Daniella read and loved the book A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg who created the blog Orangette. It contains more than just recipes; it shares stories about the food and the people eating it. Inspired by Wizenberg, Daniella planned and hosted our first official cooking experience and chose Doron’s Meatballs with Pine Nuts, Cilantro, and Golden Raisins (click here to find the recipe on Orangette) for us to make that day. The four of us came together and Daniella explained the recipe and we began to make our way through the instructions. She told us about the ingredients she found and where and why she made some variations. We didn’t discuss divvying up the tasks in any specific way; we wandered around one another jumping in or taking over somewhere while we measured and mixed the ingredients and then we rolled the meatballs out for freezing. Of course, we talked and laughed about our favorite television shows and books and our kids and husbands…
I’ve worked a lot of years in and around women and have observed behaviors that arise when a lot of women get into a professional setting and begin to bump up against the messages that we’ve each subconsciously internalized about women and femininity and propriety – that we may often resist or resent. We’re careful; we’re overly polite; we’re caretakers; we’re codependent; maybe even self-denigrating; and worse of all, we’re judgmental. We’re also proud and strong and independent and capable. These competing inputs at work make relationships and interactions difficult to sort out.
I’ve been married a good long time and what I’ve noticed about working with men is that it isn’t a seamless exchange. There is a great deal of checking in and checking back and directing and instructing and discussing which sometimes contributes to an unfair amount of impatience and sometimes a low level of tension.
But this day (and since) in this kitchen, the energy and flow was seamless as we worked alongside one another. There were no quietly destructive forces flowing within or between us and I wonder, now, if all of our subconscious concerns about women and role and place don’t arise in a cooperative kitchen because it is a place of such forced and welcome familiarity. For women. It is a place where we first establish trust with our own mothers; whether they’re feeding us our first meals or teaching us to cook. I’ll continue to explore the idea… while cooking with the Supper Club.