Mailbag! Special Meterosexual Edition!

From an anonymous reader, and yes, it is true…Eduwonk ran down a copy and sure enough in this month’s Real Simple magazine there is a recipe for Chicken Stroganoff from one Chester Finn heretofore better known for policy than polenta…

Dear Eduwonk:

Many of us have long thought that the similarities between Chester Finn and Julia Child are downright eerie. Now it turns out that they also share a penchant for fancy cooking! Please see the latest issue of Real Simple magazine.

So, Finn’s a published policy wonk and a published gastronome. My fiancée has taken note, and now she thinks I’m a slacker. All I hear all day is “I bet Finn’s reading Dewey right now, not watching reruns of Friends,” and “Finn would’ve made me a real dinner, not canned stew,” and “Finn would be nicer to my mother,” and on and on…

Eduwonk, he’s throwing off the curve for the rest of us! What can I do?

Please help,
A chagrined ed reformer

PS: Please don’t share my identity with your many readers. My enormous street cred would be comprised if it were revealed that I read Real Simple magazine.

Update I: Chef Finn himself writes to Eduwonk that:

There are innumerable similarities between analyzing education policy and making chicken stroganoff. To mention only the most obvious:

* deconstruction is involved, in the one case of concepts and interests, in the other case of fowls and vegetables.
* tears are entailed, in the one case for children left behind, in the other case a result of slicing onions.
* one must cook with heat and vigor, in the one case at a stove, in the other at a word processor, conference or committee room.
* spice is essential, in the one case to provide flavor, in the other to attract interest.

I could go on but will forebear. I must, however, observe that your tipster seems worrisomely insecure about his fiancée. Perhaps he should take cooking lessons. Alternatively, he could seek to become the Escoffier of education policy.

Update II: It’s not only Finn with the Real Simple connection. Apparently, pace several Eduwonk tipsters, Brenda Welburn, the CEO of NASBE, has a daughter who will be part of Real Simple’s television show.

Update III: A reader writes:

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Measure this exactly. I don’t want to hear any nonsense about how I should “trust” the cook; use a standard measuring spoon. Add the diced unions, um onions, and the mushrooms, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, like the progressives, about 8 minutes. Leave no mushroom behind. Don’t worry about their “self-esteem.” Instead, with a wooden spoon, loosen all the bits stuck to the pan and let cook with the rest of the sauce. The liquid should thicken slightly, not to the point of Reg Weaver, but more to Andy Rotherham level.

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