When I was a college student, I remember taking lots of classes based on the psycho-analysis of “the process” of doing. I was an art major and by nature, artists are compulsive, that is what makes them artists; their compulsion to create. However, this is a fairly new way of thinking.
It wasn’t until the 19th century that the idea of art for art’s sake came about. Before then, anything artistic was commissioned works and were in effect utilitarian to the propaganda of another person. I relate it to modern day marketing, the commercials and billboards that give you an opinion of any entity, be it a person or corporation.
Out of the idea of creating objects that didn’t have to fulfill any role, be it moral or utilitarian, came a freedom to actually create items that were morally subversive. In my feminist art history classes I learned of Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro’s 1970’s “Womanhouse.” An exhibition of performance art within a 17 room home that became a repository for the daydreams that women had while they washed, baked, sewed, cooked, and ironed their life away. They implemented the use of shock value and exaggeration to evoke emotions from any viewer.
Now I think back to my college days, while I find myself enjoying my own compulsive process. I enjoy the entire process of baking, the research, pulling my supplies together, prepping my area and my ingredients, following the directions, and cleaning up afterwards. My mind quiets and I am completely at peace in the moment. I like to partake in the food but love it more to watch others enjoy my creation.
As I sit over my dishes though, I worry, am I regressing, have I not evolved with the times? A woman who likes to cook and to clean….
Wait, if it were a man who liked to do these things, we would all praise him…
Okay, yep, the hidden feminist inside of me is back, everything is right within the world again! Ha…
Anyway, in respect of the one’s of you that want a simpler (and healthier) dish to make, here is a dish that you will be eating in 30 minutes flat.
Linguini in Garlic Oil
- 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 10 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 pound linguini
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 1/2 cup tomato, chopped
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta to boiling water and stir; cook, according to package directions, until al dente.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Add garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add red-pepper flakes to skillet with garlic Add 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and stir to combine.
- Drain pasta and add to skillet. Toss to combine. Remove from heat and sprinkle with parsley, feta and tomatoes; toss again. Serve immediately.