(Re)Enacting Motherhood

Self-sacrifice and abnegation in the kitchen

Authored by: Benedetta Cappellini , Elizabeth Parsons

The Routledge Companion to Identity and Consumption

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415783064
eBook ISBN: 9780203105337
Adobe ISBN: 9781136253522

10.4324/9780203105337.ch12

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Abstract

My mother never liked fried anchovies. She found them disgusting to clean, smelly to keep in the fridge and too salty to eat. Nevertheless she has cooked them once a week, every Wednesday, for the past 20 years. It was my father’s and my favorite dish. She stopped cooking it when my father passed away, but when I go back home she makes sure she cooks it at least a couple of times. She still pulls the same disgusting face in serving this dish and she can’t help commenting that it is a meal more appropriate for our dog. A couple of weeks ago I asked her why she punishes herself in serving a dish she detests. She replied: “Once you have a child you will find out.”

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