Those crazy cooking shows
Talking to one of my granddaughters, I mentioned a couple of television shows I love. She remarked that perhaps I watched a little too much TV. Ok, I thought, this may be true, but it requires some explanation.
This old lady has worked outside of her home, including of course taking care of that, too, and retirement hangs very heavy on these arthritic shoulders. I get up about 5 or 6 a.m. out of necessity. Staying in bed is painful, so I just get up. Anyway, I love mornings.
After the usual bathroom routine and getting dressed, I turn on television to watch the news and enjoy that first sip of java. The kinks come out as I plan what to get for breakfast, begin that chore, and take out anything from the freezer we will need for dinner. Boring, routine, huh!
My son Doug gets up about this time. After breakfast he cleans the dishes and we plan our day. Anything heavy, like vacuuming or cleaning is planned. If there’s enough in the hamper to do any washing it’s begun. Dishes are done in the dishwasher, and the dryer turned on. More boring stuff. However, by 10am we’ve done everything needed to keep this homestead clean and neat. Okay I think, as I sit there on the living room sofa, “What now, girl?”
I check the schedule and hope there’s reruns of Castle or another similar crime show, or maybe — if I’m lucky — they’ll be showing “Moonstruck” which is one other of my favorite movies. If not, there are always a dozen or so cooking shows available. So flipping TV channels, I see what looks the most appealing. In those old black and white television days, while watching a show, I called in during a contest and won a frozen turkey.
The show was terrible, as were all cooking shows including the “Galloping Gourmet” among others. Ever think what cooking shows look like in black and white and gray? Yuk. Of course we had Julia Child, that tall woman with the squeaky voice who told us it was okay to fail in the kitchen, but you must try. I loved her TV show, even in black, white, or shaded gray.
Lots of years have gone by since those terrible days, and now we have so many fine, and of course not so fine, chefs on television all day long. I have a couple of favorites. One features Guy, the chef with bleached spiky hair, short pants, plaid shirts, flip-flops and he wears a ton of jewelry.
My only complaint with him; and this goes for a lot of these chefs; is that they include too many ingredients in their recipes. I scream at the TV set “Hey, friend, this is Fallon, I can’t get that here, maybe not even find it in Reno.” Think I’m kidding. I once had a recipe that called for white truffle oil that I could purchase at Trader Joe’s. They don’t carry it any more.
Then there’s the “Barefoot Contessa” whose show also includes ideas for table setting, flower arrangements, etc. My problem with this show is that most people have two sets of dishes, the regular every day and the fancy ones for company. So the idea of anything too extra fancy will not fly. And then a little too often she includes fancy “liquors” that you and I don’t have in the pantry. However her ideas are great.
Many other shows feature ethnic cooking, especially Italian. I silently mumble to myself, how about something else, please. However, one that is excellent is Giada — I think that’s how she spells her name, but you gourmet followers know whom I mean. She cooks in an immaculate kitchen and her food looks great, but she does one thing that drives me crazy, she dresses like she is doing a fashion show.
She shows enough of her “cleavage” 19 out of 20 times, to draw entirely too much attention away from her cooking food. All right, so I’m an old prude. One other complaint, while I’m on it, are those chefs on cooking contest shows that have hair down to their waist and simply look unkempt. Folks that’s FOOD you’re cooking!
I watch these shows as I work on my crewel designs and right now I’m embroidering Christmas gifts for my family. Watching television keeps me sane and happy. Who’d to say at my tender age of 89, I shouldn’t do that?
Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer.