In the United States, home-cooked meals with family are revered almost to the point of fetishization. Dinners are seen as moral imperatives for happy, healthy families. Women, mothers in particular, have been tasked with serving up meals rich with meaning. Yet, as authors Sarah Bowen, Joslyn Brenton, and Sinikka Elliott write in Pressure Cooker: Why Home Cooking Won’t Solve Our Problems and What We Can Do about It, many American women are not happy with their cooking lives. Due to economics and schedules, many mothers are not able to feed their families in the way they’ve been told they should, which leaves them feeling anxious and inadequate.

Pressure Cooker is out March 1, 2019, from Oxford University Press.

Music for this episode is from Blue Dot Sessions: “Awaiting an Arrival” by Resolute, “Insatiable Toad” by Origami, “Union Hall Melody” by Union Hall, “Valantis” by Cauldron, and “Zulia Conspiracy” by El Baul. 

Irina Zhorov is a writer, photographer, and producer. Her work has appeared on NPR, Planet Money, and 99 Percent Invisible. She’s a Philly girl living on an old horse farm in North Carolina and working on a novel set in Siberia.