Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Honored Advisor


Have just picked up " Cooked" by Michael Pollan. I have read several of his books..." Omnivore's Dilemma" is stuck in a shelf here somewhere, as are several other of his works.

He may not be the best friend of our family's farming practices...we are in the model of the " industrial" farm for hogs; still, I feel that I have to experience what our critics say. If you only talk to people who see the world the way you do, your mind is never challenged.

I am only in the introduction to this one, and I am already hooked. (Do you read the introductions to books or not? I have found some of the most memorable words I have ever read in these often-overlooked passages). In a few pages, he has explained volumes about how and why cooking evolved, how it altered our species, and why it has fallen mostly to females as our life's work, plus how that role is evolving.

One profound concept was embodied in one quote, to the effect that we have had " 100 years of packaged foods, and are mow beginning a hundred years of packaged meals". Yikes! i hadn't thought of it tht way before. Oddly enough, as families spend less than thirty minutes per day in meal preparation, we spend substantially more time than that watching TV shows about star chefs. Never thought about that while we were watching " Hell's Kitchen" either!

The remainder of his book promises to investigate the four elements of fire, water, air and earth, as the author studies the culinary arts of roasting, pot cooking, baking and fermenting, respectively employing each element in food preparation. I has never looked at cooking in this way before...and it fascinates me. Did you ever think of baking as essentially coming up with ways to incorporate air into a mixture of flour and water? Neither did I....

I never was taught anything about food preparation. As soon as I got big enough to be taught to work, I was sent to the tobacco barn and peanut field, not to mention the hog house. I know people cannot conceive of a six-year-old child having to work on a farm anymore, it was a fact of life for me as a kid. There was just no time for me to be taught how to cook and clean, tio.

I have learned what little I know about making a home from trial and error, from struggling to figure it out on the fly. When I stumble across a book that helps me grasp the basic science and culture underlying the art of homemaking, I.feel like I am finally getting the background that escaped me growing up.

If any of you want a nonfiction book to while away some hot summer evenings, this one night give you some food for thought, too. Mike is already excited about the pages I skipped ahead to in the first appendix...on how to make sauerkraut and kimchee. I see some more stinky, bubbling vats in my office kitchen in my near future....

Anyone else reading something besides beach romances this summer? Sorry...just can't go there!
0 Kudos