Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Put this demographic in your pipe and smoke it.

On the off chance that some major Canadian corporation is trolling the internet and blog sites looking for information, here's a little tidbit for you...

Happily married professional woman, earning more than $100k a year.  Two children under the age of four. Outsources most of her family's life - nanny, cleaning lady, people to clear snow in winter etc.  Tries to compensate by preparing home-cooked, healthy meals for family.  This includes preparing most meals "from scratch".

Add to this demographic the following scenario:  Husband is ill after 3 long days of business travel.  Children are also exhibiting signs of illness.  Dog has puked all over her bed and youngest child has chosen this medium as a pseudo-finger paint and re-decorated living room.  Dinner is pasta with home made sauce  -- not from a jar, but home made, including nursing onions slowly in olive oil, adding fresh tomatoes and minced garlic, simmering quietly before adding fresh basil from garden to ensure no pesticides.  At the same time, dinner for tomorrow night is being prepared in anticipation of coming home from work to face three ill males and no time to do anything other than administer hugs, kisses and mix a half-assed martini.  Dinner for this next evening was to be beef pot pie - using left over cross rib roast, shallots, organic carrots, beef stock, dried mushrooms and ...wait for it....frozen peas purchased on the fly.  Said frozen peas were a generic brand, in a "re-sealable bag". 

Now, include in the above demographic that the aforementioned female possesses two graduate degrees.  Re-sealable is not supposed to be difficult.  BUT, should you chose to make "re-sealable" mean, "seemingly re-seable if all the gods are on your side" until the bag is returned, upside down in the freeze,r only to spill out all over the freezer and kitchen floor at 8 o'clock at night when, quite frankly, I have next to no patience, well, then screw you and your product. 

If you want brand loyalty, think about your client.  I am officially done and dusted with Canada's favorite generic brand and will from now on shell out the extra 50 cents for a company that will ensure a bag is actually re-sealable without an engineering degree.

Working women unite.  End the tyranny of unre-sealable bags.


  1. Kate -- not sure when I figured out that this woman was YOU, but wow: homecooked meals? I make $4,600 a year and spend the better part of my time shuffling around the house in slippers, and my kids get deli meat, cheerios and mini carrots for dinner (when their dad's not home). And when Dad is home, they don't eat, to the extent I cook, because fake meat and potato meals made with soy substitutes gross them out.

    Ah, how differently we all live. The image of you making that homemade tomato sauce . . . . gosh it sounds yummy, and perhaps, in the best of worlds (without sick boys) a lovely way to unwind when you get home? Imagine a husband who disdained homemade sauce and would ONLY AND EVER eat Prego, 15 jars of which are always on the ready in our home b/c he and the kids slather it all over everything.

    I swear the love of cooking, which I had in abundance at one time in my life, has been beaten out of me.

    As for defective re-sealables, oh dear, I am sorry. But the irony. The one thing you use for the sake of "convenience" -- a bag of frozen peas -- has to be the hardest part of all. It kills me the way all these new-fangled, patented "easy open" and "easy storage" products are indeed more challenging than the tried and true methods. I always end up using scissors and a twist tie and thinking in the back of my head how evil packaging is, on so many levels -- the advertising, the waste, the stupid American public, the rich corporations, our poor environment . . . .

  2. Yup, defeated by a bag of peas. Nothing poetic about that.

    But I do love to cook - not bake as I am the world's worst baker by far - but to cook real food, old-fashioned ways. It is a bit of a passion with me. Good thing too, as I out-source just about every other aspect of my life and that of my family's...after work therapy, guilt therapy, eating disorder control - a bit of everything goes into the stew!

  3. It would be if: eldest ate anything other than whole wheat pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese; youngest ate anything other than blue raw beef; spouse ate anything other than fish...this is not a household of vegetable eaters, or of gourmands. However, I cook for my own pleasure in that act of cooking - melting onions in butter, slowly braising beef stews, mincing garlic and coaxing vegetables in stocks....all of this heals me and feeds myself and my family in different and unexpected ways. I have learned not to fear butter and cream, to appreciate the difference between home made and store-bought stocks, have befriended the local butcher and fish market workers, and to find the bestest, freshest organic eggs available in the area. In the summer and fall I set aside time to make jams, chutney, chili sauces and canned fruit. If these heathen men of mine ever eat any of it - dinners or the jams etc., great. If not, tant pis pour eux.

    Years ago I read recipes instead of actually eating. Then, after much therapy and some drugs, I started to finally be able to chew and swallow food. Then, I found a love for cooking, even if I couldn't always eat what I made. Now, I can finally eat - not always, because the old deamons can still reappear without much warning - most recently with my second pregnancy...twelve pounds is not enough to gain for a pregnancy. But mostly, I forgive myself and move on...lately, have definately moved on, as the scale will tell - and can eat and enjoy the whole process, beginning to end. It is, after all, just food. But to cook, the very rules, techniques and traditions of it - now that is art, and that is devine!

  4. Kate, I had no idea that you struggled with an ED. You said once in a comment on my blog: "Believe me I know . . . " or something like that, but I took it as womanly commiseration, if you will . . . man. I am surprised. Of course I don't remember eating stuff in grade 9 except that we all fretted generally, but I remember you being a skinny one -- did you diet back then? Do you attribute eating problems to the ballet world? Your family of origin seems to have had a pretty healthy attitude toward mealtime.

    Anyway, so interesting the way the struggle manifests itself differently in different people. For you, coming in close, loving, "nursing" and "coaxing" contact with food (I love your use of those nurturing words) seems to help you deal with your anxiety over food and eating. But when the demons surface, you tend to deprive yourself of the pleasures of your cooking. But what a respectful attitude toward food! At least compared to the bulimic's blind demolition sprees. I like cooking, but I've never had the patience or attention to detail. I'm always in overkill mode with the spices, herbs, butter, etc. And if I'm hungry, I often find myself compulsively tasting, licking, etc.

    May we both continue to get healthier and happier around food! And BTW, with whole grain pasta, beef and fish, you've got a lot of options. Not one of those goes down in this household.

  5. I think of cooking as a kind of cecchetti syllabus...there is a right way to do it, and faking it always shows in the end. But by the way, you can never overkill with butter....

    Cooking is not complex for me...eating is. Oddly enough, never when I was dancing...there were far too many others expert at denying themselves food for me to contemplate that as an seemed too trite, too insincere to worry about dieting when around me people were seriously ill from not eating. But I learned well and squirreled their lessons away for the future.

    University was when it hit me. And it hit hard. And as you know, once hit it never really leaves just learn to manage, to cope and to heal. For me, cooking helps. Although I could happily live the next 50 years without ever again seeing whole wheat pasta!!