Monday, March 22, 2010

Feminism in the kitchen

Since coming to college, I've begun to think of myself as something of a feminist. I'm appropriately outraged when I hear about incidents of sexism and I hate the figurative pat on the head that I sometimes get from men (such as: "Don't worry about it Sweetheart, I'll take care of it"). But as I was reading the first chapter of The Feminine Mystique on Sunday, all I could think about was how much I wanted to be in the kitchen baking something. Imagine my guilt as I read the words, "kitchens were once again the center of women's lives."* Bad feminist. Bad.

It's not uncommon for me to struggle with my f
eminist side and my domestic side. I was shopping with my grandmother some time in the past year and found myself staring wide-eyed at all the gadgets that I dream of having in my kitchen some day. She laughed and made some comment along the lines of, "Oh Aubrey, you're so domestic." I'm not exactly sure how I'm supposed to feel about that. Can I want to bake more than I want to do almost anything else and still be a feminist?

Well anyway, I wasn't torn up enough about it not to bake the other day. So I decided to try making cinnamon buns, something I've done before but only with the help of a bread machine. I never realized before how tiring it could be to knead dough.

Things did not start off great. First of all, the
recipe told me that the yeast-water-milk mixture should become foamy. It didn't. I panicked but decided to keep going because I was almost out of milk and didn't want to use more. Then as I began kneading the dough, it was waaaaaaay too sticky and got all over my hands. But of course I couldn't just add more flour because I had run out. So my boyfriend kindly went to the mini mart and bought some for me. I got the dough to be the right consistency, kneaded it (very good arm workout), and hoped it would rise. It did! I guess the yeast worked after all.

Everything else went pretty smoothly, and the result...

Okay, so they were kind of odd shapes and sizes, but they tasted good. Anyway, I think I'm going to hold off on baking anything else that involves kneading for a while. Next project: fudge.

*Friedan, Betty. The Feminine Mystique. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1997. 60. Web.

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