Oxo cubes and Betty Friedan


In yesterday’s Guardian newspaper, there were photos out of Duncan McCorquodale’s new book “A Visual History of Cookery”. I liked the Oxo advertisement from the early 1900s. In today’s world, an ad would not present a mother with her children leaning over a pot of stew without a father present, it wouldn’t be deemed politically incorrect. Infact a family unit doesn’t necessarily represent a husband and wife today. In the 1950s American women were expected to be home cooking in the kitchen and taking care of their husband and children’s needs. Married women who didn’t fit the mold were locked away in insane asylums because it was believed that they were mad if they felt unfulfilled as a housewife. This American ideology gradually changed with the publication of Betty Friedan’s book “The Feminine Mystique” in 1963.

Women in the media also had to fight for their positions in the 1970s. Barbara Walters was the first woman tv news anchor allowed to read the news solo. She had been bullied by her male co-anchors and was expected to report the “fluffy” news. Barbara’s stamina rose above the male chauvinism and she led the way for serious female reporters to take their place in prime time television. The “Mary Tyler Moore” show represented an independent woman making choices to leave a fiance a start a new life elsewhere. We have come a long way in fifty years. But there is still further to go.
Better than Bouillon is today’s equivalent of Oxo. I don’t see any ads representing the happy family that uses it. Just a photo of veggies on the pot. The food movement today is concerned about the quality of food. I use this product because it means that I can leave a pot of it in a client’s fridge and if I forget to buy my favorite  brand of Pacific broth, there is the bouillon to fall back on. I do use the the bouillon in Tal Ronnen’s vegan soups. It adds a different salty flavor to the vegetables than a ready made container of broth. In his book “The Conscious Vegan”, which is recommended by Oprah, I especially like his Tomato Bisque soup. He has taught me a new trick. To get a creamy consistency in sauces or soups use raw cashews.

Today I am off to cook in the Pacific Palisades for a family with two grownup sons. They love my food. I mix childhood favorites with healthy fare. Today I will make Chili con carne with coleslaw, Roast yoghurt chicken with mashed butternut squash, sole picatta with spinach, grilled steak and salad. Sounds good to me for a week’s meals!!

Adios for now

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