Saturday, December 06, 2008

Not everything about the shaky economy is negative...

CNN provides this interesting article about the rise of home cooking during the recent economic downturn. I'm a little late in seeing it; it was written in September. If the information in the article is still holding true, cookbook sales are up. Not only that, but people are rushing to buy basic cooking equipment, which, apparently, many homes did not even have. People who used to spend a lot eating out for dinner and lunch now pack lunches and cook dinner.

On the downside, casual restaurants, which are the food source of those who need a meal in a hurry, are not doing as well. But, companies related to the cooking industry are seeing an increase in sales.

While I wish that this trend didn't result from hard times, I must say that I see some good things in this trend:

1) People who used to cook regularly but have quit are cooking again; people who have never cooked are learning how.
2) I'm sure the home cooked meals are not only cost-saving when compared to eating out, but are more nutritious, too.
3) Perhaps, people will connect the dots and realize that tending to the home is an important career choice for those who wish to make it. Cooking nutritious meals takes time, planning, and skill -- not to mention that it becomes an art form for those who really love to cook. Cooking is a wonderful way of showing love to others.
4) Perhaps more children are experiencing the joys of the family dinner table. Perhaps, they are learning how to help in the kitchen, as well.
5) If people thought they were too busy to cook but are now cooking, the time to prepare those meals has to come from somewhere. Perhaps, some families are substituting cooking for time spent in watching TV or other activities that are ok, but not necessarily as bonding or as wholesome.

Anyhow, I hope that the trend toward cooking is producing some good things.

Speaking of coping during hard times, DH and I watched, "While You Were Away," with Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, and Shirley Temple. Has anyone else seen it?

Before I mention what I liked about it, let me state a few negatives. When it comes to portraying a housewife coping with the hardships of World War II, I prefer Mrs. Miniver. It's not quite as melodramtic as "While You Were Away", which David Selznick, the producer, hoped would be an extravaganza on the scale of his earlier film, "Gone With the Wind." Also, I wasn't quite comfortable with the fact that one of the main male characters in the film, a single man, makes joking flirtatious comments to the main female character, a married woman whose husband is away fighting the war.

Despite those things, I loved the way the film presented a mother and her two daughters coping creatively with the absence of the husband and father, with their reduced budget, with rationing, and with the inevitable sadness and death that war brings. I also loved the set for the house, as well as the costumes of the women. I'm glad that I saw it.

If you've watched this movie, what did you think?



Zombiemommy said...

I haven't seen that one. However in response to your cooking, I love home cooking too. And I seem to find it so rarely. Especially even home baking. Most peoples excuses is that they have no time. But its proven that healthier food makes a healthier person.
I have learned a lot of interesting stuff on the Weston Price Foundation website, the Traditional Cooking thread on and finally reading the applachian foxfire series books.

However I totally understand why people do cook from a box, it does save time, but I try (not consistently) not to eat anything with an ingredient I cannot pronounce.

faerieeva said...

great post! It seems that economic downtimes often lead to a new apreciation of domesticity. The most excellent book: "No idle hands, a social history of American Knitting" has been a real eye opener to me about the flow of apreciation towards 'womans work'. The book has a few comments influenced by the eighties in which the book was written, but in general the writer has done a great job in sticking to the historic facts of her research and put them together with a great flow. I am convinced you'll LOVE this book!

Elizabeth said...

Hi Zombiemommy, I think home cooking is healthier and better for a family too. I do sometimes use prepackaged stuff, also.

Hi Faerieeva,

That book does sound interesting.