15 March 2012


Theme Thursday 5

Something I missed a couple of weeks ago was that March is also "Pick What You See First" month for Theme Thursdays. It's a way to keep things simple for everyone--which I do appreciate, even as I insist on making my own life a little more complex.

What follows isn't the first snippet in the book to satisfy the theme, but it is the first of the sort I had in mind. I think that should count for something. (Right?)

This Week's Theme:

Last night I'd discovered that Charlie couldn't cook much besides fried eggs and bacon. So I requested that I be assigned kitchen duty for the duration of my stay. He was willing enough to hand over the keys to the banquet hall. I also found out that he had no food in the house. So I had my shopping list and the cash from the jar in the cupboard labeled FOOD MONEY, and I was on my way to the Thriftway.

Perhaps the only redeeming quality Bella Swan has is her willingness to cook for others. I was honestly impressed when I read of her asking for kitchen duty--and even kind of inspired when I saw how good she is at it. At her age, I couldn't have boiled water to save my life, much less throw together any of the meals she made her father, who likely hadn't known how badly he'd been eating until she came along.

I remember reading an analysis of that very aspect of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight a few years ago. Someone found it hard to believe that a grown man who had been living by himself for over a decade had mastered nothing more complicated than fried eggs and bacon--especially since he was a grown man who liked to hunt and fish. Then the incredulous reader moved to a certain town where Mormons were the overwhelming majority . . . and found that nearly all the men and boys were the same way in the kitchen. It was the women who did all the cooking. So the reader concluded that Meyer had likely modeled Charlie Swan after her own father--or even her own husband!

The inspiration for Edward Cullen, on the other hand, came not from real life, but from a dream. And I suppose that, for many women, a man who can cook is a kind of dream. But if Edward doesn't want a woman in the kitchen, it's only because he can't eat anything that isn't blood.

I wonder if Meyer noticed, while writing her novel, the oddness of pairing a competent cook with a "vegetarian" vampire. Bella can't show Edward she loves him by feeding him; and he must show her he loves her by denying his appetite. I've always thought there was something very anoerexic about their romance, but only now do I see clearly why.

Image Source: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer


Megan said...

This reminds me of my brother. He lives on fried pork chops, steak, granola bars, instant rice and tortilla chips. We go to his house for family dinners a lot (it's most central) and my mom has to bring her own pots and pans because he doesn't have any!

I also enjoyed your analysis. In high school I would go to my mormon friend's house for dinner quite often and I know I never once saw her dad in the kitchen.

Enbrethiliel said...


Thanks, Megan! =)

And now your brother kind of reminds me of myself when I first started learning how to cook! LOL! Perhaps he'd be encouraged to be more adventurous in the kitchen if he had his own pots and pans?

Angie Tusa said...

Hm.. This also means that Bella's one talent largely becomes useless once she herself is a vampire. Though I guess it would still come in handy during those family dinners with Jacob and Renesme!

Enbrethiliel said...


That's an even better point--and a challenging critical reading. Bella believes that being a vampire will make her better or even fulfill her, but we can make the case that it actually diminished her.

I didn't read or watch as far as Renesme's birth, so I'm not sure whether she can eat food or just drink blood. Perhaps Jacob will end up the only masticator in the extended clan! Sigh.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I made sure that my sons could cook. Now I love to sit back and have them cook up a feast when I visit them in their homes.

This all stemmed from growing up in a home where the women did all the cooking.

Thanks for visiting my blog...and I wish the author had specified what was in that lunch, too.

Shaz said...

Interesting thoughts! . . . and that's something I never thought I'd say about Twilight. :)

Enbrethiliel said...


Laurel -- Your sons were lucky to get that training! =)

Shaz -- Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.