Saturday, May 27, 2017

DIY Food Network Fallen Star

I love cooking shows, but they're very unrealistic. Even the Top Chef competitions don't really challenge cooks to push themselves past their comfort zones. They have fully stocked kitchens and sous chefs and secret exotic ingredients. Most people who cook don't have to worry about crazy ingredients they must incorporate, but rather essential ingredients they can't.

For example, you begin to make french toast for dinner, and find out you have no eggs, but only after you've put the milk and cinnamon and vanilla together, so you dump a whole box of banana muffin mix into the milk cinnamon mix and make banana pancakes. Preparing to make hot dogs, you discover you have no onions or mustard. Welcome to the world of inventive condiments! Yes, putting cauliflower tater tots on top of the hot dogs wins cool points, and drizzling them with the trace elements of ketchup from the leftover packets from the car might make for good tv drama, but no freshly dressed MC ever stepped out of the kitchen cabinet to award me with Top Chef points and a cleaned kitchen for making a silk purse dinner out of a sow's ear stocked refrigerator.

It's not that I don't plan a menu or shop for the meals or cook, it's that at any given moment, I must cope with all the want-a-be iron chefs or at least Food Network Star Judges, who want not just food but the right food, the perfect food, the food they don't know what it is, but want served now, hot and beautiful.
Real Conversation:

 "MOM! There is no food in the house! Can you go to the store and get bananas?"
Me: There is food in the house. There just aren't any bananas.
Son: There are no eggs.
Me: There is bacon.
Son: There is no bread.
Me: There are rolls. There are tortillas. There is dark wheat bread, plain ordinary store white bread and the ends of at least three loaves all stuffed in one plastic bag and five blueberry bagels.
Son: There is no lunch meat.
Me: There is steak-um, I already said bacon, there is peanut butter, there is provolone and if you forage, I think, some chicken.
Son: There isn't any food that's easy to make.
Me: So if I get up and make you food from what we have, would you be happy?
Son: Yes! I'll even practice the S.A.T.

Because I want the S.A.T to be practiced, I'm willing to be bribed. I begin work on hot dogs.
Daughter comes into the room. "Hot dogs? I don't like hot dogs! Mom! Can you go to the store, there is no food."
Son now points out there are tortillas, bacon, peanut butter, blueberry bagels....daughter sticks out her tongue at each, but pulls out a box of mac and cheese. "Can we have this?" It goes with the hot dogs, so I roll with it. I'm getting a chorus of yays! and I'm thinking, this is good. I'm a good mom...they'll eat, they'll be happy...

Another player entered the kitchen. She got out the celery and nutella, and peeled a mango before announcing, she ordered out because she doesn't like hot dogs or mac and cheese and does anyone else want anything? They deserted me faster than I could spell dessert.

When I served the mac and cheese and hot dogs to the remaining children, I got the question, reasonable in my younger childrens' minds, "why didn't they get to order food too?" I recalled a neighbor who used to make her kid eat her dinner for breakfast and lunch, and snack, until it got eaten. I used to think this a cruel parenting practice. I admittedly reconsidered but revenge is for the unimaginative, so today I posted a message in the kitchen, explaining the reality of things in the family mess hall.

Dear Family

I considered declaring food martial law. If you don't pay for the food, make the food or clean up after the food, you get no say in what the food might be or alternatives to eat.

However, I recognize, there are twelve different diets, different palates to please and I've yet to hit upon the magical combination of fruits, vegetables, proteins and carbs that can accommodate all of your ever shifting appetites. In recognition of my inability to create a dish which uses all of the unknown secret ingredients necessary to the competition, and because that which is created is not up to industry standards as determined by all eleven judges in this house, I'm sorry but Mom has been chopped.

Whoever the other competitors are in this kitchen, I've taken away all of the car keys. Please, open the pantry and you have thirty minutes to create an entree and your time starts now. Oh, and I've been told repeatedly, there is no food. 

Good luck.

Love, Mom

1 comment:

Elrond said...

So what is for dinner tomorrow?

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!