I have never been one to utilize the old adage that "A woman's place is in the kitchen" when dealing with the fairer sex. Yeah, I know it's kind of sexist and completely politically incorrect. In fact, I believe today's college-educated youth would define such a saying as a "micro-aggression" and the source of considerable emotional hurt and insecurity. I guess times have changed since I attended the hallowed halls of Staten Island Community College where my meal plan consisted primarily of strategically placed vending machines on campus and the occasional pub grub washed down with several ice cold Schaefer beers on a Friday night. As an aside, I still have not forgiven the management at Schaefer for closing their Brooklyn brewery back in 1976. As annoyed as I was with Schaefer's move to Allentown, Pa., my father was almost apoplectic as he was still grieving the relocation of his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers to L.A. some 20 years earlier back in 1957. And, before you call or email to complain, I know that the Giants moved to the west coast (San Fran) at the same but like Dad always said, "So what? Nobody noticed!"
Okay, back on topic! I grew up in an Irish household and although I would never utter a disparaging word about my dear, departed mother, her cooking skills consisted primarily of bringing a large pot of water to a rolling boil and depositing whatever food was on hand into it until it became soft enough to chew. Needless to say, condiments were a very important and necessary part of all our meals! In defense of my mother, the Irish are not exactly known for their cuisine. Go into any book store and try to locate the section containing Irish cook books. Nuff said? On the bright side, you would be absolutely amazed at the number of ways you can prepare a potato.
Fast forward several decades and I now find myself retired and living in a house with three grown working women. I blame myself for not doing the math! What does one retired male plus three grown working women equal? I'll tell you what it equals. Getting up at 5 a.m. to bag and remove the previous day's trash and then feed the four cats, one dog, two turtles, one bearded dragon and one guinea pig, who become testy if they know someone is up and about and no food has been presented to their royal food dishes! I then proceed to make a pot of coffee for the clan to enjoy when they stumble downstairs with sleep in the eyes to start their day. After the coffee is brewing I empty the dishwasher to make room for the newly soiled dishes, glasses and flatware that sit piled in the sink from the previous evening and then prepare lunch for Grace to take to work with her. All of the ladies start work at different times and so around 6 a.m. the first of the multiple wake calls start. Thankfully, neither the Queen (Grace) or the two Princesses (Amy and Vicky) are big breakfast lovers so some juice and maybe a yogurt will suffice most days. After all have departed, the coffee pot has to be cleaned and set up for the following day and then the kitchen has to swept and vacuumed to remove the copious amount of dog hair our mixed lab has shed over the past 24 hours! Then it's time to seek out and confiscate all the left over food, plates, knives, forks, spoons, and half-filled juice and water bottles that have been mysteriously transported out of the kitchen against regulations to the upper floors of the house and return them to the kitchen to be added to the dishwasher or disposed of in the trash. Naturally, the refrigerator must also be continually monitored to ensure removal of all science projects which have made their way to the back of the shelves and out of sight to avoid the rank odor, not unlike that of a dumpster sitting out back of a diner in the hot sun for several days.
At that point there is nothing to do but wait for the late afternoon phone calls from the all the girls inquiring "Do we have anything for dinner when I get home?" So in answer to the question, is a woman's place really in the kitchen? I wouldn't know because I have never seen a female in our kitchen other than passing through!
Broad Channel, why would anyone want to live anywhere else?