I read an article recently stating that one in six women struggle to cook, with over half of them admitting that they leave the kitchen duties to their husband. Incredibly, one in twenty women acknowledged that they don’t know how to boil an egg. To say that initially I was dumbfounded by these figures is an understatement, but having thought about today’s society, I can actually believe it.
Some of my friends cook but I would say that probably only a handful of them do so from scratch, a few more tend to rustle up the evening meal with the assistance of jars and packets but many of them either use ready meals, frozen foods that get bunged in the oven with the chips, or have takeaways. Thinking about those few who tend to cook from scratch, we do all have one thing in common…..dieting. There’s nothing quite like a group of 40 something women all attempting to reverse the dreaded middle aged spread to focus the mind on what we put in our mouth. This small group of women, including myself, who all seem to be part of a particular world famous diet club, make the time to lovingly prepare meals for ourselves and our loved ones, even those who do have hectic lives with small children.
One of the main reasons, or dare I say it, excuses, why women of my age don’t cook homemade meals, is apparently lack of time and passion. Now the passion part I do understand. I mean, I don’t play golf. Never had done, never will do. I have no passion for the pastime whatsoever and really don’t get the attraction with whacking a little ball around a field with a metal stick, unlike my husband who would spend every weekend playing if he could, providing it didn’t interrupt the motor racing of course. But lets be honest, golf isn’t a necessity (I’m ducking under the desk as I say that to avoid the barrage of expletives from hubby!), whereas food is.
Sadly though, many women feel cooking is not a luxury pastime, but simply another item in the long list of household chores that needs to be ticked off with efficiency and speed. Some I’m sure only feel this way so they have time to plonk themselves on the sofa after a stressful day in the office or with the children, in time to escape with the latest instalment of Corrienders, with a glass of Chardonnay. But some do genuinely have little time in between tidy the house, walking the dog, bathing the children, doing the laundry, reading the bedtime story, more tidying up, feed the cat….you get the picture.
Now I’m not going to preach, and as many have said before me, a meal can be cooked from scratch in the same time it takes to order and have your pizza delivered. Enough said.
So what price do we pay for the ever decline of home cooking, of experimenting and sharing recipes and more importantly, of passing cooking and baking skills to the next generation?
My 16 year old daughter appears to have little desire to cook, although occasionally she does enjoy covering my kitchen in flour and icing sugar whilst baking. I can only hope with the ‘mother daughter time’ we have, she one day suggests we cook up a storm in the kitchen so she can learn and experiment and in later years have happy memories and a plethora of recipes which she can pass down to her children. I can’t force her to share my passion, but I do worry that when she eventually leaves home she’ll live off marmite on toast and fairy cakes!