Foodie Pseudery (41)
The lament of the woman with two kitchens…
I have two kitchens. For most of the year, I cook in an Upper West Side apartment, in Manhattan. It was designed in the eighteen-nineties and is probably best described as a landlord’s misguided attempt to lure tenants with horizontal evocations of the upstairs-downstairs life. The ‘public’ rooms, meant to be seen and admired, were large and well proportioned. The ‘private’ rooms, out of sight off a long back hall, were for the most part awkward and cramped, and perhaps the lowliest room on this totem pole of domestic status was the kitchen, where your cook, emerging each morning through the door of a tiny bedroom—in my apartment, it opened between the icebox and the sink—was expected to spend her waking hours.
… there was no way to expand my kitchen to accommodate my own moment …… I am consoled, however, by my other kitchen. It is the ‘please come in’ room of the Umbrian farmhouse where I work, and cook, in the summer—a much more satisfying image of the way I like to live.
One shrivels a bit for her…… do you think she read it in print and suddenly thought, O god, what a pretentious fool. That’s going to get me in Foodie Pseudery……..? Maybe not.
But, in her favour, she wrote an intelligent profile of Yotam Ottolenghi in the usually embarassingly bad annual New Yorker food issue. Once every year the entire editorial team of the New Yorker take leave of their senses.
I did wonder the same. There are moments in the piece where I think she’s trying to send herself up, but it all falls flat.
If that food issue were ever placed online it would be GOLD for my foodie pseudery series.
I’m so delighted to find this series. Not only is it deliciously fun to poke at purple food prose, but it also sparked some ideas for me to work out some different genres of “food writing”–what characterizes it, what is it used for. I think that would be helpful for the student-run food mag I write for.
I’m so pleased you like it! It’s actually quite amazing how much bad food writing there is. I tend not to include blogs or offline articles, because bloggers don’t have editors who should know better, and I think it’s fairer for readers to be able to read the full article.