April 9, 2013
Family favorite foods, gender roles, and more than a smidge of humor combine in first-time author Greg Ford's cookbook, No Girls Allowed: Cookbook for Men, which hits bookstores today. After a career in finance and product management, he devoted time to gathering recipes to help men enjoy cooking. Among the highlights in his collection: Too Hungry to Cook Chili; Meatballs...Bold and Unafraid; and the intriguing Spontaneous Combustion Soup. Here, Ford steps away from the stove to talk about his mission to share his love of food and cooking with men everywhere, starting with his own sons. Did you learn to cook as a boy? Hot dogs, P&J sandwiches, fried potatoes and eggs...so, no, not really. Actually, I was inhibited because my dad's cooking was so bad, I was afraid I was going to cook like him. What's the first dish you remember making? Besides the usual barbecuing and breakfast concoctions, the first dish I remember was a chocolate soufflé. I went on a business trip to Dallas, and we went to this terrific restaurant and had a great chocolate soufflé. Since I didn't want to have to go back to Dallas, or any restaurant for that matter, to have a soufflé, I decided to make it. For better or worse, it turned out pretty well, and my family is still asking for it. It is important to have an early success to keep you going. You gave one of your sons a collection of favorite family recipes when he got married. Why did you think it was important to pool this family culinary wisdom? We actually printed the recipes along with some words of wisdom in a family cookbook called Adam's Gorilla in the Kitchen Cookbook. Basically the role of men is to take out the garbage, wash the car, and have one really good recipe that they can do. When you collect the one good recipe that every male family member has, you have a pretty good bunch of recipes. The idea was to give him some advice (like don't make faces if you don't like the meal she just cooked) for a happy marriage and some recipes for him to cook, beyond the one he was destined to end up with. Are you pleased to see more men enjoying cooking these days? Absolutely. Cooking is fun, and allows you to eat what you want and when. On top of that, you save money. (My wife disagrees: During our early years, she cooked on a budget, and I kind of cook to the recipe, budget be damned.) And once you have developed your cooking skills, you can tailor your food to improve your health, or whatever you want to do. Sharing the cooking is fun with your spouse or roommates and increases the things you share in common. It will elevate the cooking in the home with unanticipated competition and increase the variety of meals, because more than one mind and set of tastes is involved. If one person...
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