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February 19, 2011


Jacquie | After Words

I have to admit that I admire Pete Wells much more now after reading his last column and this interview. It always seemed to me that "Cooking Dexter" reeked of a certain self-satisfaction that, as a stay at home parent struggling to make family dinners part of my picky eaters' lives, I resented.

(The penultimate column, in which his younger child rails against, “'Yucky food from a factory!'” while Wells insincerely wonders where on earth a child could have picked up such a sentiment demonstrates this smugness perfectly.)

Wells says above that, "there were a lot of dinners that I thought were absolute home runs: we all sat down together and had a great time; we ate a reasonable hour; we didn't spend a ton of money; we were very waste-not-want-not and frugal; and it all tasted great. But you couldn't type it up and publish it in the New York Times, you know?" And I have to say that these are exactly the meals that I wish "Cooking with Dexter" had been about.

Grace @eatdinner

I really appreciate reading this interview for more insight into Wells and his family, because I was taken aback when he all of a sudden seemed to throw up his hands and say, "I'm done. Forgot the wonderful stories I've been threading for two years. Family dinner is just too damn hard." I agree with Jacquie, a few more truthful moments from as a parent in the trenches would have been compelling reading too. And Stay at Stove Dad, I'm glad to have found you...I think you're right that gaining cooking confidence and both parents contributing are essential for making family dinner work.

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