Back in the day, when I was a kid, the guys–the fathers, uncles, neighbors–all had workshops in their homes. Filled with power tools, nuts and bolts, screws and nails, plywood, hammers, chisels, screwdrivers, vises, and all sorts of equipment, the workshops were not just a retreat from the intimacy of the bedroom and kitchen, but a legacy from the recent world war and the war in Korea.
The men had the notion that they could and that it was their responsibility to fix things, make things work, make chairs, tables, benches, and so on. Having coming from the military just recently, the premise was that men could soldier on. They knew how to make things work.
Nowadays, Popular Mechanics, a magazine found in many homes back then, is replaced by cookbooks and recipes cut from magazines or newspapers and downloaded from the Internet. People actually think or believe that the dish they are reading about–and may never have tasted in a restaurant or from a cook who was trained for years–is something they can make at home.
That thought or belief is a legacy of years of both unemployment, excess, self indulgence, and decades of being told, for the affluent, that they are precious and gifted and can do anything. The audience for the home cook who aspires to be a chef are generations of the special.
But watch out because when the hammer comes down on the thumb, it hurts.
Better to learn to make a good omelet.