Wednesday 14 December 2011

I cook, I click, I post . . .

The recent avalanche of food blogs, pictures of food on Facebook and the delight in exclaiming, "I love to cook" has had me thinking. Decades ago, feminists outcried against the fact that cooking and kitchen were the rightful place for women and during those times, women tried liberating themselves from the kitchen and other labels. But now the woman of today has risen up to the fact that cooking is a skill which she wields quite efficiently. Displaying the various items cooked on social networking sites, lay claim to the attention that she needsfor her rightful skills.

But has this phenomenon reduced woman again to the confines of her kitchen? But if she is enjoying the glory, what is the problem? And, I am also wondering if the media with its glossy cookery shows and glamorous chefs has again pushed the women to the same old place albeit a bit classy in the present day.

All said and done, I enjoy cooking as well as eating but have still not ventured into posting pictures of the food I eat everyday. Perhaps, I will never do it. Why should my private table be set in front of the whole world? Is it to prove that in spite of being a working woman, one can cook delicious stuff by effectively managing time or is it to prove to the world that exotic dishes is not the privelege of a select few or why should Nigella Lawson get all the drools and wows. Well, the whole idea of exhibiting food at social networking sites shouts out to the fact that cooking has once again become something that one should feel proud of.

Though unproven, it is for a fact that the kitchen is the brewing place of many a quarrels between the women of the house, that of the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law reigning supreme amongst the others. And as it has been oft said, 'The way to a man's heart is through the stomach,' it is no doubt that food and exhibiting food is a fashion statement in the present times and for now, it is to stay.

I forgot to mention, the word 'food porn' which is in vogue these days has me in splits!!! Who thought porn would venture into the world of food (chuckles).

Eat well. Stay smiling. What say, dear readers.

Image 1: Internet
Image 2: Internet


  1. Would love to take a peek (if not taste) the food you cook, Mrs. Sus! Yes, please join the food porn bandwagon on Facebook! :)

    I think cooking is now considered an art form and a veritable career. In my childhood, the kitchen was a woman's world (usually a married woman), but now most chefs are male. It is not uncommon for a man (I'm referring to a Filipino man) to know how to cook and be proud of it. I think the way people view food and its preparation has considerably changed.

    As for food porn, it is part of the penchant for showing bits and pieces of our lives online. Eating is a social activity and also an integral part of our daily lives, so people feel compelled to "share" what they're eating (whether they cooked it themselves or ordered it in a restaurant) for public consumption.

    Having said that, do post photos and description of your favorite food in your blog. I know the Indian restaurant kind of Indian food, but I wonder about the daily Indian diet at home. :)

  2. Ironically, in light of your post, my husband is the cook in our home. He really loves it, finds it relaxing.
    He enjoys making new dishes with fancy presentations which, yes, he photographs and puts on Facebook! :) These always seem to generate lots of comments, positive, of course.
    Enjoyed this post, Susan!

  3. Food is the 'in thing' today..quite ironic for something as fundamental as eating;-)

    We even have a Food section,in the weekly newsletter we receive at our company:-)

    The trend of food preparation and display is fast catching up in India,due to the likes of Sanjeev kapoor,who captures eyeballs of Indian housewives like no man has ever done before;-) Add to that increasing disposable incomes and you have a burgeoning food industry

    Food has always been a big thing in Europe.Bernard Loiseau was one of the French chefs to hold Europe's highest culinary award, three stars in the famous Michelin Red Guide and he killed himself when his restaurant lost one star to two!

    And yes,a guy who can effortlessly don an apron does win a few brownie points for sure:-)

  4. Wow! As I have been putting it always (and please this is no hyperbole!)I just love the lucid way in which you put across your unique perspectives on everyday and complex subjects. You are an inspiration Susan dearest. I always learn so much.

    Cooking ! aah! I love it as much as I like eating :D
    But when it comes to displaying in photos what people cook, (I have a few friends who do this)perhaps it is their way of sharing their sheer delight at cooking a delectable dish or their triumph at finally getting a recipe right after many efforts! What say?

