Monday, December 31, 2007

Soupy or Savory

Image Flickr-The Madonna of the Cupcake-Barbara Rich

Today your soup will be ready to eat. That is, if you did continue to make it rather than just read about it. Either way, it is New Year's Eve - and that means the approach of New Things.

Whether one likes it or not, the year forward measured separately from the one past will bring new things. Some pleasant, some not. Some participated in, some just happening to one without any warning or ability to really personally control what happens.

Last year at this time I never imagined I would bother to write a "blog". The word blog has always sounded silly to me, but then again names can alter in perception and shift in meaning, all depending on many factors.

One of those factors is how often the name is used. Some distasteful names can lose a bit of their fury if used over and over and over till they become almost bland simply from overuse.

Some distasteful names never lose their ugliness, of course - for some ugliness is as sticky as the strongest Superglue one can imagine, and will be so as long as "human" beings are human beings.

I became a "fast food feminist" when the name was thrown at me - a label, stuck upon me to be shed or ignored, accepted or worried about. At first I worried about it. The label carried a subliminal hate held within it, and that hate had nothing really to do with food, "fast" or not.

"Feminist" is the word of power in this name. It shimmers in the air, the word "feminist" with overtones of all sorts of things. It is fearful to many, the word. For women it holds the possibility that if they claim it as their name they might just be the ones that don't get asked to the Prom.

The word is a challenge.

The word is an interesting challenge, though, and I decided to carry it rather than turn away from it to simper winningly at those who dislike it. Maybe the use of it over and over and over will soften the fear of what is carried within it by those who do fear and hate it.

The boy who threw the word at me was a boy. A young man. I hope he grows into a real man rather than the boy he is - for any male person who needs to fear the word is not a man in my sense of what a man is, for Real Men do not Fear Women (whether they are "feminists" or not). They have grown past that stage.

Certainly men (and women) have the right to dislike "feminists" as a group (though feminists are not a cogent group of any sort - they are individuals and highly individualistic) but they won't be on my radar as being particularly interesting people but rather, they would seem to me to be cerebrally and emotionally-challenged idiots.

I leave you on the brink of this New Year with the words I wrote that caused Fast Food Feminist to be as a name thrown in response. A new year is almost here, and with that, new opportunities in all ways. This blog might be continued, or might not be. I've said what I wanted to for the most part, and do not think that detailing my daily eating or cooking habits is something that intensely fascinates me at all, as an activity.

As a "blog" instead I may add some links to other things, for lots of people say and write excellent things that are worthy of sharing.

A joyful, useful, prosperous and loving (if you can find it or make it) New Year to all!

One interesting facet of "fast food" or convenience food, which the US might arguably be said to lead the way in, to our collective (?) detriment, is that it freed a huge female population from the daily assigned chores that had taken them hours a day for centuries, in their roles as homemakers. That means a lot, to a lot of people. It means that they can do things besides be in the home, cooking. It means that they can become professional at any other thing they may want to consider, thereby finding ways that their souls can soar. It means that single mothers can work outside the home and put a hot meal on the table (oh no, not gourmet, but edible and perhaps even good) for their children when they get home, quickly. The very fact that fast food or convenience foods exist allows many women to consider the idea of cooking as a pleasure, not something they *have to do* three times a day seven days a week. Naturally I am not speaking of the wealthy here, but of the working class or poor. It means that more women can love cooking as an expression of themselves, as an enjoyable task. In one sense fast food may be a collective detriment. It sure ain't "gourmet". But to tell the women of any country that have the opportunity to utilize fast food *or* convenience foods *when they please* that these foods are detrimental to their lives, that really it is so much better to cook slow food, for that "tastes better". . . to my mind, that is a disservice. The "taste" of a thing is not only on the tongue. It is also in the heart and mind and histories.


S. Connella said...

Well-said, Karen! I love to cook from scratch with great, fresh ingredients. But it's just not practical or even possible all the time. I've always been content keeping my pantry well-stocked with certain canned goods, and my freezer with veggies, meats, and even breads.

BTW, I have not yet begun my soup as we'll be dining out tonight, but I'll be simmering some black-eyed peas and hamhocks in my slow-cooker all day tomorrow (including the requisite bay leaf, thyme, carrots, celery and onions), to be served with a "messa greens", hot skillet cornbread and a little fried okra (because it's so yummy).

I hope you have a very happy new year... and ENJOY YOUR SOUP!

S. Connella said...

P.S., that comment is from LoCo... I forgot to sign a name you'd recognize...

Karen Resta said...

Stacey, that's powerf'l stuff, your New Year's meal. :)

I haven't decided what we'll do today. Last night we had what the kids have named "MommyKabuki". I dress up like a Japanese chef at a steakhouse, throw knives in the air, wing shrimp into their mouths and everyone has a good time.

Not really, but I did set up two griddles on the stovetop to make "hibachi shrimp" (unauthentic of course) with all the trimmings.

My stove (and the floor) is still a mess.
Ha, ha!

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Glad you had such a fun NYE---hope your year's lovely, as well.


PS---I've missed you---delighted to see you with your OWN place to throw that fabulous wit and wisdom around.