Gifts of Recipes at a Bridal Shower?

I recently went to a girl friend’s bridal shower. At her shower, we were giving gifts, such as wine glasses, skimpy lingerie, etc. And then her bridesmaids presented her with a nice dress from Bloomingdales and some other goodies. And then: a recipe box. And inside were a few index cards of recipes that they had made. They had asked some of the ladies to fill out some index cards with recipes to bring as “gifts” to the bridal shower.

Now I know they must mean well. But my girl friend is a 30 year old professional, who is successful at work, independent, and only occasionally cooks. What exactly is the message that this “recipe box” sending?

Thoughtful? or traditional? binding?

Funny that it’s a box, too. It’s like these bridesmaids (who are ironically also working women) are trying to box a married woman’s role to be the traditional and stereotypical image of cooking and cleaning.

I don’t think men will give their buddy a box of recipes or instructions of how to do laundry during his bachelor’s party. So what’s with these recipe-giving ladies at the bride’s bridal shower?

How about a box of “how to pamper yourself”? Or some certificates to spas, nail salons, massages, etc? Why was it the traditional cooking?

So these girl friends are all from our church. Maybe they thought giving wine and lingerie (like the rest of us guests…) was scandalous. But giving recipes (read: cookbooks?) is also going a bit far in the other direction as well.

I’m not sure how I would respond to that sort of gift. I was just kinda mortified at the shower. I don’t recall her loving to cook either. Not really sure what’s going on… But note to self: get yourself some different bridesmaids.


10 thoughts on “Gifts of Recipes at a Bridal Shower?

  1. I know friends who may not cook now or be good at it, but would like to have something to “try out” with their husbands once they’re married. Maybe they aren’t a fan of cooking for one, but cooking for two is better…most recipes are easy to do for two people, but for one, it takes too much math.

    I know that some people are like that, especially at certain churches…they really believe that once you get married you are put into a box…heck, there are a lot of guys in churches who think that…but yeah. I know for my friends, we tone down what we get them for the shower and then pull the racy stuff out at the Bachelorette party (and trust me…we get pretty racy!)

    But yeah, I agree with the comment before mine…I think they were just trying to be creative. But a good thing to keep in mind when you’re planning your own bridal shower! Make sure your BMs know that you are not interested in that! 🙂

  2. How utterly ungracious, judgemetal and feminst of you. I find your comments far more offensive than the actions of some well meaning women. Giving favorite recipes is a southern tradition and conveys love and usually those recipe cards are treasured and kept far longer than any other gift.

    The women who gave the cards would be utterly insulted by you unsympathetic and judgemental reply.

    Cooking is a basic survival skill and is definitely not sexist or sex role related. I am a man and taught my sons to cook. My daughter I could not lure into the kitchen. I asked her what she was going to do when she got married and she said, dad, I will just find a guy who does all of the cooking like you do. I’ll be damned if she did not do exactly that. Even now, she is learning to cook and bake so as to divide household tasks.

    Cooking is an art form and unlike other forms of artistic impressions, artistry can be achieved in months rather than years. In this day of the rabid fans of The Food Channel, the gifts of favorite recipe cards is entirely appropriate. The only thing that is innapropriate was your reply.

    John Wilder

    • Whoa. I apologize if I offended you with my comments.
      I agree, my comments are very bias, and probably laced with emotions as well.
      First off, I am actually a horrible cook. I do many things well, but for some reason, cannot cook. It does frustrate me. My mother is always trying to get me to sign up for some cooking classes. In addition, I often find myself very attracted to men who can cook, and cook well (good job teaching your son to cook!).
      Sometimes, I feel pressured by society, not only American’s society, but Asian culture as well. It is more accepted in the US that men step foot in the kitchen, but it’s not as commonly seen when I was growing up, especially the years which I spent in Taiwan.
      I hate when people tell me what I should be, how I should act, etc. So I guess my comments are kinda a rebellious outcry from when people made me feel less like a woman, made me feel like a bad girlfriend or bad future-wife, all because I can’t cook well.
      I’m a fast learner, and have explained and defended myself that I will learn, especially when I have children to feed. But sometimes, that answer doesn’t suffice.
      So for example, my ex boyfriend’s mother is Korean, and she made it clear that she wanted me to cook Korean food. She would ask me to help in the kitchen, which I would happily do. But then got tons of criticism when I peeled vegetables too slowly (using a knife, as opposed to using a peeler, which I’m more used to).

