Sunday, November 9, 2008

Can Italian American Girls Cook?

You bet your ass we can, or at least some of us can..:) In this every changing world we live in, the roles of women and men have changed dramatically. We no longer expect the women to be slaving over the stove while holding Jr. and taking care of the home. (I know a lot of men would love this scenario--this isn't meant in a negative way.) But the reality of it is, that in today's demanding world and daily life, women are out in the work force kicking some serious ass.
I think the role expectation is completely thrown out the window because let's just face the truth, we all have to work!
Unless you and your hubby or significant other are clearing a nice paycheck, it becomes hard for the middle-class person to stay home and take care of the family or house. We've resorted to nannies, daycare, prepared meals, takeout and all sorts of other un-Godly remedies. But, its not our fault, no one is exempt, our lifestyle is demanding, we are stressed out, we have no time for hobbies or personal development. (which is a whole other topic)
So, getting back to "CAN ITALIAN AMERICAN GIRLS COOK,?" I will say, I can cook, but to speak for the rest of the millions of Italian American women, who are faced with the daily reality of no time, is not practical. Also, are women of Italian descent expected to be good cooks? Is it in the DNA? Maybe, and I hope it is.
Of course, I thought about this today, because here we are again and its Sunday. So, Sunday means dinner with the family. My mother cooked this amazing pasta with fresh sauce and then if you wanted to try another topping, she made fresh, pesto. (to die for!!, she made it from the basil in my father's garden.)
My mother can cook in a heartbeat, with the minimalist of ingredients and for the reason that she is, the food is always just so amazing. Fresh, tasty, good. It made me think, I'm blessed that I have family who cook incredibly well, and for me its not always easy to get a traditional or even good dinner together because I too, work long hours.
So, now you ask what is our remedy..? What can we do as Italian American women to improve our cooking skills?
Look, I'm not advocating you go out and cook if thats not your thing, but I see it more of a personal development, growing your traditional skills, tapping into your root thing. ( yeah, thats it.) I think we can learn a lot from each other as women. In my sparetime though, yes of course, I hang out with the master of cooking, my mother. But when I'm not learning from her, I learn from others who are in the mainstream. I see nothing wrong with mainstream Italian chefs, as long as they are truly authentic. So, in sharing my thoughts on this dilemma, here are a few Italian American chefs that I love and think do a great job with cooking authentic, traditional Italian food. In an effort not to lose our traditional Italian ways and natural ability to cook, spend some time creating your own traditional meals. Happy Cooking!


Hthrbug said...

I am a massage therapist and I've bartered with my Mom's friends who cook amazing dishes- for example, I love Mrs. Giancarli's sausage and peppers so I traded her for a cooking lesson. That way I get my famiy's recipes and other recipes and its always fun to visit and cook with friends and family.

Rockhopper said...

My mother couldn't cook. She could burn water. My father cooked.

I've never dated a girl who could cook either. It doesn't seem to be a skill that has a high priority anymore. What my father gave me though was his passion for cooking - so no one starves around here.