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Re: “Back to the Kitchen

Having read this book, I didn't find it very "feminine" at all. Unless you assume that only women will read it. I've recommended it to a number of people who are new cooks, and I think that is who the book is geared toward. And the empowerment presented in the book is not directed toward women, but toward people who want to be able to make healthy food, on their own, in a short amount of time, and while not spending their whole paycheck on pre-packaged products with a "healthy" sticker.

You write: "that old-school image of the commanding nurturer who knew how to combine flavors but could also tell you how to organize things." I think this sentence really misses the point of the book. Many people, many single people, don't cook because they think it takes too long, don't know how to get started, don't know what they really need, think it's too hard to cook for one person. Knowing how to quickly and efficiently make an inexpensive and healthy meal is not an "old school image", but a skill that benefits everyone who is either interested in paying attention to what they eat, figuring out a few basic techniques that will permit cooking improvisation, and knowing how to save money. Nowhere in the book does Jervis equate healthy, affordable, self-sufficiency (all feminist ideals) with a "return to femininity". So even as you describe larger cultural food movements, you dismiss this book by equating it with a return to traditional values where women knew how to cook and did it, instead of equating Jervis's work with the larger political movement it should be equated with.

Posted by Cinnamon Cooper on 08/12/2009 at 7:08 AM

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