshole.
No seriously, I love to cook. There’s nothing more relaxing to me than whipping something up at the end of the day. I have a garden full of lettuces and herbs to whip a homemade organic salad at the end of the day. I am not like most people. I would be a major asshole if I assumed everyone can cook like me. Here’s another example, since being taught by a dear friend how to quilt, I took to it like white on rice. I am always itching for a project. If I made some statement about how if I can quilt, everyone should, there would be a collective eye roll at my assholery. And it would be well deserved.
But other people actually make an even better point about how we come from different experiences and have different levels of access. As an anti-racism activist, I love the paraphrasing of Peggy MacIntosh. But yes, loving to cook and having the time and resources to cook is a privilege. One of the aspects of that, is the fact I have the time and resources NOT to cook and go out when I don’t feel like cooking. That makes the actual cooking I do fun. This is very different from many people’s lives and I CANNOT make the same assumptions. Because assuming makes an ass out of me for sure.