Monday, February 22, 2010

Mystique Indeed!

I'm revisiting one of my favorite books, The Supper of the Lamb. I blogged about it back when I was reading it in the fall of 2007 (wow, was it that long ago?!?). See here, for example.

Today's quote I don't even have to type; it just comes straight from a post on October 28, 2007 (pages 61-62).
"Properly edged and skillfully used, a cleaver will prepare whole meals without the assistance of another knife.

But it does more. It bolsters your ego as a cook. Parting chickens with aplomb, you begin to believe you really might make it. And so does everyone else. A woman with a cleaver in mid-swing is no mere woman. She breaks upon the eye of the beholder as an epiphany of power, as mistress of a house in which only trifles may be trifled with -- and in which she defines the trifles. A man who has seen women only as gentle arrangers of flowers has not seen all that women have to offer. Unsuspected majesties await him.


"You will also be provided with an instant rejoinder to anyone who presumes to lecture you on housewifery as an abject capitulation to the feminine mystique. Simply let him see you presiding over your kitchen with steel in one hand [for sharpening] and butcher knife in the other. Execute six well-drawn strokes, and his words will turn to ashes in his mouth. He was ready only for a maladjusted prisoner of the pantry; you have showed him instead one of the priestly archtypes of the race. Mystique indeed! He has hardly scratched the surface."

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