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Can YOU do this?

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  • Can YOU do this?

    My mother and I have an ongoing dispute.
    One of us claims that a real woman is able to walk into another woman's kitchen while she is cooking, and will know right away what she needs to do to help out, without having to ask the cook.
    The other claims that things like that can't be known by anybody and that the helper should have to ask what needs to be done.

    Help settle this!
    Curiosity never hurt anyone. It was stupidity that killed the cat.

  • #2
    I sure don't know what needs doing when I walk into somebody else's kitchen.



    Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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    • #3
      Well its not like you're walking into a restaurant where you are the sous chef. And rarely is it so obvious..... Unless there is plainly a bag of overflowing food trash or a sink of dirty dishes. However in my kitchen I do not have open recipe books, and the dishes and trash would be done before I started so yeah, your gonna need to ask "how can I help you?" It is neither fair nor appropriate for anyone to make any expectation for you to know what to do.
      A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
      George Bernard Shaw

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      • #4
        So, my mother is being unreasonable when she gets angry at me over this. That is what I thought. She could have at least taught me how to cook first!

        I need to get out of this house.
        Curiosity never hurt anyone. It was stupidity that killed the cat.

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        • #5
          Basically, yeah your not psychic....
          A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
          George Bernard Shaw

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          • #6
            When I walk into another woman's kitchen while she's cooking, almost always I DO know helpful things I could do.
            However, I wouldn't do those things without first asking.
            Unless she were my mother.

            I'm a month after the OP, and have been gone from TWeb for many years, but I will venture to interpret QuantaFille's mother's statements into English. She would like you to help without being asked. She will feel more supported and appreciated when you do this. She may feel guilty or attacked if you say you can't cook, because if she cooks and you don't, she missed an opportunity to share that skill. Being able to pitch in without being asked, as well as graciously helping out when asked (and graciously declining when you can't or when it's appropriate to decline) is part of being an adult, with any of her projects, not just in the kitchen.

            Mom daughter relationships are HARD. And her communication skills will not improve.

            And, lovely to see you again.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by just Johnna View Post
              When I walk into another woman's kitchen while she's cooking, almost always I DO know helpful things I could do.
              However, I wouldn't do those things without first asking.
              Unless she were my mother.

              I'm a month after the OP, and have been gone from TWeb for many years, but I will venture to interpret QuantaFille's mother's statements into English. She would like you to help without being asked. She will feel more supported and appreciated when you do this. She may feel guilty or attacked if you say you can't cook, because if she cooks and you don't, she missed an opportunity to share that skill. Being able to pitch in without being asked, as well as graciously helping out when asked (and graciously declining when you can't or when it's appropriate to decline) is part of being an adult, with any of her projects, not just in the kitchen.

              Mom daughter relationships are HARD. And her communication skills will not improve.

              And, lovely to see you again.
              She doesn't have to ask me to help. I show up in the kitchen and ask her what I should do. THAT is what makes her angry, and that anger is what makes me not want to be in the kitchen with her.
              When I DO start doing something without asking her first what I should do, I always end up doing the wrong thing. And if I show up in the kitchen and say, "What can I do?" she becomes furious that I can't figure it out on my own and she starts on her "you aren't a real woman" rant. If she would just tell me what she wants me to do when I ask, and if she would be willing to explain to me how to do it, everything would be fine. Or, if she would finally teach me enough about cooking that I COULD figure it out. That would be helpful.
              And she is the one drilling it into me that I can't cook. It's all I hear from my family. And trust me, she doesn't feel guilty about not teaching me to cook, because in her mind I am the one at fault for needing to have cooking techniques explained as well as demonstrated. Needing to have cooking explained to me is a huge, inexcusable flaw that makes me a failure at being female.

              I am not attacking you, just explaining more of the situation. And welcome back to TWeb! It's been a long time since I saw you around here. How have you been?
              Curiosity never hurt anyone. It was stupidity that killed the cat.

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              • #8
                I'm sorry, that's totally crazy making!

                I had to get through some hard things in the last few years, including divorce. I swear, I really had no idea how it is for people to get divorced. I didn't know and I didn't try. Yet there were people who were so compassionate to me, kindness was really amazing to experience at that time. And then for my kids.

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                • #9
                  Sorry to interrupt (being a guy) but I don't think cooking is what makes a woman a woman. In fact, in both of my brother's families, my brothers do most of the cooking because they enjoy it so much. Really good cooks too. Sounds like your mom has other issues, Quanta, and is using this as an excuse. Nobody is a mind reader.

                  (I won't post here again. but I had to say it)

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                  • #10
                    I agree with Sparko, and I have faith in this sorority's ability to confirm to Quantafille that any such attack on her womanhood is ridiculous. Absurd.

                    (And her dal recipe looks delish. We eat dal regularly around here, so I appreciate her taste. )

                    I hate the old toxic not-qualified-to-be-a-woman criticisms. They belong to the fears of an older generation.
                    Last edited by just Johnna; 01-14-2015, 02:17 PM. Reason: add link

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                    • #11
                      I am all for the men in my life taking up residence in the kitchen. My husband used to cook a bit, but doesn't much now because my son does a fair bit. My daughter married a trained chef who cooks for every family get together.

                      The rule in my house is that if you cook, you don't wash dishes, and so I rarely do them. No dishwasher, they are done the old-fangled way by one of my men. When my son cooks, Mr. mossy generally volunteers for clean up duty.

                      Works great, imo. And I certainly don't feel any less a woman for it.


                      Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks, y'all.

                        And to clarify, it's not so much the fact that I can't cook (although that does make her mad), it's the fact that I need the why's and how's explained to me that gets her so worked up. She thinks that I should learn it all by watching, with no verbal instructions, and not ask any questions about why something is done the way it is. Then I tell her the story of the girl whose mother always cut the end off the ham before roasting it, and the girls asks her why. The mother didn't know why - it's just what her mother always did. So the girl goes to the grandmother and asks her why she did it that way, and it turns out her pan was too small for the whole ham. The mother was cutting off the end of the ham for no reason, since she was using a bigger pan. I don't think that story gets the point across very well because she just rolls her eyes at me. I want to fully understand what I am doing in the kitchen so that I can be proficient at what I am doing in the kitchen.

                        I have actually been seriously considering cooking school or something along those lines. Maybe something online. I dunno. All I know, is that I would rather be living with my husband right now so I don't have to be in my mother's kitchen at all. He doesn't complain about my cooking much.

                        Oh, and I forgot the garlic in the dal recipe. I will fix that now.
                        Curiosity never hurt anyone. It was stupidity that killed the cat.

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                        • #13
                          Okay, this is much too late to be of any real help, but why should common sense get all the fun?

                          My guess is that your mom learns visually. You are literally asking for something she cannot do. She doesn't know why she uses a half inch of oil to fry somethings and none for others. She simply knows which is which because that is what she learned. To try to assign reasons is like asking her to sprout wings and fly. Probably just as frustrating to her.

                          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

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