  5. At one time Indian kitchens used to be smallest, smoke filled, ill ventilated rooms of the house. With the arrival of cable tv and globalisation kitchens have transformed to style statements. And cooking turned from being a nasty to enjoyable experience.

  6. I love seeing food pictures lol I love the colours and the fact that nourishment can be for the eyes and the soul as well.
    It can be an art form too. The kneading of bread, the adding of ingredients. I don't do it nearly enough from scratch although I used to. I saw it as something I was creating.
    The problem for me , as a woman, is if it is expected. I don't do well with " must do". I do well with " want to" though ;)

  7. I think many women who are just homemakers wanna come out of the confines of their home and kitchen and write about recipes as it is the thing they know or an expert in.

  8. This was great! I wish I liked cooking husband actually prefers to do it when he's home. I'm still trying to determine if it's because he really loves to cook, or wants to spare himself what I cook! ;)

  9. loved ur post - while I do food posts once in a while - i post the feats i have accomplished considering how I suck at cooking - but justification apart - food porn is funny - i got hold of this book called aphrodite - that says sex and good produce the same feeling of sensuality - and u just pretty much said that!

  10. Hello.
    LOL..."FOOD PORN"...never heard that one before! I agree, I come across a lot of food blogs when I'm doing my rounds. I don't cook, never have. My wife is the master at that task. I'm just the lowly poet who loves to eat from her hands. Seriously, I like the food blogs. It shows creativity & there are some that have excellent instructions/directions should I ever decide to venture into the kitchen (smile).
    Great post.
    Thanks for sharing.

  11. With a husband and brother who are great cooks, Susan, I longer think that cooking is no longer a woman's domain. I love to look the various food blogs out there and get ideas for my cooking. I also like to share healthy recipes on my blog from time to time. Food porn? I think I'm an addict ;)

  12. I'll have to catch up on modern terms. I never heard of food porn.

    I'm a lucky one. My feminist days have actually paid off. My husband does most of the cooking in my house now. Of course, when I was working and had a young child, that responsibility was all mine. Now, it's fun for him. For me it was a major responsibility. Oh well. I'm grateful for what I have now.

  13. Susie, am the proud owner of a food blog. and speaking for myself, and honestly at that, it was an attempt to a)chronicle recipes, b)to have a platform to use my dwindling writing skills + newfound love for food photography c)prove to myself that i, 'she who's never cooked anythin before' can make appetizing food, d) it was started as a joint project for pavan and me. food is a passion we share.
    All of this amongst other things. We still have miles to go food blogging wise. but its a start. and its better late than never :) and talkin abt food porn and nigella lawson, u may find this interesting:

  14. Superbly observed post, Susan. Personally, I've always considered cooking a survival skill - like being able to swim or drive. But being a truly skilled cook is something to be proud of. I dont think it's restricted to women, most celebrated chefs are men. And my own brother is a more dedicated cook than I am and a lot of my male friends boast of their prowess with the pots and pans. I think we've moved past that gender differential there.

    Although my mum's the one who's traditionally cooked meals in the kitchen, my dad turns in a Sunday meal twice a month and I try my hand at it, too! :) Cooking can be a deeply fulfilling activity especially when the people you've lovingly cooked for appreciate what you've made.

    As for the pictures on facebook, people love to display photos of anything they do well - be it dancing or cooking or winning a prize.

  15. Isn't that the magic of the internet? Accessibility gave the woman a chance to have her skills recognised. What is taken 'for granted' by the family members, perhaps gets widely appreciated by the people outside the family. And adulation does bring in a feel-good factor. More than that, the knowledge that cooking is not just a necessity of life, but a skill, is what raises the spirit of the successful cook.

  16. A very interesting and well-observed post, Susan. When I was younger, I used to think of myself as a feminist. I hated cooking, and hated anything to do with kitchens or meals or domesticity.

