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Men should be making the dough

Phil Head | The Gateway | Opinion | January 16th, 2006

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
EDMONTON (CUP) -- The usually mundane world of cooking recently gathered a great deal of controversy and media attention thanks to the following statement from Chef Gordon Ramsay: “There are huge numbers of young women out there who know how to mix cocktails but can't cook to save their lives, whereas men are finding their way into the kitchen in ever-growing numbers.”

While I'm not sure about the accuracy of the first part of the above statement, I feel it would be a positive thing were the second indeed to prove true. I consider myself to be a competent—although perhaps not gourmet—cook, and actually view the process as both fun and relaxing. Plus all the money I save by not eating out warms my cheap, penny-pinching heart (and the food is healthier as well).

Guys, if you aren't cooking for yourselves already, why not? Cooking is empowering. No longer do you have to eat things that you don't like just because there's nothing else prepared; simply make something that you do enjoy. Don't like pickles on your hamburger? Don't send it back; just don't put them on in the first place.
Take pride in your culinary attempts. Even if all you know how to do is throw frozen perogies into boiling water, you've made a meal. Forget being the breadwinner, it's time men became the bread makers.

I even took home economics in high school rather than more traditionally male options such as shop. I may not be able to fix my bicycle or build a cabinet, but unlike one of my older relatives (who shall remain nameless), I know not to eat green hotdogs that have been sitting forgotten in a backpack for a month. Furthermore, should I also be forced to eat mice, I will at least know how to properly season them.

Personally, I think that more people of both genders should take more non-traditional courses, as they can help people to become well-rounded intellectually.

Also, the skills you learn are often transferable to other more traditional areas of studies. Case in point: recently, upon tasting some of my homemade chocolate chip cookies, a fellow co-op student exclaimed, “These are great! What the hell are you doing in Science?” What she failed to realize is that the skills involved in cooking are identical to those required in a science lab; for instance, in a recent fermentation lab, we made our own beer and wine, and in microbiology we made sauerkraut.

Although the terminology may differ, the concepts are the same, the only difference being that the stuff you make in the lab is more likely to result in a trip to the hospital for a stomach pumping should you eat it.

Time management, multitasking, following a protocol, measurements, keeping a workplace tidy, finishing on time, experimental parameters—how long do I bake my cookies for?—these are all valuable skills for both bench-top and countertop chemistry. The only difference between a cook and a scientist is that the scientist isn't content to know that adding yeast to bread makes it rise, but wishes to discover why it does.

So girls, if a male science student ever claims to be a horrible cook, really they're just horribly lazy and you should throw their lying ass back into the kitchen. Or get them to do the dishes, another skill you need in the lab.

Besides, what man wants to be the one who brings the boring bakery-bought cake to potlucks, when instead you can wow them with your homemade cherries jubilee. And even if your experiment fails like that of my unnamed relative (his cherries jubilee ended up being “flaming blueberries over porridge” and set the Tupperware serving dishes on fire), you can proudly sing, “I did it my way,” as you try to drown out the noise from the smoke detector.
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