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Old 20-03-2006, 01:56 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Are we losing the art of cooking?


Cooking 101: Add 1 Cup of Simplicity
As Kitchen Skills Dwindle, Recipes Become Easy as Pie
By Candy Sagon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 18, 2006; A01

At Kraft Foods, recipes never include words like "dredge" and "saut."
Betty Crocker recipes avoid "braise" and "truss." Land O' Lakes has all
but banned "fold" and "cream" from its cooking instructions. And
Pillsbury carefully sidesteps "simmer" and "sear."
When the country's top food companies want to create recipes that
millions of Americans will be able to understand, there seems to be one
guiding principle: They need to be written for a nation of culinary
illiterates.
Basic cooking terms that have been part of kitchen vocabulary for
centuries are now considered incomprehensible to the majority of
Americans. Despite the popularity of the Food Network cooking shows on
cable TV, and the burgeoning number of food magazines and gourmet
restaurants, today's cooks have fewer kitchen skills than their parents
-- or grandparents -- did.
To compensate, food companies are dumbing down their recipes, and
cookbooks are now published with simple instructions and lots of
step-by-step illustrations.
"Thirty years ago, a recipe would say, 'Add two eggs,' " said Bonnie
Slotnick, a longtime cookbook editor and owner of a rare-cookbook shop
in New York's Greenwich Village. "In the '80s, that was changed to 'beat
two eggs until lightly mixed.' By the '90s, you had to write, 'In a
small bowl, using a fork, beat two eggs,' " she said. "We joke that the
next step will be, 'Using your right hand, pick up a fork and . . .' "
Even the writers and editors of the "Joy of Cooking," working on a 75th
anniversary edition to be published by Charles Scribner's Sons in
November, have argued "endlessly" over whether to include terms like
"blanch," "fold" and "saut ," said Beth Wareham, Scribner's director of
lifestyle publications. "I tell them, 'Why should we dumb it down?' When
you learn to drive, you learn terms like "brake" and "parallel park."
Why is it okay to be stupid when you cook?"
So far, the "Joy of Cooking" editors have compromised by including a
detailed glossary explaining various cooking terms.
At a conference last December, Stephen W. Sanger, chairman and chief
executive of General Mills Inc., noted the sad state of culinary affairs
and described the kind of e-mails and calls the company gets asking for
cooking advice: the person who didn't have any eggs for baking and asked
if a peach would do instead, for example; and the man who railed about
the fire that resulted when he thought he was following instructions to
grease the bottom of the pan -- the outside of the pan.
"We're now two generations into a lack of culinary knowledge being
passed down from our parents," said Richard Ruben, a New York cooking
teacher whose classes for non-cooks draw a range of participants, from
18-year-olds leaving for college who want to have survival skills to
60-year-olds who have more time to cook but don't know how.
"In my basic 'How to Cook' class, I get people who have only used their
ovens to store shoes and sweaters," he said. "They're terrified to hold
a knife. They don't know what garlic looks like."
For many people, cooking classes like his compensate for what they did
not learn at home. "Food companies have to acknowledge that there used
to be a level of teaching in the home by moms and grandmas that is not
as evident today," said Janet Myers, senior director of global kitchens
for Kraft Foods who has been creating and testing recipes for the
company for 30 years.
A survey of women in their twenties and forties for Betty Crocker showed
that 64 percent of women in their twenties had mothers who worked full
time, outside the home, during their childhood, compared with 38 percent
of those in their forties. The group in their forties primarily learned
to cook from their mothers and at school; the younger women also learned
from their mothers, but more of them learned from their fathers,
television chefs, or on their own.
Lisa Bernstein, 31, an employment law attorney in the District, said
that while growing up, her mother was too busy to teach her much more
than how to make spaghetti with sauce from a jar. Tired of microwaving
frozen dinners, she signed up two years ago for lessons with veteran
cooking teacher Phyllis Frucht.
"I watched some of the Food Network programs, but it's not the same as
having someone in the kitchen with you, showing you how to hold the
knife," said Bernstein, who now can make her own pasta sauce for baked
ziti, as well as homemade biscotti for dessert.
Some of these skills used to be taught in mandatory home economics
courses in middle school, but most of the classes ended about 20 years
ago, said Pat Lynn, a Springdale, Md., high school teacher who taught
her first home ec class in 1968. But in some schools, including her own,
home economics has been reconstituted under the umbrella subject of
"family and consumer sciences" to include electives in cooking,
parenting, fashion and career training for jobs in the food-service and
hospitality industries.
And despite laments about the end of home cooking, more than
three-fourths of all dinners are prepared in the home, with women doing
the majority of the cooking, according to the latest figures from the
research firm NPD Group. Interest in food is undiminished, as measured
by magazines devoted to the subject (it's the second-most-popular topic
behind crafts and hobbies for new magazines launched in the past three
years, said Samir A. Husni of the University of Mississippi) and in
sales at gourmet cookware chains such as Williams-Sonoma and Sur La
Table.
Still, in test kitchens at food giants such as Kraft, the goal is
terminology that is "simplistic, and very literal, to make it easy to
understand," Meyers said. Where 20 years ago a recipe for chicken might
have said, "dredge the chicken in flour," today it might say, "coat the
chicken in flour." And instead of saying "saut," recipe writers say to
"cook over medium heat and stir," she said.
At Land O'Lakes, the 85-year-old Minnesota farm cooperative known for
its cheese and butter products, former test kitchen director Lydia
Botham said cooks in their forties and younger are high-tech oriented
when it comes to using the company's Web site for recipes and customized
advice but relatively unskilled when it comes to baking.
"They've grown up with the computer, so they expect things to be faster,
including cooking," said Botham, now director of corporate communication
at the company. "They like baking by adding things to a mix. In recipes,
they want fewer ingredients -- seven is ideal -- and they like
step-by-step pictures that show them what to do."
In 1935, for example, a Land O'Lakes butterscotch cookie recipe directed
cooks to "cream together thoroughly the butter and sugar." Today, Botham
said, "we don't use the word 'cream' anymore. People don't understand
what that means. Instead, we say 'Using your mixer, beat the butter and
sugar.' "
A survey conducted by Betty Crocker Kitchens in 2004 showed adults don't
even realize how cooking-challenged they've become. The national survey
of 1,500 adults found that 70 percent rated themselves "above average"
in cooking knowledge, even though only 38 percent scored above average
on a 20-question cooking-skills quiz. While 98 percent knew the
abbreviation for teaspoon, only 44 percent knew how many teaspoons were
in a tablespoon. Even fewer, 34 percent, knew how much uncooked rice is
needed to yield one cup of cooked rice. (Answers: 3 teaspoons in a
tablespoon; one-third cup of uncooked rice yields 1 cup of cooked rice.)
Children age 10 to 17 weren't much better. A 2004 Betty Crocker survey
of 1,000 children found that while 94 percent could access the Internet,
only 42 percent could cook a spaghetti dinner. Nearly 100 percent could
play a computer game, but only 41 percent could make a fruit smoothie in
a blender. On the other hand, 64 percent said they'd like to help more
with the cooking at home, confirming that cooking is hardly a dying art.
"There's a real need and desire to learn these skills," Ruben said.
*2006*The Washington Post Company

