"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Friday, October 6, 2017

Food 4 Thought Friday-Hungry for Tradition?


A few months ago, I made a Saturday trip to a neighborhood store, in search of a recipe box to “pretty up” my kitchen and help organize some of my party menu ideas.

When I arrived, I was overwhelmed with the array of new products and gadgets for today’s domestic diva. Bold, bright colors, pretty patterns, and elaborate displays…yay!

I was like a kid in a candy store! Like most women, I could have spent hours exploring, shopping and planning. But my budget and my practical side reasoned that I should get what I came for and find the quickest exit.

My excitement was short lived though, when I became frustrated that with all the stuff stacked, I couldn’t seem to find a simple recipe box.

I flagged down the first clerk I spotted.
“Can you help me?” I asked a young, attractive lady in her early to mid twenties.

As our conversation went on, I was dumbfounded at what I came to discover.
After darting from aisle to aisle, this “modern girl” confessed that she really didn’t even know what a recipe box was!

When I enlightened her, she replied, “Oh, I don’t cook!” as if it were a badge of honor.
I thanked her for her help and left, when an inventory check ultimately revealed there were no more boxes available. But, later it got me to thinking…

Does “slaving” over a hot stove make some women feel less “liberated?”
Have the traditions that many of us grew up with become outdated like 8-track tapes?
Are we “starving” our relationships to feed our careers, egos and bank accounts?
This is food for thought that’s definitely worth examining.

Though cooking is not necessarily a “rite of passage” into womanhood, it’s a skill that I believe is nice to have, no matter how successful (a man or woman) is, or how much “bacon” they bring home.

As a self-professed foodie, I could cite numerous reasons, but here are the top reasons cooking is “hot,“ for single and married folks alike.
1. Cooking provides the perfect “recipe” for romance.

Like most women, I have always loved being wined and dined at fancy restaurants by male suitors as part of the courting process. But, as relationships evolve, there’s something very “intimate” about a home cooked meal shared in the privacy of one’s home--- with candlelight, a little music, dancing and the ability to let your hair down as the situation dictates.

2. Cooking at home is often healthier than restaurant eating.

When eating out, many times foods are processed, served with rich and fattening sauces, fried in excess fat, “super sized” and without proper preparation for those with dietary restrictions and food allergies. Dining out can be costly in more ways than one.

3. Culinary skills add to any woman or man’s romantic resume.

Think of it as increasing your “Blue Book” value.
Here’s what a male writer recently wrote: ”The number of women these days that openly admit they can’t cook is astonishing. When a woman says she can’t cook, the first thought that comes to a lot of good men’s minds is “How the hell do you take care of yourself and how would you be able to take care of me?”

4. Cooking allows you to be more independent and more realized.

No more waiting for your mom to fix your favorite meal, or hoping that your neighborhood restaurant will have Pot roast on Monday’s menu, or dialing for take-out; you can fix it yourself!

5. Cooking seduces all the senses.

From the pleasant aromas, to the eye-appealing arrangements on the plate, in a variety of colors and textures, to the heavenly taste--- a good meal can satisfy those we care for on so many levels. And for those with kids, it adds to their childhood memories.

6. Cooking is a fun way to bond.

You can cook and he can make the salad. Feed each other, or perhaps share stories and traditions associated with family recipes. Cooking makes a man feel pampered and catered to. And if he’s special to you, isn’t that how you’d like for him to feel?

7. Many of the characteristics that make for an effective, skilled cook apply to writing as well.

Things like: time management, following directions, creativity and presentation.
Wouldn't you agree?

And there’s good news here: You don’t have to sign up for culinary school or subject yourself to endless trial and error; there are many online cooking sites and YouTube videos that provide step-by-step tutorials to increase your cooking I.Q.!







Another useful strategy is to purchase cookbooks authored for children. They provide a great starting point for learning about kitchen safety, standard measurements, and easy to follow recipes.

Don't be intimidated by the process.
Even if you are only able to eventually create one "signature dish" it's something that will make you feel proud (IMHO).

Bon appetit!

Those are my thoughts on this "hot" topic, folks.
Would love to hear yours.
Agree or disagree?
What's your signature dish?

As always, thanks for reading.



  1. I worked in a school with many younger female teachers. Most did not cook form scratch and often bought prepared chicken for fajitas etc. Some had meals delivered or went to places to select all prepared ingredients for a week's worth of meals. I thought then, cooking, like letter-writing, may become a thing of the past. Cooking definitely can be compared to the writing process. I try to season with sass.

    1. Lin,
      Thanks so much for your perspective here. I for one hope that it doesn't become a thing of the past.

  2. I agree! Cooking has wonderful benefits, from healthy eating to bonding to teaching important life skills and beyond. One requisite for my kids growing up was that they knew their way around the kitchen (cooking and clean up, too!). Happy to see my 9 year old grandson is interested in creating culinary delights as well. Good post as always, Jen, thank you!

    1. Karen,
      Good for your grandson, it will serve him well in years to come.
      A joy to hear from you, as always.

  3. I have mixed feelings about the whole cooking thing and relationships. Too often it is expected but not much is given in return. Dating at this stage had been more take than give which is probably why I've been single for awhile.

    1. Steph
      Thanks for adding to the mix here.
      Even outside of the dating scene, good food is great to share with friends, family or clients.
      Think of how much you value when others cook for you, hon.

    2. P.S.

      When it comes to dating and mating, relationships are rarely 50/50 100 % of the time. Ideally, sometimes you'll give more. Other times your partner will.

  4. Thanks very much, Roth.
    Your comment is appreciated today.

  5. I would be remiss here if I didn't mention that cooking can also be relaxing and therapeutic. Especially baking.