Have I ever mentioned that I dislike the cooking show, Semi Homemade by Sandra Lee?
I am really into cooking. Cooking relaxes me and eating fulfills me. It's a great little cycle that keeps me happy and busy, something I am, I dare say, quite good at. It is an artistic endeavor at its best, with roots to be respected and admired. The little content noises that Greg makes as he enjoys my hobby make it even better. I hardly watch any TV, but when I do watch it, it is always Food TV (I don't think I can emphasize how much always that always is). I learned to cook from my favorites on Food TV: Michael, Giada, Rachael, and Ina. If you watch Food TV, you know instantly who I am talking. I appreciate Michael and Giada for their Simple Italian. I like that Rachael makes 30 minutes meals (good, healthy 30 minute meals) accessible to housewives around the country, and I really appreciate the incredible care and attention that goes into Ina's french cuisine.
But here's the catch. I cannot stand Sandra Lee. She does none of the following:
- shorten the cooking time
- be sensitive to essential components of ethnic cuisine
- reduce the number or cost of ingredients
- decrease calorie content, fat content, carb content, or meat content
- make things easier or less complicated
- make things wholesome or healthy
- make things that taste good
The worst part of it is that they (the producers?) dress her up in cleavage revealing tops and theatrical props (hats, bracelets, Other Weird Stuff, etc) that always coordinate with the color of that show's theme (or, horror, maybe she does it herself?!), be it orange for "Mexicano!" or pink for "Girls Night In!". It reminds me of "Better Homes and Gardens" housewife material from the 50s. She'll spend 30 minutes describing how to make something that actually takes several hours to prepare - and what it is a almost-pure-sugar cake to give to a group of 5 year olds that pairs well with the Pigs in a Blanket, doctored Mac N Cheese, homemade-ish Mashed Potatoes, and All Other Things Of A Homogeneous Color.
But I'll be damned if the cake isn't covered red sprinkles and lit sparklers, sitting on a magical "Tablescape" that matches the color of the birthday candles - which oh so coincidentally coordinates with the "Mixed Fruit Punch" cocktail drink and her very own red v-neck cashmere sweater (matching scrunchie)
I once saw a whole show of hers on semi-homemade deserts, and literally all 5 recipes involved at least one package of instant pudding. Together, we discovered the wonders of banana instant pudding, raspberry instant pudding, and strawberry instant pudding, all used in interesting and creative ways to produce something that tastes exactly the same: terrible artificial confection