Let’s face it – there are a whole lot of cooking shows out there already. Do we really need another one? I would argue yes we do, for the same reason that although there’s a lot of porn out on the internet (at least that’s what someone told me), what we really need is for the second season of Castle to bring back Nathan Fillion. (Monday, Sep 21 for those who haven’t yet marked your calendars.)
My point is, the current cooking shows on television are for people to sit on the couch and watch while the frozen pizza is in the oven. Nobody has kitchens like these chefs, and we sure as heck don’t have all the fancy cookware. Nobody I know would (intentionally) light something on fire in the kitchen. It’s all just food porn.
No, what we really need is a cooking show for people who not only don’t cook, but also don’t have anything that didn’t come from Target or Costco in their kitchen. A cooking show for real people.
Here’s what I would cover in the first episode of "Cooking for Real People":
- Knives – yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard about how important it is to have the right knives, and a dull knife is more dangerous than a pit bull on meth, and blah, blah, blah. You know what I have? A set of serrated knives that I bought at Costco twenty years ago. Most of them are technically steak knives, but there’s also a cleaver (never used) and a bread knife (which I once used to shorten the pressboard when I goofed while putting the entertainment center together). I chop things every day, and I’ve never sharpened these knives. And I haven’t cut myself with them either since I finally stopped holding the bagel in one hand while slicing with the other. Fancy chefs are horrified by my knives, but I say screw ‘em. They work great.
- Pam – Want to avoid greasy food? Don’t roll things around in a bowl of oil, just spray Pam on them. It’s faster and you don’t have to wash an extra dish. (That last bit is important when you only have two bowls of any decent size.) It’s just olive oil anyhow.
- Old Spice – Not the cologne (although, that’s really something to avoid – I knew someone whose dorm room walls were basically rotting and he covered the odor by sprinkling Old Spice in the carpet – I will take the resulting stench with me to the grave). No, I’m talking about all the spices that came with the spice rack you bought two decades ago. Yeah, everything is over ten years old now, and those cooking show people keep trying to convince everyone to throw out spices older than six months. Those people are on crack. I don’t even go through that much salt in six months. It you can’t see bugs in it, I say it’s still good. Just add a little more than the recipe calls for. (But maybe not so much with nutmeg – I found that out this week.)
- Measuring – This may be the only thing I agree with the chefs about – measuring is for wimps. The size of your palm doesn’t change. Figure out how much of your cupped hand is covered by a teaspoon and use that for measuring. Your prep time will decrease. Granted, every once in a while you may completely miss the mark, but you can always claim that the problem was that your spices were too old.
That’s it. The Food Network should be calling any moment now…