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Old 20-03-2006, 02:08 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Are we losing the art of cooking?

Donald Martinich wrote:

Cooking 101: Add 1 Cup of Simplicity
As Kitchen Skills Dwindle, Recipes Become Easy as Pie
By Candy Sagon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 18, 2006; A01



snip article about loss of cooking skills

Haven't you been reading the Food Snob thread? GO AWAY!!!

Christine
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Old 20-03-2006, 02:30 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Are we losing the art of cooking?

Old Mother Ashby wrote:
Donald Martinich wrote:

Cooking 101: Add 1 Cup of Simplicity
As Kitchen Skills Dwindle, Recipes Become Easy as Pie
By Candy Sagon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 18, 2006; A01



snip article about loss of cooking skills

Haven't you been reading the Food Snob thread? GO AWAY!!!

Christine


I haven't... and I'm disheartened by the article in The Post. :/
Goomba
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Old 20-03-2006, 02:41 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Are we losing the art of cooking?

On Sun, 19 Mar 2006 21:30:27 -0500, Goomba38
wrote:

Old Mother Ashby wrote:
Donald Martinich wrote:

Cooking 101: Add 1 Cup of Simplicity
As Kitchen Skills Dwindle, Recipes Become Easy as Pie
By Candy Sagon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 18, 2006; A01



snip article about loss of cooking skills

Haven't you been reading the Food Snob thread? GO AWAY!!!

