The Death of an Art Form


In a recent discussion with a fellow author,  I mentioned that people don’t cook anymore.  My daily trip home from school was one of the joys of my day.  I could smell food being prepared as I went along.  The aromas that hung in the air was always heavenly,  even the smells of food that I personally didn’t care for.  Turnips and broccoli were the ones that I dislike the most, but it was still comforting to catch their scent in the air.  I could always tell which dish was being prepared.  I could even distinguish what kind of fish was being cooked,  just by the odor permeating the air.  I could tell who was having dirty beans and rice,  or tamales,  or peach pie.  I could tell who was canning jellies or who was having menudo,  or chitterlings and hog maws.

Somewhere in the Eighties,  the smells started dropping off,  I don’t know it for a fact, but I think that was when then first micro wave ovens came out for residential people.  This revolutionized quick foods like pizza pockets and  TV dinners in the plastic container.  Fast foods got more popular and women stepped out as single parents a little more than they had been previously.  Many parents groomed the girls in the family to prepare food for their families, my folks were no exception.  But my folks didn’t have any girls in my half of the family, so the domestics class was given to the four boys.  My mom’s kitchen was run like a drill sergeant’s training camp.  Any mistakes made while cooking was immediately addressed.  She would only show you how to do something twice in a lifetime,  if she had to show again……. well lets say that you had better remember it if you know whats good for you.   We all learned how to cook,  and I thank Mom for making us learn.  I  guess the kids of today never seemed to learn self-sufficiency,  by the way gravity acts on their pants it seems like they are starving to death!

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