Making food for people is an act of love. I wonder why everyone doesn’t see it that way. Maybe it’s because our mothers (of certain generations) are typically the ones who not only prepare the food, but also dole out the discipline when preparing the food (especially on big days) and that doesn’t feel like an act of love.
But really think about it. Big meals are labor intensive. Who would walk into a five-star restaurant and interrupt the chef and tell “him” how they like the meal prepared and served and asking is it ready yet?
How many people would walk their children into that same kitchen and request the chef tell the kids what to do because they want to watch tv or the game or play a round of football or whatever outside.
Yet we do that all the time to our mothers, sisters and mostly those born female. We expect multi-tasking chefs who hold down the fort, greet company at the door, get clothes out for everyone to wear, wash the children, make sure the house is ready, and a myriad of other tasks that we expect of no one. Especially no one who is preparing a major meal for many people…all who have specific requests from low salt to gluten free to put my coffee in a Styrofoam cup to don’t make sauerkraut and deviled eggs because “I” don’t like them.
Then, to top it all off, when that same chef (think Gordon Ramsey here) blows off some steam at them when they’ve been interrupted for the 18th time trying to follow a recipe that takes time and care. We then treat them as a bitch or a complaining mother. Kids turn up their noses and run to daddy because mommy yelled at them. Mother-in-laws complain about the amount of spice or salt, fathers-in-law and fathers grumble because that very special vegetable the chef (MOM) made is not to their liking because…meat and potatoes is it.
Who is there to thank the chef? Who is there to help them mom put her feet up at the end of that day? No. One. Because then comes the cleanup. How many five-star chefs clean up after themselves making sure all the fine tableware is stored away for the next year, all the leftovers doled out to those that are ungrateful, all the children tucked away in bed and the daddies who are so beloved sleeping on the chair, pants unbuckled belching away or drinking another beer. Who hands a glass of wine to the chef? Who applauds the meal?
What respite to these chefs (moms/women) get?
None. Because no matter what the day – a regular Sunday after church meal, a Wednesday dinner (for which there is a theme that the children expect), a quick lunch on a Saturday, an anniversary meal for 50 people, a romantic anniversary for two, or a massive thanksgiving meal – she still will get asked the next day “what’s for dinner” then she’ll remember she forgot to go shopping with the list that pleases everyone. So, she will go to the pantry and make something up. Something that may be pleasing to eat, even delicious, but you can be sure someone, somewhere in some kitchen or dining room is saying, “Yuck. Can I just have MAC AND CHEESE?”
And guess what…most moms do it. But you can better believe not one male chef would whether at home or in his five-star kitchen.
Cooking is an act of love and most women don’t consider themselves chefs. They just want to be loved for feeding people…and most of the time they aren’t.
Happy Thanksgiving to all the mom/sister/women chefs of the homes everywhere in these United States and for those all over the world on any holiday.
Hug your chefs’ men…show the next generation how to do it right.