Christine


I haven't... and I'm disheartened by the article in The Post. :/
Goomba


I'm not so much concerned about the loss of cooking skills due to
women having other options, but instead the disregard for teaching
good eating habits (nutrition) to children.

Sue(tm)
Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself!
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Old 20-03-2006, 02:46 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Are we losing the art of cooking?


"Goomba38" wrote in message
...
Old Mother Ashby wrote:
Donald Martinich wrote:

Cooking 101: Add 1 Cup of Simplicity
As Kitchen Skills Dwindle, Recipes Become Easy as Pie
By Candy Sagon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 18, 2006; A01


snip article about loss of cooking skills

Haven't you been reading the Food Snob thread? GO AWAY!!!

Christine


I haven't... and I'm disheartened by the article in The Post. :/
Goomba


There's a fabulous cookbook that's been around forever. It explains all the
terms described in the Washington Post article. Mention it here, and a
handful of insipid little ****s will belittle the book because it never was,
and still is not trendy. But, it takes the place of an important thing in
cooking: the passing down of knowledge from one generation to another. I'm
not sure why this continuum of knowledge has been interrupted, but I suspect
it's related to two-income households. There was a time when kids came home
from school and found someone cooking. And, not just cooking, but doing it
slowly and deliberately, in a way which might catch the attention of little
kids. (Forget teenagers). This type of thing was gone for a couple of
decades. It still is, in many households.




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Old 20-03-2006, 02:47 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Are we losing the art of cooking?


"Curly Sue" wrote in message
...
On Sun, 19 Mar 2006 21:30:27 -0500, Goomba38
wrote:

Old Mother Ashby wrote:
Donald Martinich wrote:

Cooking 101: Add 1 Cup of Simplicity
As Kitchen Skills Dwindle, Recipes Become Easy as Pie
By Candy Sagon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 18, 2006; A01



snip article about loss of cooking skills

Haven't you been reading the Food Snob thread? GO AWAY!!!

Christine


I haven't... and I'm disheartened by the article in The Post. :/
Goomba


I'm not so much concerned about the loss of cooking skills due to
women having other options, but instead the disregard for teaching
good eating habits (nutrition) to children.


Kids can learn good nutrition, and go outside the home to find it. But, to
get it at home, it usually requires the ability and willingness to put some
time into preparing decent food.


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Old 20-03-2006, 03:24 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Are we losing the art of cooking?

On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 02:47:46 GMT, "Doug Kanter"
wrote:


"Curly Sue" wrote in message
...
On Sun, 19 Mar 2006 21:30:27 -0500, Goomba38
wrote:

Old Mother Ashby wrote:
Donald Martinich wrote:

Cooking 101: Add 1 Cup of Simplicity
As Kitchen Skills Dwindle, Recipes Become Easy as Pie
By Candy Sagon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 18, 2006; A01



snip article about loss of cooking skills

Haven't you been reading the Food Snob thread? GO AWAY!!!

Christine

I haven't... and I'm disheartened by the article in The Post. :/
Goomba


I'm not so much concerned about the loss of cooking skills due to
women having other options, but instead the disregard for teaching
good eating habits (nutrition) to children.


Kids can learn good nutrition, and go outside the home to find it. But, to
get it at home, it usually requires the ability and willingness to put some
time into preparing decent food.


Eating habits are learned at home. Kids who are not impressed with
the importance of health at home are not going to seek it outside the
home.

One thing about cooking per se, is that it has become a hobby that
some people will learn because they like to do it rather than because
it's their function in life. Most of the people lamenting the loss of
cooking skills are talking about loss of cooking skills of women.
Apparently women many women today would rather get an education and
have a career than agonize over "dredging." Good for us. In
addition, there still are parents who need to work long and hard to
keep up and cooking is the least of their worries.

Sue(tm)
Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself!
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Old 20-03-2006, 03:31 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Are we losing the art of cooking?


