Far too many women of my generation were let down by their mothers failing to teach them the one basic skill they actually need in life:
My mother hadn’t felt the need to give me a recipe—she knew that I
had watched her, and before her my Nani, make the same pot of sauce
nearly weekly in my previous 17 years. So many times I smelled the meat,
browning in olive oil before the garlic and onions were added,
intensifying the distinctive aroma of Nani’s kitchen, which lingered
even years after her last pot had been simmered. Yet I didn’t know how
But what did my mom expect? Both she and my late Nani had always
praised and encouraged my good grades and scholarly instincts, and
neither had encouraged me to do anything in the kitchen other that set
the table. Nani never taught me to forage for burdock or can tomatoes
because “you won’t need to,” she said. Cooking was something else the
modern young woman wouldn’t have cause to do either, it seemed. So, I
focused on my career.
What had stuck with me from those hours in the kitchen watching my
mom and Nani cook weekly Sunday dinners or nightly from-scratch meals
was not the recipes for beef bracciole or manicotti, but the
conversation. “Go to college,” I was always told, “have your own money
and don’t rely on a man.”
Let’s not make the same mistake with our daughters and sentence them to a lifetime of bad food, obesity, and culinary frigidity. There is nothing more important than for a young girl to be taught how to be a good wife and mother. Nothing. Because nothing less than civilization and the continued existence of the human race depends upon it.
Don’t raise your daughters to be dead ends.