When you're young, you look at television and think, There's a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that's not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That's a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It's the truth.
--Steve Jobs via Scott Brown on danhau.posterous.com
Cookbooks promise to effect a kind of domestic alchemy. Although seemingly straightforward, they hold out the hope of liberation from a routine of leftover chicken and from children who refuse to eat food of any colour except white. To follow their instructions... is to turn a mundane task into an engaging, romantic process. Cookbooks also provide an opportunity to delve into distant cultures without having to turn up early at the airport or read subtitles.