Francine Prose adores food, but her family has ushered her out of the kitchenby Francine Prose / July 19, 2012 / Leave a comment
Published in August 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
An image from a 1950s magazine advert: “My mother liked proving that a woman could work full time and still be a perfect housewife”
It’s been almost 15 years since I overheard my son’s school friend, visiting for the weekend, ask if he thought they could have scrambled eggs for lunch.
My son said, “Sure, I’ll ask my mom.”
Then the friend asked if they could have scrambled eggs with onions. There was a long, ruminative pause. Finally I heard my son say, “Actually, maybe we’d better wait till my dad gets home for that.”
This must have been the stage at which I was still cooking but drew the line at anything more than two ingredients, not counting salt and pepper. This was, I’d say, three-quarters of the way along a culinary path that led me from being an ambitious cook, poring over a puckered, sauce-stained hardcover of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, to a person whose (rare) forays into the kitchen are now as an entry-level sous-chef, shelling peas and slicing the tomatoes and mozzarella.