The previous posts about Sandra Lee got me thinking about the cooking classes I teach. These are not for a professional school but rather, are open to the general public. It's amazing how many people come to the class who really don't want to cook. I'm *****strating how to peel and chop garlic and someone will ask if you can use the pre-chopped garlic in the jar. I'm trying to give them a recipe for homemade breadsticks and inevitably someone will promote Pillsbury. Nobody wants to be bothered with homemeade stock or pie crusts from scratch. Almost weekly I get questions about substituting processed, jarred, or microwaved alternatives. It's like they're taking a cooking class to learn how not to cook. Despite the renewed interest in food and cooking in our culture over the last two decades, it appears that the masses still apporach food preparation as a tedious chore. Just one more task to be downsized and efficiently incorporated into the hectic, multi-tasked regime of modern American society. Sadly, for millions of Americans, unlike many Europeans, food is not a celebration of life. Instead of food preparation and the sharing of a meal being part of the fabric of our family and our society, it has become analogous to putting gas in the car. One more chore to squeeze in between others. And that's why Sandra Lee and Rachael Ray will always have good ratings.