      Anyhow, my intention was not to be offensive, but more expressing my take on the situation. This is more my perspective, obviously having been affected greatly by my experiences.

      I still stand by my view, that I would not want to be given a recipe box, personally.
      But I respect your view that cooking is an art (my fave channel is the food network, I just can’t cook like that. But I still love watching!) and is a survival skill.

      But to me, it becomes suffocating when people use that to judge me and my gender role. It makes me feel jailed in and unable to be me, a non-talented cook that has other skills and interests.

      Another thing could be that I live in hyper-ville Philadelphia, which for many young professionals, the norm every night is to eat out with friends after happy hour, unless, of course there’s late night dinner meetings in the offices or churches or some other group commitment.

  3. Well anyone who is a good cook generally would be thrilled to take you under their wing and show you some things. I think that you have a mental block.

    I tell people that cooking is simply applying judicious amounts of heat to raw food to render a more palatable meal. Broken down to its simplest elements; it is sautéing, baking, broiling.

    You can go from simple to complex to build upon your self confidence.

    No one is telling you what to do or judging you for your lack of skills. Cooking is a great hobby because you have to eat anyway. Eating out if prohibitively expensive. Once your skills increase, you can even enter cooking contests. There have been a lot of first time entrants actually winning the grand prize which can be substantial.

    Rachel Ray is a good cook to watch for basic recipes and techniques. You could record a show and watch it several times over and then do what she does and match the recipe contents. All you have to do is make up your mind to do it and pursue it instead of giving up. Like any skill, it takes practice and patience and a will to accomplish it.

    You have explained your emotional response.
    I appreciate the apology.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

  4. Let me put more succinctly, great food and great sex go hand in hand. I learned cooking because I have been embarked on a life long journey of becoming a modern day Renaissance Man.

    You can remedy your lack of skills by developing them. When you do, your self image will be vastly improved. There is something that is very gratifying by serving good well prepared food to an appreciative audience who ooh and aah over your dish.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

  5. How about the idea that the whole bridal shower itself is outdated?! You said that she was in her 30s and a professional. I assume that means she has pots and plates and has basically built up an entire kitchen around herself already. Why do we need to buy her more of this stuff she already has? This also covers towels, linens, etc. Forget the recipes, the entire concept of a bridal shower is outdated.

    • Geez you women are cold blooded. Bridal showers are a chance for your friends to share your joy and get together. Friends would determine what you wanted and add to your household.

      It hurts me to see so much cynacism on the part of women, especially to other women. I am reminded of a phrase I learned in Germany; das katzen mit zwei byna mit craule. The literal translation is the two legged cat with claws.

      • You know…I think you’re way beyond the “if you can’t say something nice…” mark. These women are being honest about how they feel about it and right or wrong, you are being very judgemental and abrasive when there’s no call for it. I don’t share the same opinion that they do, but you might notice that I didn’t use any of the sharp verbage that you did and still got my point across. I am really glad that I have the option of my pastor as my marriage coach, when it happens, because I sure as heck would walk out of your session if it’s anything like this. That is all…I won’t comment again on this subject.

  6. Ok, I think we’re getting a bit heated.
    But it’s ok. I think it’s wonderful that we all have such different opinions. That’s what makes discussions interesting and fun. Although I think it’s always great to find people who think like you, I think it sometimes gets a bit boring when everyone responds “Yes, I think exactly the same way.”
    While finding people who think and see things similarly is truly a blessing, I find it wonderfully interesting how we all have different view points and I find it also a blessing that we can share freely as well.
    Like someone said above, there’s no right or wrong, just difference in opinions.
    I really appreciate everyone’s point of view, we see both ends of the spectrum, and a few moderate, in between view points! I feel that I’ve enriched my knowledge on how various people stand regarding this topic. I’m grateful to such a lively discussion!

    But sometimes we get carried away, and our opposing opinions accidentally become attacks and misinterpreted as unwholesome talk.
    Sooo…. not sure what time zone everyone is in, but hopefully everyone isn’t too worked up, and we can all have a good night sleep without carrying anger after sun down 😉

    I really appreciate the candid discussions and exchange of opinions! 🙂 Honest! Thank you, all you ladies and gentlemen!

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