Writing an op-ed piece in the New York Times, Amanda Hesser takes Michelle Obama to task for saying, “I don’t miss cooking. I’m just fine with other people cooking.” She has some faint praise
for the White House organic garden, but is really ticked off by the idea (out of her own head, as far as I can tell) that Ms. Obama thinks cooking isn't worth doing. Worse yet, she goes on to say, "Because terrific local ingredients aren’t much use if people are cooking less and less; cooking is to gardening what parenting is to childbirth."
I sympathize with Ms. Hesser's motivations, but she's working from total cluelessness. There are two reasons we don't go to New York City to get advice on gardening. One is that they publish ungrammatical sentence fragments. The other is that the whole island of Manhattan is a terrarium, disconnected from life and nature. Ms. Hesser was writing on May 31, the beginning of a four-month period when cooking is totally optional. The garden outside my window is going gangbusters, and not a single thing in it needs to be cooked. She should check out some raw food blogs, or talk to some of these people.
For example, this is what I've had for dinner two nights this week:
2 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced10 cherry tomatoes, halved1 bell pepper, dicedsprinkling of red wine vinegarfreshly-ground salt and pepperMix in a bowl. Eat on the porch, with a big glass of iced tea. (Or a small glass of chianti, if you don't have work to do after dinner.)
Total preparation time, maybe 7-8 minutes picking the vegetables, plus another 5 minutes washing and chopping. No cooking involved. No threat to the stability of the Nation.