My mother’s teaching is the basis for this question; as well as the seemingly common practice that women don’t cook anymore. So, “why don’t women cook anymore?” The focus isn’t on women alone – why do men accept wives who can’t cook? Or for that matter, why aren’t mothers teaching their daughters to cook? If you feel that the slant of the questions seems to thrust the brunt of the cooking duties onto the female – that is the intent. Because the woman sets the tone for the atmosphere in the home, it stands to reason that women do the cooking. At least that’s what my mother taught me – and she learned it from her mother and her mother learned it from her mother and so on. It might have something to do with the Bible’s view of the woman’s role in the home. More discussion on that view in just a few minutes…
At the risk of sounding sexist against the female gender; and for the sake of encouraging women to return to the basic principles which God established for the smooth operation of the home, it’s worth the risk. Whether the feminist movement initiated the shift away from homemaking or whether the changing tide of time shifted us towards a faster pace, including fast foods, it’s time to take a quick look back and then forge ahead towards change. Change our thinking about what’s important…change our habits and schedules to facilitate more time at home…change our desire to please our husbands and to nurture our children.
When several women, most my family members, were queried about their opinions on “why don’t women cook,” their responses were not surprising. Some of the reasons given were: “we just don’t have time because of all the activities in which our children and grand children have become involved; everything we want has already been prepared by someone else and that takes the pressure off of us; no one took the time to teach me and I didn’t know where to start; why waste time in the kitchen when there are so many choices of restaurants-open all hours of the day to make it more convenient for the working woman, and the final reason – I don’t enjoy cooking.”
Other than the obvious outcomes, such as obesity and financial struggles, mom not cooking at home has created a myriad of health issues. Primarily, children are now faced with health concerns that were not common when I was a child, back in the dark ages. It was more customary for adults to be obese – not children. According to National Obesity Trends, approximately 12.5 million or 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese. (www.cdc.gov/obesity) Women, if we would return to the biblical foundation of taking care of our families, it is possible that some of the woes that have plagued our bodies, and especially our children, would begin to reverse themselves.
Now back to the bible’s view about a woman’s role in the home: In researching what the Bible says about the female’s role in the home, the Hebrew translation of “virtuous woman” literally means a woman of power, either in mind, body or both. The Bible intended to lay a foundation for women to conduct themselves in the home. This idea may sound old-fashioned, or ole’ school, but if that same Bible tells us that nothing in God’s word shall change or pass away, then whatever principles were laid out for direction, instruction and reproof were also to be life-long; spanning from generation to generation. Proverbs 31:10-31 talks about a virtuous woman, and that is the principle that earlier women and mothers spent their lives being and doing, then teaching their daughters to become. No way have I reached perfection; but I believe women have a specific role in making our homes the perfect place for our husbands and children. And a part of that includes – cooking!
The description of the proverbs woman makes her sound as though she was perfect – she was the chaste helpmate of her husband, upright, God-fearing, economical and wise. That description really sounds too good to be true, but the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 is a stark contrast to the modern woman. Her entire focus was her family. She busied herself with activities that pertained to the well-being of her husband and their children. She would get up early in the morning to prepare food for the day, to shop, conduct business, to ensure the house cleaning was done and she remained diligent to those tasks on a daily basis. Modern women get up early to go to work outside the home and trust their families’ well-being to a nanny, the school system and to a fast food restaurant for nourishment. This is not an indictment against women who have to maintain, sustain and support the family unit, outside the home. Nor is this commentary a ploy to boycott restaurants; but to encourage women everywhere to think about what it is we are doing to our bodies by eating out often; to consider how fast food may be counter-productive to our children’s health, as well as to our pocketbooks. The essential characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman can be applied to the single woman, too.
The various reasons some women don’t cook may be valid, verifiable and very real, to them. But if what we are currently doing isn’t working well, physically and financially, then it’s time to go back to the beginning and do things differently. Women, let’s return to the basics. The good thing about returning is that the number of grocery stores hasn’t diminished simply because the number of restaurants has increased. Our choices in cookware have even improved. You can find cooking tools at the local dollar store, order from a celebrity chef’s website or a high-end kitchen store. Cooking technology has improved dramatically with microwave ovens; convection, barbeque grills the size of a home kitchen, grill microwaves, counter-top grills, double-decker crock pots, roasters (electronic and conventional) and numerous other quick and efficient methods of cooking. Most, if not all of the excuses for not cooking have been taken away!
Here’s a simple meal that won’t cost much in time or money to prepare.
CHICKEN & POTATOES
In your crock pot, add the following ingredients. After rinsing a whole chicken and seasoning it with your favorite seasonings (suggestions: seasoned salt, garlic, onion powder) add the following to the crock pot:
• 1 whole chicken, well-seasoned
• 4-5 whole red or Russet potatoes (as many as your pot will hold)
• Onion, carrots and celery (to taste)
• 1 can of Cream of Mushroom Or Cream of Chicken
(No need to add water because the chicken makes its own juice)
– Turn the crock pot on to the medium setting. Cook the chicken overnight so that it will be good and tender when you awake in the morning, or turn it on when you leave for work in the morning. When you return, your entire meal will be ready and you will have prepared a good, healthy homemade meal for your family. Now you are no longer one of those women who don’t cook! You can have a Sunday-style dinner on a Tuesday. Add a salad or some dinner rolls if you like and enjoy!