Friday, November 06, 2009

All my eggs in one basket

Once they get started, they don't kid around, these hens. Of our seven surviving chickens, five are laying and we collect exactly four eggs every day. Alberta Einstein has never produced an egg and we are beginning to wonder, based on various "behaviors," if she might be a rooster. Whatever she is -- sterile, lesbian, boy -- she is one weird chicken. But since she has never crowed, she can stay.

Not about food or chickens, but on my mind: 

I second what Jessa Crispin has to say about Jonathan Safran Foer and what Lizzie Skurnick writes about sexism in the literary community.  

I  was once in the very same boardroom Lizzie describes trying to get a (great) book by a female author on the list of finalists for the same award. I had just made my lobbying speech before the 20 or so people assembled when a male colleague yawned and replied, "I would rather put a stick in my eye than see that on the list." 

Okay, whatever, he didn't actually yawn, but he gave the impression of one who might yawn at any moment, so boring and trivial was the very idea of this novel I loved. I can't know that he said this because the book was by a woman, about a woman, being advocated by a woman. But I have never seen a man in that organization so contemptuously dismiss a title advocated by a man, or written by a man, and I am not one who perceives sexism everywhere.

I should have said, "Go ahead, put the stick in your eye -- and  can I watch?" but I was raised to be a nice girl who doesn't talk about putting sticks in eyes. So I fumed for hours, stormed out early, and have held a grudge ever since. Very healthy and productive. I have learned from my mistakes. And Lizzie is right.

Tonight: deep fried poached eggs and creamed spinach. For dessert, vanilla cup custard. 


  1. Oooh, pretty eggs! Thanks for those links - Crispin expressed it very well, and the Skurnick post was quite interesting. Last year I decided to try reading from lists of "best books" and award winning books. I had of course read all the classics long ago, but for the past 20 years I've been reading mainly history and mysteries, not much recent literature. I knew Atwood and Munro and a few others, of course. But most of the "best" and award-winners just didn't do it for me. I didn't understand why they were thought to be superior, or even good.

    I did suspect that the high ratio of male authors might be part of the issue for me. I tend to avoid male authors of fiction because I find they focus too much on sex and violence, or on power and politics. I like to read about the smaller, pleasanter aspects of life (interpersonal relations, details of daily life; a few likable characters are welcome), and female authors tend to have more of what I'm looking for.

    Great post.

  2. Hi there, can I get your email address? I'm trying to send you some information about something. Thanks!

    Rebecca Bauer
    Food & Wine