A red idol sits on the top shelf of a small bookcase just outside my kitchen. But it’s in danger of being toppled. And I hate that.
The idol is Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.
I read a lot of food-related blogs, and one of the bloggers has been taking pot-shots at my idol–saying, of all things, that Bittman can’t cook.
See, here’s the thing about idols and other authorities. We rely on them for assurance that everything will turn out OK. We don’t trust our own knowledge, skill and dexterity, and it makes us feel better to believe that someone out there knows more than we do about x, y, or z. It’s scary when we find out that Mommy isn’t home and Daddy doesn’t know.
We’re on our own.
And here’s the question: if that’s the truth of the matter, is it better to know? Or to keep on pretending that Mark Bittman will save us from kitchen mysteries and disasters?