Domestication – A Lost Art?

Chicken a'la kitchen

I have 5 weeks off till the Autumn Term kicks in, and the new job starts a-rolling, so P and I decided that for those 5 weeks, he’d bring home the bacon, and I’d cook it. That’s right ladies and gents, I’m living the housewife life.

I’ve prepared lists of jobs that need to be done around the house that would usually be ignored (washing the shower curtain etc), a cleaning rota, and a day-by-day list of things for me to do. (The latter is to ensure I don’t get bored and spend my ENTIRE time watching Judge Judy.)

Apparently, P’s friends think he’s hit the jackpot. I can cook, I enjoy cleaning, I bake, I can sew by hand and by machine, and I know how to make a mean Bloody Mary. The fact I served homemade biscuits, cake & a dip at our last gathering prompted a proposal….

It brings me to wonder…am I a dying breed?

Don’t get me wrong, I love having my own money, I love going out to work, but I also like to cook us something fantastic from scratch and then put a load of washing on.

People are going crazy over some garlic & onion mayonaise? I didn’t even make the mayonaise….I just added the garlic & spring onions…. and they think I’m some sort of domestic goddess?!

Shows like Sex and The City portray women who eat out constantly and barely know what an oven is for (Carrie uses hers for storage!) and yet I grew up a million miles away from that world where the kitchen was the most important room of the house.

All through my life, my earliest memories and my bad habits have come from hanging around in kitchens, even now when I go back to my mothers for a visit, we end up loitering in the kitchen, her standing with her back leaning against the sink and I sat on a worktop, swigging black tea.

I feel comfy in a kitchen. I relax and unwind in my kitchen. I know what to do there. It’s my own space.

P viewed the flat we live in now and put the deposit down before I even stepped foot in the place because he knew I’d love the open layout of the kitchen and living room.

You can sew? Is another aghast in-breath I’ve heard before now. Uhhh…yeah…it’s not that hard. How can you NOT know how to sew? I grew up in a family of hand-me-downs from older cousins, you learn to sew pretty quickly so you aren’t wearing something that isn’t full of holes and resembling an old sack.

My Dad can sew. That actually was scarily one of my criteria when looking for a boyfriend. My Dad, macho and manly, and devilish with a needle… men had a lot to live up to. Let’s just say, first couple of serious boyfriends couldn’t sew…it didn’t end well… P can sew…and quite manly he is with it.

Surely domestication isnt a bad thing? P teases me in a loving and appreciating way, I guess his previous girlfriends could barely cook an egg, and I know he likes being able to show off in that respect. Last time I baked a batch of biscuits, he took them to work and his manager scoffed at least 3.

And I know he only does that because, again, it seems to be a rare thing, and he’s proud.

But if domestication isn’t a bad thing, how come it’s not more common? How come out of 10 girls I know quite well, I’m the domestic one that’s able to whip up a Béchamel with no problems? How come I’m the one who knows how to de-odourise a carpet using stuff in my baking cupboard? How come I’m the one with a baking cupboard?

It makes no sense to me.

One argument might be “Mothers aren’t teaching their daughters like they used to.”

What a load of bull – My own mother worked full time. My own mother couldn’t cook till she married my father. She didn’t sit down and teach me anything to do with caring for your home or cooking a dinner.

What she did do was let me get on with it. Let me be creative and try making a pasta dish with a tin of soup as the base (works like a charm and is now in her own repertoire). She let me make mistakes, let me mess up my sewing and gave me a tool to unpick it. She let me learn. Let me find out home based method ways of removing stains and cleaning windows.

I can’t stand people that say they can’t cook.

Cooking is about confidence and reading. If you can read….you can cook. It’s just about having the confidence to fail.

Maybe I’m an old head on young shoulders. Maybe I’m way too old before my time.

All I know is that until I’m physically unable to, I’ll be putting dinner on the table in front of anyone who’ll eat it, with a smile on my face, my washing done and my house tidy…well…maybe till I have children….

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5 responses to “Domestication – A Lost Art?

  1. I will admit, I cannot cook, sew, and the kitchen is not my favorite room in the house. I eat out a lot. My mom can sew and I would like to learn badly. I would love to make clothes to fit. I can cook, but I’m not going to because for some reason I lose my appetite. 😉 I admire your domestication.

  2. Do a course! Go for it, search online for local lessons, or ask your mum to teach you! You can learn a lot from online videos on YouTube too.
    I do find when I cook I always up eating less than everyone else…perhaps it’s because I pick at all the ingredients!
    Thanks for your comment x

  3. The post you wrote is very good.

  4. This is a fab post – I totally agree that it’s all about confidence – the first time you cut into a length of fabric is always nervewracking no matter how long you’ve been sewing but you just have to be bold 🙂

    • I have to say I love being domesticated… love it. The fact I can knock up some curtains and a cake at the same time makes me jiggle with glee! Thanks for coming by! x

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