"Curly Sue" wrote in message
...
On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 02:47:46 GMT, "Doug Kanter"
wrote:


"Curly Sue" wrote in message
...
On Sun, 19 Mar 2006 21:30:27 -0500, Goomba38
wrote:

Old Mother Ashby wrote:
Donald Martinich wrote:

Cooking 101: Add 1 Cup of Simplicity
As Kitchen Skills Dwindle, Recipes Become Easy as Pie
By Candy Sagon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 18, 2006; A01



snip article about loss of cooking skills

Haven't you been reading the Food Snob thread? GO AWAY!!!

Christine

I haven't... and I'm disheartened by the article in The Post. :/
Goomba

I'm not so much concerned about the loss of cooking skills due to
women having other options, but instead the disregard for teaching
good eating habits (nutrition) to children.


Kids can learn good nutrition, and go outside the home to find it. But, to
get it at home, it usually requires the ability and willingness to put
some
time into preparing decent food.


Eating habits are learned at home. Kids who are not impressed with
the importance of health at home are not going to seek it outside the
home.

One thing about cooking per se, is that it has become a hobby that
some people will learn because they like to do it rather than because
it's their function in life.


A hobby can be set aside for a while and it won't negatively affect your
life in a big way. Eating is not a hobby.


Most of the people lamenting the loss of
cooking skills are talking about loss of cooking skills of women.
Apparently women many women today would rather get an education and
have a career than agonize over "dredging." Good for us. In
addition, there still are parents who need to work long and hard to
keep up and cooking is the least of their worries.


Correct - some people envision women when they think of this subject. But,
not all people.


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Old 20-03-2006, 03:47 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Are we losing the art of cooking?

Curly Sue wrote:


I'm not so much concerned about the loss of cooking skills due to
women having other options, but instead the disregard for teaching
good eating habits (nutrition) to children.

Sue(tm)
Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself!


case in point...
today in line at the grocery store, the woman in front of me was very very
large and she had two kids with her. Her cart was just packed full of
pre-packaged food, candy, treats, and other unhealthy items including 4 cases
of soda. It just made me crazy, I completely understand the occasional
indulgence but the legitimate healthy items were few and far between in that
cart, even the frozen vegetables came in their own cheese or butter sauces.

Of course, I could feel all self righteous at that moment because my cart was
full of things like okra, collard greens, plantains, fennel bulb,
spinach...and on and on. Of course the 15 pack of mac and cheese was already
at home in the pantry so it was a false self righteousness!

anyway, it just made me sad that those kids won't be taught proper eating,
just how to cook convenience and stuff it in.

--
..:Heather:.
www.velvet-c.com
Step off, beyotches, I'm the roflpimp!
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Old 20-03-2006, 03:51 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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On Sun 19 Mar 2006 08:39:15p, Thus Spake Zarathustra, or was it Michael
"Dog3" Lonergan?

Goomba38 hitched up their panties and posted
:

Old Mother Ashby wrote:
Donald Martinich wrote:

Cooking 101: Add 1 Cup of Simplicity
As Kitchen Skills Dwindle, Recipes Become Easy as Pie
By Candy Sagon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 18, 2006; A01



snip article about loss of cooking skills

Haven't you been reading the Food Snob thread? GO AWAY!!!

Christine


I haven't... and I'm disheartened by the article in The Post. :/
Goomba


I've been following the Food Snob thread. I am also disheartened by the
article. I get so much out of RFC by just talking. I pick up something
from almost all threads.

Michael


It makes me glad that I have a lot of old cookbooks! I would find it very
tedious to wade through all the unnecessary instructions and explanations.

--
Wayne Boatwright ożo
____________________

BIOYA


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Old 20-03-2006, 04:03 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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On Sun 19 Mar 2006 08:47:56p, Thus Spake Zarathustra, or was it The Bubbo?

Curly Sue wrote:


I'm not so much concerned about the loss of cooking skills due to
women having other options, but instead the disregard for teaching
good eating habits (nutrition) to children.

Sue(tm)
Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself!


case in point...
today in line at the grocery store, the woman in front of me was very
very large and she had two kids with her. Her cart was just packed full
of pre-packaged food, candy, treats, and other unhealthy items including
4 cases of soda. It just made me crazy, I completely understand the
occasional indulgence but the legitimate healthy items were few and far
between in that cart, even the frozen vegetables came in their own
cheese or butter sauces.

Of course, I could feel all self righteous at that moment because my
cart was full of things like okra, collard greens, plantains, fennel
bulb, spinach...and on and on. Of course the 15 pack of mac and cheese
was already at home in the pantry so it was a false self righteousness!


