Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Beta Cook Disorder

It's a pointed message about my behavior in the kitchen--apparently I'm a kitchen bully.

Although, according to the Times article, it is she, the bullied, that has the disorder. Huh.

She is an alpha cook in her own territory, but, if thrown in with either of her children, she becomes a mere beta because we are, in her words, "kitchen Nazis." My husband uses a similar description.

I must admit that some descriptions in He Cooks. She Stews. It’s Love. ring true for me, notwithstanding the gender role reversal. I would suspect they also ring true for the other child, mi hermano.

However, I do not expect my mother or spouse to "greet any meal [I] might make on an average weeknight with the equivalent of a marching band reception." Frankly, very few of my dishes would be worthy of such treatment.

I do admit to holding strong opinions on technique and ingredients, based on years of fairly serious reading, study and actual lessons. This butts up against the number of years my mother has spent in the kitchen--a number with which I cannot compete.

So then it becomes psychological: Who's tougher? Who's more confident? Who's alpha?

And what happens when you raise your children to be confident, assertive, passionate craftspeople?

I suspect that my mom did not want to raise mere beta cooks.

She wanted alphas.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

My brother--too shy to post--emailed a joke about the error term on the CAPM is also being alpha--and when I didn't get it, he sent this explanation: "the error term in any linear regression is an alpha. Remember the 'slope-intercept' linear expressiom from Mr. Tarbutton's class? Alpha is the intercept..)"

Nope, don't remember that one. Does anyone understand this or is my alpha-brother alone in geekdom?

He also thinks HE is the sole kitchen alpha. He needs to talk to my husband.