Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Feeding your f**king family - still women's work?

The Suit loves to listen to newstalk ZB during his morning commute. I'm sure part of the reason is to watch my blood pressure steadily rise as I seethe at the stupidity of the rest of the human race.

Today I had to listen to Mike Hosking repeatedly tut-tutting a Reuters article which claimed the average British mother relies on just nine different meals to feed her family.

The study in question comes from a gourmet food company who presumably is using mother-blaming as a new marketing strategy.

But my question is where the hell are the fathers in all of this?

In our house I'm am supposedly 'lucky' because the Suit cooks decent food on a regular basis (cleaning up is another matter). But surely this shouldn't be a matter of luck?

Shouldn't the logical extension of women being able to hold to careers to support their families is that the men might be able to hold a saucepan and cook a meal for their families?

Apparently not.

In the mean time I leave you with Sarah Haskins.


Anonymous said...

You are a breath of fresh air, & much needed given the blogs around written by well-educated 30-40 something women that are full of posts about their latest knitting project, or cake, or clothes (why did I read them in the first place!!!). When it becomes accepted pracitce for blokes to make their trousers, I might return to the sewing machine. And here's to the accepted practice that cleaning up in the kitchen and bathroom afterward - properly! - is men's work too. Been there, etc.

Boganette said...

I don't even understand the criticism. Nine meals sounds like a shed-load of different foods. I would praise anyone for making that many different meals.

In our house Mr Boganette cooks all the meals and we have nachos, burritos, satay chicken, shepherds pie, sausages or steak+eggs+mash.

That's six. And that's more than enough. Frankly I could eat only nachos or burritos for the rest of my life as long as I never have to cook.

The ex-expat said...

Anon - Don't get me wrong. I love to cook (desserts mostly) but do so for fun in much the same manner that the Suit tends to his small garden in order to have gourmet stuff on hand. We both see getting meals on the table a joint effort.

Boganette, I think it's more about shaming mothers so that the company can sell more product. I'm not sure how many meals we have up our sleeves at our house. We do go through phases depending on what's in season and what our current food obsessions are.

Boganette said...

Oh I agree that it's about shaming mothers. But I just don't really get how nine meals is an insult. How many are you supposed to have? 50? I admire anyone who can even cook one meal. That's one more meal than I can.

The ex-expat said...

And even with in those '9 dishes' you get heaps of variety.

Pasta dishes can be varied in many and different ways. Ditto curry.

I also find most of my recipes on the internet these days anyway.

A Nonny Moose said...

I get so tired of the idea that it's not manly enough to be cooking and cleaning for a guy - Mr Moose is a life saver some days. Everything is 50/50 in our household.

We don't have kids, so feeding them is one critical eye I don't have to bear. But as far as "9 meals" goes? Way more than that in our repertoire.

Stereotypes and "average family" are such a load of BS.

Azlemed said...

we probably only do a variation of those 9 things, we have 3 kids (number 4 due any day now), and some days its really hard to get a meal on the table.

We dont make seperate meals though, our kids like eating nachoes, curry etc and I dont have time to make them something else.

to Anon, my hubby can sew and does make awesome stuff so I dont mind sewing myself.

We share cooking most weeks, he is great but I know its not the norm for many mums, esp those that are working.

homepaddock said...

I'm pleased the cuisine cops can't see my kitchen. I enjoy playing gourmet cook when it's a matter of choice but have a very limited repertoire of recipes I can cook on auto-pilot when it's a duty.

"Just" nine dishes? they should count their blessings.

Mikaere Curtis said...

Actually, I think is could be another example of an incorrect conclusion being drawn from what is probably a pretty ropey bit of research.

The nine recipes listed at the bottom of the article were the nine most common. None of the "stats" in the article indicated the number of meals in the mum's repertoire.

The purported reliance on nine meals is only in the title, thus likely to have come from a reporter or subeditor.

Whatever, the subtext is that mothers should buy this gourmet brand to differentiate herself from the more mundane mums out there.

I'm very lucky because my wife is a great cook (she got to the elimination cook-off which determined the competitors for NZ Masterchef). So, it makes sense for her to cook more because she is much better than me. I can cook (as can many of my male friends), and I regularly do so. And I can cook way more than nine dishes, but time, as ever, is a factor in what I choose to do, and on a weeknight I'm inclined to cook something quicker and less complex. The Pad Thai I cooked on Sunday evening was fun, but at 1.5 hours (I'm not particularly fast), it eats into a weeknight pretty fast.

The other factor is that I work full time and my wife, who has more flexible hours, is the one who is home when the kids need to be fed - but I will often cook for the both of us after she has cooked for them.

I do agree that chores should be shared with equity in mind, and I don't get the mindset that men shouldn't have to pull their weight.

hungrymama said...

We share cooking in a loose 50/50 arrangement. Sometimes one of us will cook the whole meal but often one of us will start and the other will take over part way through or one will do the main dish and the other the sides.

We have a staple repertoire of about 8 or nine dishes that we make at least once a fortnight and a similar number that are more effort or less healthy that come out occasionally.

Having a smallish number of dishes (with variations) that work and are accepted by all the family seems to be a common and sensible way to manage the day-to-day cooking and shopping for a busy family.

Anonymous said...

Why base your concerns on a British survey? I always thought that 'British Cuisine' was an oxymoron. I lived in the UK, was married to a chef,so I know a thing or two about such things. Terrible generalisation on my part - apologies to the British cooks who don't know how to cook chips.