Chances are she wouldn't have had a clue what to do with anything in your
cart. But she would probably have pounced on those packs of mac and
cheese. :-)

anyway, it just made me sad that those kids won't be taught proper
eating, just how to cook convenience and stuff it in.


David grew up in a household like that, and it's taken 14 years to
"enlighten" him to better eating. I'm still at it!

--
Wayne Boatwright ożo
____________________

BIOYA
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Old 20-03-2006, 06:46 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Are we losing the art of cooking?

Michael "Dog3" Lonergan wrote:
"Doug Kanter" hitched up their panties and
posted :


"Goomba38" wrote in message
...
Old Mother Ashby wrote:
Donald Martinich wrote:

Cooking 101: Add 1 Cup of Simplicity
As Kitchen Skills Dwindle, Recipes Become Easy as Pie
By Candy Sagon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 18, 2006; A01


snip article about loss of cooking skills

Haven't you been reading the Food Snob thread? GO AWAY!!!

Christine

I haven't... and I'm disheartened by the article in The Post. :/
Goomba


There's a fabulous cookbook that's been around forever. It explains
all the terms described in the Washington Post article. Mention it
here, and a handful of insipid little ****s will belittle the book
because it never was, and still is not trendy. But, it takes the
place of an important thing in cooking: the passing down of
knowledge from one generation to another. I'm not sure why this
continuum of knowledge has been interrupted, but I suspect it's
related to two-income households. There was a time when kids came
home from school and found someone cooking. And, not just cooking,
but doing it slowly and deliberately, in a way which might catch the
attention of little kids. (Forget teenagers). This type of thing was
gone for a couple of decades. It still is, in many households.


Doug, what is the name of the book?

Michael


I once bought a book for a friend called "How to Boil Water". There is no
such thing as a stupid cookbook if it actually helps people learn how to
cook.

Jill


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Old 20-03-2006, 07:38 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Are we losing the art of cooking?

Donald Martinich wrote:
Cooking 101: Add 1 Cup of Simplicity
As Kitchen Skills Dwindle, Recipes Become Easy as Pie


Unfortunately, PIE isn't easy.

By Candy Sagon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 18, 2006; A01

At Kraft Foods, recipes never include words like "dredge" and "saut."


Would that be "saute"?

You can read the rest of the article. It's the brim of the Vernal Equinox
and as my Scottish grandmother would say, "Tis a bra bricht min licht nicht
a nicht!"

Jill


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Old 20-03-2006, 08:01 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
aem aem is offline
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Default Are we losing the art of cooking?

Donald Martinich wrote:
Cooking 101: Add 1 Cup of Simplicity
As Kitchen Skills Dwindle, Recipes Become Easy as Pie

[snip the article]

This article tries too hard to make something out of nothing. It's
hardly worth responding to except to correct the record. A few main
points:

* More complete directions in cookbooks doesn't mean today's readers
are dumber, it means today's writers are smarter. James Beard and
Julia Child demonstrated 40 and 50 years ago that careful directions
are more valuable than "add 2 eggs" or "bake until done."

* That more wives work outside the home doesn't mean jack as to
whether kids will learn about food and cooking at home. It may mean
there are more opportunities for the kids to learn from Dad as well as
Mom.

* That food companies get more ignorant and weird questions from
customers than ever before means they now have e-mail. If Fanny Farmer
had e-mail she'd have got just as many dumb questions.

* We're not talking rocket science here. Absolutely nothing is in
danger of being lost. Food and cooking are still interesting and those
who want to become proficient and to enjoy improving their skills and
knowledge have more resources available to do so than ever before.
-aem

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Old 20-03-2006, 08:51 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Are we losing the art of cooking?

On Sun, 19 Mar 2006 17:56:56 -0800, Donald Martinich
wrote:


Cooking 101: Add 1 Cup of Simplicity
As Kitchen Skills Dwindle, Recipes Become Easy as Pie
By Candy Sagon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 18, 2006; A01

At Kraft Foods, recipes never include words like "dredge" and "saut."
Betty Crocker recipes avoid "braise" and "truss." Land O' Lakes has all


On the schedule for publication in 2010 - The How to Boil Wtaer
Cookbook.


jim



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