Pistachio Mint Pesto- and Mad Men’s Opressed Ladies

Hi everyone and welcome to August. This August is very special for me because it will be a month filled with Mad Men and it’s leading man, Don Draper (or Jon Hamm). Now, Jon Hamm is a good reason, (actually, a great reason), to watch the show, but another good reason to watch is because of the fascinating and realistic portrayal of life in Post WWII, NY. Watching all these women in the early sixties struggle with gender roles is frustrating and poignant and reminds us of how far we have come but how much further we need to go.

Take Peggy, for example. She is a smart, ambitious and creative copy writer who has worked very hard to get where she is in the male dominated advertising world. In last week’s episode, she was kept out of a meeting having to do with women’s swim suits when she would have be an asset to the discussion. She was also spoken to in an extremely condescending manner by her boss and had no recourse because that was the plight of the woman in the work world.

Fortunately today, we do have legal recourse and the freedom to work and participate in the same capacity as men. There is, however, the legacy of having to prove ourselves as women and the unfortunate consequence is that many women gave up the cooking role at home.

Girlfriends (said in an Oprah voice), we need to take back our kitchens and show Peggy and the other ladies of Mad Men that we can be both home cooks and business ladies all at once, and that although we appreciate their paving the path for us in the work world, it does not have to mean giving up our role as nurturer to our families and ourselves.

Let’s start by showing Peggy, Betty and Joan that we can whip up a wicked Vegan pesto that can be made quickly and served after a hard day of work at home or in the office. I have been making this recipe since I was a single working girl-not sure where I got it but I think Bon Appetit or Cooking Light?

Pistachio Mint Pesto:

3 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup roasted or raw almonds
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper-optional
1/8 tsp ground black pepper-more to taste
1/8 tsp salt -more to taste

In a food processor, grind all above ingredients together until pesto like. Serve with buckwheat noodles, on top of crackers or in a lasagna as a filler

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6 comments

  1. love everything about this! the recipe? um- YU-UM! and the 'lil 'ol embedded lesson? equally delish!

    it's *hard* to know what you want, much less claim it. so often we hold onto ideals that just aren't us anymore. it's OKAY to love being in the kitchen! as a mom i grew into this role and i adore it (now) but i couldn't have imagined it years (and years and years *sigh*) ago! and that's OKAY.

    love the post, love the recipe! thanks much! 🙂

  2. E says:

    Girlfriend (said in Oprah voice) I had to quit my career in the male-dominated lobbying world to take back my kitchen but I sure admire women who can do both. That pesto looks terrific! I love the twist on the basil one and will be sure to make this with my mango/chees apps you taught me.

  3. Julie says:

    This recipe looks great… unfortunately 3 of the members of our 4 person family are allergic to the ingredients :-(. I hear what Deb is saying and can add that being in the Oil industry in the 90's wasn't that easy either.

  4. Deb says:

    Having been a smart, ambitious and creative copywriter in the 90's, I can tell you that things weren't all that different. (sigh)

    Bring on the pesto!

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