NosherThoughts: Getting the Home Ec Lessons We Skipped in High School…

12 May

CNN addressed the rise of the “food revolution” that’s happened recently in the US – not just the revolution led by Jamie Oliver (whom I’m a big fan of as both a chef and a pioneer), but the one that many young people like us have chosen to lead, and that is one in the kitchen.

I remember an instance when I was in high school: My father complained that my brother (2 grades above me), was signed up for Home Ec. My father considered it a fluff class and completely useless, especially for a guy. Mind you, Dad is no sexist (he raised 2 strong, independent daughters), but he was used to a standard in which we are supposed to just worry about how to make the money to pay for food to put on the table. He didn’t feel it was necessary to worry about how to make the food to put on the table. I don’t blame him. Many people just aren’t meant to be around the kitchen and many just don’t care, and there is nothing wrong with that. But having held that view on food and cooking for most of my life, I suddenly felt a void years later, when I was living on my own and feeling sick of Easy Mac and take-out. Apparently quite a few of us felt that void too.

It looks like we grew up with an apathetic food culture, where we only cared about having it in front of us, whatever “it” was, quickly and easily so we could go on with the rest of our lives. But I’m happy to see many of us – the young folks, the bloggers, the new parents, whoever – going back into the kitchen and relying on our own elbow grease to get our own meals on the table. It’s the main reason why I started blogging (er, tumbling?). And it’s great to see that I’m not the only “novice nosher” around.

We have a huge community now: fledgling home cooks who are grabbing hold of our own health, our precious time, and our own previously un-discovered talents for stir-frying or baking. So what if we’re amateurs, and we don’t know the difference between pepper and paprika? This new culture, this full awareness of food and all the great things we can do with it, tastes pretty darn good to me.

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