Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Should an Elegant Black Woman be Able to Cook?

"A good cook is a sorceress who dispenses happiness." Elsa Schiapirelli

"Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen, because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music." Julia Child

"Cooking is at once child's play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love." Craig Claiborne, Kitchen Primer
"Cooking is an art and patience a virtue... Careful shopping, fresh ingredients and an unhurried approach are nearly all you need. There is one more thing - love. Love for food and love for those you invite to your table. With a combination of these things you can be an artist - not perhaps in the representational style of a Dutch master, but rather more like Gauguin, the naïve, or Van Gogh, the impressionist. Plates or pictures of sunshine taste of happiness and love." Keith Floyd, ‘A Feast of Floyd’
Since starting this blog I have changed my thoughts about cooking. For years I dreaded the thought of being "barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen"; I reasoned that if I didn't cook well then that would never happen. I also thought that if I could cook well then my man would require it all the time. Well, I don't plan to be a housewife and I don't plan to cook all the should I learn anyway? I should add that I can cook for myself, but I like plain, healthy meals with low salt and fat, but I don't tend to do recipes and make big meals. So I don't think I cook things that most people (who are not watching their weight) would like.

I realize now that there are good reasons to learn how to cook:
  1. Cooking your own food will lower your risk for obesity. Restaurant portions are too big and the food is full of calories, salt, sugar, and fat. Eating out, especially at fast food restaurants, is a health risk (anyone remember "Supersize Me"). You need to be in control of the calories you consume and stick to the recommended serving sizes. If you prepare your own food then you can keep your meals healthy and keep your family healthy.
  2. Cooking your own food will save you money. Eating out and buying ready-made meals at the supermarket is expensive. If you purchase the individual ingredients and make your own meals you will save money and you will be able to make multiple meals with the same ingredients.
  3. Cooking your own food will limit your exposure to preservatives and bad ingredients. Fast food and processed foods are full of preservatives like nitrates that are bad for your health. Some high sugar processed foods can actually be addictive. Fortunately, you can buy organic or unprocessed foods at the supermarket.
  4. Cooking your own food can be a fun hobby. Cooking well is a skill that is valuable in women AND men. It takes talent and knowledge. Learning and trying new recipes can be a fun and creative diversion. If you are watching your weight it can also change your relationship with food so that you focus on cooking rather than eating. No one complains about anyone being too good a cook!
  5. Cooking is a way to show others you care. If you cook great meals then your man and your kids will be happy to come home. They will be excited when holiday dinners and special occasions come around. You can keep your family close by preparing delicious meals together, sitting down at the table, and talking about your day. This is a great way for parents to spend more quality time with their kids. If you are a good cook, your extended family and friends will love coming over for holidays and dinner parties and you can impress them with your skills. Even your mother-in-law might like you!
  6. Cooking makes you more attractive to men. We have all heard that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach so why not use that to make yourself more attractive? Many men list 'ability to cook' as an attractive quality in a woman (women appreciate a man who can cook too). Some women don't learn to cook because it is a traditional feminine role. But love of food is universal and you will be enjoying the meal too!  Plus, I am not saying you need to make a four-course meal every night. Perhaps you and your man (and your kids) can spend quality time preparing meals together so that he is involved in the work and does not expect you to do everything. The rest of the family should also help with the cleaning. You can also prepare most of the basic ingredients on the weekend (meat, rice, chopped vegetables etc.), and just heat or cook things together quickly during the week to save time. Cooking for an hour or less per night is adequate and there are cookbooks with quick recipes to give you ideas.
I have decided that once I get a stove and oven I will try out recipes and improve my cooking skills. I will use online healthy recipes and try new things. I think cooking is an asset that is necessary to maintain your health and it is so very attractive and delicious too!


  1. I agree. I had no coice in learning but I never wanted to "be in the kitchen". Now that Im with my boyfriend though, I love cooking different things and seeing his reactions. My mom always said that I would be singing another tune when I found a good man and she was right. I stay in the kitchen, but not because I'm supposed to or because he doesnt cook, but because I like to do it for both him and myself.

  2. Thanks Queen Nairobi, I think it's such an easy way to make people happy. The people who bring food into work are well liked too. It's a useful hobby and I would love it if my man and my future kids loved what I made.

  3. I think that everyone should know how to cook it's that simple.