Free wifi in the airport gave me access to Michael Pollan’s latest article, a screed addressing the sad lack of cookery in American households. Apparently the vast majority of my compatriots have empty refrigerators and freezers full of TV dinners, and they sit down to said TV dinners in front of the television to watch serious culinary TV like Food Network and Top Chef. Oh the irony. It seems people just don’t have the time to make dinner from scratch any more, Rachael Ray or no Rachael Ray. Who wants to make a 30-minute meal when one can pop a box into the microwave and have dinner ready in five minutes?
A central theme of Pollan’s article is that dual-income households just don’t have the time to cook any more; when both spouses work, people would rather spend their limited off-work hours away from the kitchen. Rereading the Julie/Julia Project merely cemented that theme; the hapless couple ate at ten or eleven at night, and still had to do the dishes afterwards. “We manage to eat home-cooked meals on a two-income household,” I said to K. “I mean, it’s not like we have kids or anything, but I don’t think it takes too much time. Does it? I should keep a blog.”
Hence, this blog.
It figures, though, that after being away for the weekend and spending the better part of the day in either airplanes or airports, neither of us really felt like cooking much. I dug out some leftover curry beef and rice for K, and he put some frozen White Castle sliders in the microwave. I shucked and boiled some corn, and called it an evening. So much for our home-cooked meals.
(Even the boiled corn didn’t work out. I like to put the corn in the water, bring it to a boil, take it off the heat, leave covered for 10 minutes, drain, and eat. Simple. Instead, I sat on the couch with the laptop and belatedly realized that that bubbling sound I had been hearing was water boiling. I immediately ran over and took the corn out. Who knew how long it had been in. Fortunately it hadn’t yet overcooked to the gummy stage.)