Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pie/50's housewife fail

We had a 4th of July weekend BBQ to attend Saturday evening, so I decided to bake a pie. Although both Nich and I love cooking, baking is something I have decidedly less experience with. In the past, I'd always look at a recipe for a pie or cake and think "That's too much work, and I don't have any of the ingredients on hand. I don't even own a pie pan/springform pan/bundt pan/other kitchen accessory." However, for the last two years, I suddenly got it into my head that it would be great to make pies from scratch for the holidays. Last Thanksgiving, I finally tackled making pie for the very first time. I made so many pies, I felt like a master at it. I even altered a magazine recipe, changing it so many times, it thoroughly became my own recipe. I had people at work begging me to make more. Success! I am a pie making goddess!

Now I'm a little obsessed with pies and cakes. Somehow I've convinced myself that I'm going to concoct the perfect recipe, with the perfect crust, if I just make enough pies and keep tweaking them. (My waistline is contending this idea.) I've literally daydreamed about submitting one to the State Fair and winning first prize. How 50's housewife is that?

My dreams were dashed this time around, however. What was supposed to be a lovely fresh peach and strawberry cream pie turned into a weird, salty, gingery thing with too much flour in the filling. Sad face:(

However, it was my first successful lattice top pie! So it might not have tasted so great, but it was at least pretty.

To go on a tiny bit of a tangent, I've been thinking about the whole domesticity thing, being a wife and mother and being in the kitchen cooking and baking all the time. I bristle a little at the idea that this is strictly "women's work". Hell, I bristle a lot. Sometimes I feel a little guilty donning an apron and baking pies, or sitting down at the sewing machine, rather than working on my actual profession. I'm always a little wary in my head of anything that is stereo-typically "for girls", though I definitely like classically girly things more than I used to. But I don't want to be pigeonholed or live up to society's expectations about what a woman is "supposed" to be doing. I want to do what I want!

Then I remind myself that women's lib wasn't just for the right to work outside of the home, it was (and is) for the right to choose what you'll do with your life, to be treated as equals with men whether you're taking care of the household, or holding down a 9 to 5. Anyway, I like baking! (Also, pie crust dough is very clay-like...) If I enjoy it, that should be all the matters. I also remind myself that my husband is just as apt to don an apron as I am, and all the cooking skills I have, I pretty much learned from my Dad. I'm glad that our child will be as likely to see her Dad in the kitchen as she will to see me changing a tire.

Anyway, I'd make a lousy full time housewife. I just like the food end of things. Don't ask me to fold the laundry on a regular basis or anything.


Ariane Tucker said...

I struggled with this alot at first too. I went from being a single working mom (feminist superhero) to being a stay-at-home, bread-making, gardening, sewing wife and mother... ummmm... who am I again? The truth is, at my core I believe my daughter (hell, my sons too) can grow up and play whatever role they want to. And I can too! I think this gig is waaaaay more challenging than being a cubicle cowboy. I think it's important, and I don't have get my hardcore feminist card revoked just because I like making bread and raising my kids, you know?

ps-you inspired me to change my FB profile pic back to my happy housewife with a cake. I like this post.

eef said...

It's kind of my goal in life to be a house wife... Not kidding. And I think that sounds bad to some people, but I LIKE doing household things, keeping things clean, cooking, etc. I don't like folding laundry, but I'll do it so long as I don't have to go to an office on top of it.

I mean, I'd still do crafty things too and hopefully have a bit of my own business (btw, we need to get together, I will tell you about my new business which is not really art-related, but will be fun!), but I really can't stand working for other people and I enjoy making out home nice. One day I want to have a garden and chickens and... stuff. =]

15 Painted Cups said...

I love you Ariane! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one struggling with these kinds of things.

15 Painted Cups said...

Erin, I love cooking, sewing, being able to work at home making art, and I desperately want chickens! But I am not good at cleaning! I pretty much live like a teenage boy as far as cleaning is concerned. I think it's awesome that you love those things and want to be a housewife. You'll be good at it, and it will make you happy. God knows I could never work in a cubicle! Blech.

I'm excited to find out about your new business!

Thanks for weighing in:)