Let them eat toast

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I’m always annoyed when the host of a cooking show tastes her food at the end of the episode, rolling her eyes back in ecstasy.  Not only does she magically create beef rolls, arugula salad, and a pear tart in under twenty minutes, but then she brags on herself.  “Oh my gosh,” she says into the camera.  “This is so good.  Seriously.”  Her hair is all blown out and she wears a size two but she takes a glorious bite of something with a face full of Chanel make-up.  Honestly, it does look amazing, and if she says it’s the best pizza ever it must be.  But I am at home at 4 pm staring into my refrigerator, wearing sweatpants and my daughter’s vanilla cupcake lip smackers with not a stitch of real adult make-up on.  I glance back at the television and see this beautiful person still standing, doing all kinds of lovely dicing and chopping, and I watch in a trance as her curls are still in place.  The cabinets are white and all the dishes are white and she never seems to run out of spoons.

But meanwhile, back in real life, dinner happens.  While I desire to produce homemade chicken stock on a Tuesday afternoon, or make stuffed peppers with a side of beet salad, serving it to grateful children who ask for a double helping of roasted squash, I end up making scrambled eggs with cheese. The little song I made up about it being breakfast for dinner! (it comes with a dance) is so overused and nobody likes wheat toast anyway.  So it’s milk with no chocolate, eggs before ice cream, and please sit down at the table because we aren’t wild animals eating our kill.  Which ends up in a rendition of accurate wolf howling and a discussion of how much we all hate eggs and me bemoaning the fact that I could only find two spoons.  My daughter shrugs like she is completely unaware that there is Lenox silverware hidden in the garden being used as tiny shovels for the dirt-fairy nymphs.

Where is my make-up artist? Where is my blow-out? Why are my children so resistant to toast, I’d just like to know?

One of these days, someone will create a real cooking show, where the chef runs out of time and keeps getting interrupted by a toddler trying to climb the cabinets to get into the shelf for old Valentine’s Candy.  You’ll see her start to sweat because she’s embarrassed about her child’s behavior and ends up using baking soda instead of cornstarch or throws in way too much salt.  Then at the end of the show, when she can’t quite make it to the pear tart because her son keeps trying to grab power bars from the pantry to curb his imminent starvation, she tries to cover for herself and says that you can just eat a whole piece of fruit for dessert like she planned it all along.  But no one believes her because come on.  No one wants a stupid pear.

At the end, she’s supposed to taste what she made. While she’s lifting the spoon to her mouth she slips on the dog’s water (who sloshed it all over the tile? I swear) and her daughter walks in and grabs a bruschetta from the presentation dish.  “Oh my gosh,” her daughter says into the camera.  “This is the nastiest thing I’ve ever had.  Seriously.  Don’t ever make this again.  I’m going to Shelly’s to eat macaroni and cheese.”  Then the poor little chef cries and gives her toddler an old piece of candy after all and we see her sneaking a beer in a red Dixie cup.

I’d be like YES!  I love this show!  I’m a huge fan!  You managed to make a crappy version of stir fry, sure.  But look at that salad! That’s good!  And you tried so hard, and you didn’t totally lose it with that dog water spillage thing, which is so impressive and shows how calm you were under pressure.  So what that your daughter didn’t like bruschetta?  She wears hot pink shirts and eats macaroni with powder sauce, so her credibility is nil.   It’s cool.  I’ll send you a recipe using a can of soup, some Ro-Tel, and some crumbled up chips and we can all feel like normal people.  Then I’ll go skipping off to the garden to find all my spoons and thank the stars that I’m not alone.

NBC, take note.   One of these days, just allow the chef to say what’s she’s actually thinking, which is “please don’t eat this.  I just tasted it, and honestly it tastes exactly like cardboard because it’s only pasta and peas with unsalted butter.  Next time I’ll find a sauce or a cream or something.  Really.  Trust me on this.”   I would.  I so totally would.

Let’s face it.  Despite our best intentions, you just sometimes have to eat toast.  Put butter and salt on it if you wish and call it garlic bread.  Add a song about how toast rhymes with roast and how the ghost gets the most.  Then forgive yourself for having breakfast for dinner, or the fact that you gave your kid candy, and that you have been wearing work-out gear for three days with no Chanel in sight.   Honestly, your kids don’t care.  They’re too busy eating to notice.

photo:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruocaled/6148667409/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Comments

  1. Lol, amen sister! Though I do enjoy watching Giada DiLaurentis make love to her spoon more than I do that cocky Ann Burrell.

  2. VERY funny. Yes some of those shows make it look way too easy.

  3. You could totally pitch this show–you know people, right? Donald? Martha?

    And you know what else? I love breakfast food. All. Day. Long. Maybe I should invite myself over, she says, typing while wearing her workout clothes. In which she did not work out.

  4. Hilarious! In our house, the cat would throw up and the toilet would be blocked. :-)

  5. Totally cracking up, Amanda. Darn you are funny. Every night I have to remind my kids to use silverware. I mean, really. An 11-year-old and an 8-year-old still need to be reminded to use silverware? It’s like dining with the Croods around here.

  6. Yaaay. The return of comedic mojo. Love it.

  7. I’ve got grown people living in my house and I still have to tell them to sit down at the table while you eat that, wouldja please?!?! But now? Now I feel much better about it! (Once, decades ago when I thought I might write a book, I was going to name it There’s A Potato On My Dresser: based on events from real life.)

  8. I can *so* see that show! And somewhere in the universe is a beast that’s grown fat on stolen teaspoons and odd socks.

  9. This is the funniest thing I’ve seen all day. Maybe in a few days.

    Keep up the good work, Amanda!

  10. May I be a guest on your show? We could call it “Mommy’s Little Helper”, except the kids would stay out of the kitchen and the wine would stay in.

  11. Ain’t that the truth. And I’m glad I’m not the only adult wearing vanilla lip smackers. Oops … sorry, gotta run. CHOPPED is on … til 4 in the morning!

  12. Right on sister! I needed that laugh this morning.

  13. Oh my gosh this is too funny! It would be way more entertaining to watch a cooking show that actually mimics cooking in a real household. Thank you for the laugh!

  14. While that show sounds fantastic, and oh so realistic, I’m stuck on you being upset that you are wearing your daughter’s Lip Smackers lip balm.. cause, uh, that’s all I wear. Real lipstick never enters my mind. I buy the party pack of like 8 tubes for $12… have them all over the house and in my pocket at all times. I’m still sad that they quit making the grape flavor. Embrace the flavor! It goes well with eggs…

  15. OMG – I’m still laughing and visualizing your version of the cooking show. God girl you are hilarious:)

  16. Reblogged this on Lmgranados's Blog and commented:
    A hilarious rendition of a real life cooking show – Amanda is worthy of being followed:)

  17. Amy Killen says:

    Hilarious. And so true. Why do my children become STARVING the second I start to make dinner, so much so that they can’t fathom waiting one more second to eat? Sometimes, i try to sneakily begin dinner so they won’t know it’s time for them to start dying of starvation and then, perhaps, I’ll have time to get something on the table before they raid the Goldfish.

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