The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment&analysis -

Mod­esty Blasé, an anony­mous Hen­don mother, com­plains that women in her com­mu­nity are too fo­cused on do­mes­tic­ity: “Over­heard at the butcher the other day. ‘I re­ally want to or­gan­ise a mother and baby morn­ing that has a bit more sub­stance to it. Some learn­ing or some­thing more in­ter­est­ing than just baby talk.’

‘That sounds great. I’d love to come. Did you have any ideas in mind?’

‘I was think­ing about swap­ping recipes. I need a re­ally good honey cake recipe.’

I have never made a honey cake. I don’t bake my own chal­lah. My chil­dren don’t eat home-made cook­ies. And I have never served straw­ber­ries hand-dipped in chocolate. And I am proud. The race to prove one’s do­mes­tic­ity is en­demic in Gold­ers Green and Hen­don. Highly ed­u­cated housewives who have aban­doned their ca­reer as­pi­ra­tions are chan­nelling those en­er­gies into pro­duc­ing fes­tive treats that come to de­fine their role within the fam­ily. I ar­gue that we must sup­port lo­cal busi­nesses such as kosher bak­eries if we want a sus­tain­able com­mu­nity. I am also not con­vinced that it is cheaper to make one’s own honey cake. Aside from the costs of eggs, honey, flour, elec­tric­ity and wa­ter to clean

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