    Now that I have this gorgeous man in my life, I have suddenly "discovered" how enjoyable cooking can be. Making some effort and putting a lovely meal out on the table can be very, very satisfying. So yes, love did it for me :-)

    And someone who's taking her baby steps into the world of cooking, I'm truly grateful for some really good food blogs out there. Of course, there are a few pretentious ones but there are some real gems too!

  17. Oh my dear Susan, I do so love to cook, and I am not in the least ashamed of it. I don't cook for vanity, though, because really... no one ever sees what I've prepared except for those who will eat it. I must admit, however, that I do get a secret twitch of pleasure in my belly when people remark, "Oh, Nevine! The food is delicious!" I mean, who wouldn't like that?!? But the most important piece for me is that food is a way for us to come together with friends and loved ones... and even strangers... and share something that is elemental to us. In doing that, we communicate and bond, and that is the most precious of outcomes for me!

    Working woman or cook? I don't know that it makes a difference, as long as the woman is happy, inside her heart, with who and what she is. In this 21st century, we should not be pressured anymore by what society is trying to tell us is "right." We should be able to make our own choices. Of course, easier said than done. But... it is yet doable!

    I enjoyed this post, Susan. Somehow, talking about food is almost like sharing it, no?

    Best wishes for a lovely rest of the week!


  18. Ash:

    Smiles back at you, dearest.


    Would love to host you some day, Age. And, no thanks. I don't want to join the bandwagon, even though, it seems tempting.

  19. Martha:

    Even my husband loves cooking and most of time, we cook together. That's how we connect during our time at home.

    Blessing back at you, dear Martha.


    Food is definitely the 'in thing.' Today almost all guys cook. Looks like another gift of globalisation where exotic ingredients can be obtained easily at the supermarket.

  20. Ruchi:

    How glad am I to see you, dear Ruchi. Thanks for your warm words, as always.
    Hmmm. Maybe.


    Ah, I know. Old Hindi films have thats cene where the mother coughts while making rotis. Now, glamourous kitchens have become a fashion statement.

  21. Glynis:

    Food pictures make me hungry and what not. And, I agree when you say that food pictures are an art form. For me, cooking itself is an art, which cannot be mastered by everyone.


    POint made. Agree.

  22. Jessica:

    I has always assumed that you love cooking. Don't know what made me think so.


    :) Smiles

  23. Andy:

    Maybe you should venture into the kitchen and wield your skills :) Some day, for sure.


    Lovely. Ah, even I scan for recipes and try them out.

  24. Ashok:

    Welcome here.
    Smiles back at you.


    "Proud owner" - likes.
    And, I just like your food blog which has given me some excellent Mallu recipes.

  25. Karishma:

    Your words always light me up, dear Karishma. You put across your opinions so well. Glad that you are there.


    Magic, oh yes. Adulation, that too, instant adulation is provided by the net. Who would not want to exploit that?

  26. Ash:

    Love did it for you - How wonderfully you have put that through. Glad that you have embraced cooking. Cooking makes one feel like a creator of sorts.


    I do know very well how you like cooking, dear Nevine and this comment only adds to that knowledge.
    And, as you have mentioned, food is a great connector.
    Definitely, talking about it is like sharing the same.
    Lots of love and hugs across ether, dearest Nevine.

  27. Hi Susan .. I love cooking - don't do so much now-a-days .. perhaps one day the creativity will lead to other things .. but photographing my food - you'd have to have the aroma wafting over too ..

    Christmas is great for wonderful aromas ... cheers Hilary

  28. Oh Susan, I guess cooking is in a way an art form.;) Some people just do it well and love to do it, and I am not one of them. I am a lousy cook but i LOVE to eat.;)
    I think I have posted a few food posts, but that is definitely not my main interest.;)

  29. This one caught my attention given the trend of the day! Nice to see a blog focussing purely on the beauty of the written word and the nuances of the English language. So tired of reading what passes in the name of blogs when all they are, are pics of food cooked or in the process of cooking and all the amateurish banter that passes for a blogpost alongside! Shall not even go into the eye-rolling moments of spelling mistakes and grammar that abound in many such posts/blogs! This one sure left me smiling :)



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