Sunday, February 28, 2010

How Do You Have Your Job?

And why don't I have it?

There are some TV cooks/chefs that I not only dislike, I actually have physical reactions to them.
Plus, I could totally do their jobs better than they do.

*Alright I may not be able to do it better, but I could certainly do it. And I'd be less irritating to watch.

**F*ck it I could totally do this.

Sandra Lee's "Semi-Homemade" show about busy people who can make great meals with 70% pre-made from the store and 30% fresh ingredients.


Her version of "semi-homemade" is to take something totally ready from the store, and add, say, dehydrated ranch dressing mix into it, and calls it done.
And gravy mix. Who actually needs gravy mix? Is making a roux that hard?

And this is an actual recipe of hers for making Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup:


  • 1 store-bought roasted chicken
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 4 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (10.75-ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup with roasted garlic
  • 2 teaspoon fines herbs*
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups egg noodles, cooked

  • Directions

    Remove the skin from the chicken and shred the meat from the bone. Put the chicken into a slow cooker along with the onions, celery, and carrots. Stir in broth, mushroom soup, and fines herbs and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high setting for 3 to 4 hours or low for 8 to 9 hours.
    When soup is finished, stir in egg noodles. Adjust seasonings and serve.
    *Cook's Note: Fines herbs are a classic blend of herbs that usually consists of chervil, chives, parsley, and tarragon. Fines Herbs can be found pre-blended in the spice section of the grocery store.
At that point why wouldn't you just BUY A CAN OF CHICKEN SOUP!!! You're buying soup to put in a soup, and if you boil a pre-roasted (read: ready to eat) chicken for 3 hrs that is going to be some tired chicken. And if you're cooking it for 3 hrs why not just dice up raw chicken and throw that in?! It will certainly cook in 3-4 hrs!
How does this save time?

Not only all that, but she's dating Andrew Cuomo (NY State Attorney General). She's about five minutes away from being a Stepford Wife. At least in image, if not in actuality.


She also creates these elaborate "tablescapes" which are themed from the chandeliers down to the glasses, plates, spoons, and coordinating linens. Sometimes it looks like Martha Stewart and the Dollar Store got drunk together and threw up on the table. (I'm sure she's done some classier ones, but I have had the joy of only seeing truly awful ones.)
My question is, this person who needs your help adding fresh mozzarella to a frozen pizza (to make it semi-homemade, of course) because they didn't have time to cook from scratch... they had time to go and buy all this themed, coordinating nonsense and set the table that elaborately? And where do they store all this crap when the meal is over? Since there's a different "tablescape" for each meal, do they rent out the neighbor's garage as well? Because surely, if they're so busy, they don't have time to drive to their storage space and find the right boxes of "hideous tablescapes" and then drive home and make dinner. They'd need it closer to hand.


Next on my Putz With A Job I Could Do Better List is Dan Eaton (Cooking at Home on NY1)
"I'm Dan Eaton and I'm glad you're here."
Well Dan, I'm The Rock 'n Roll Gourmet, and god are you a simpering twit. Plus, your recipes are boring in the extreme. Tho I guess w/ a 3 minute time slot, you can't really get elaborate.  He's supposed to have worked in some top kitchens, but I cannot picture this painfully soft-spoken, wheedley voice running a kitchen. It's like he smoked one too many joints and is permanently "chill".

Did you know that ceramics and pottery are a passion of his?
Makes sense, doesn't it?

Next we have Paula Deen.
Now, I know she has had a lot of troubles in her life, and a lot of them (depression, agoraphobia) are things that I have suffered from as well. So I give her major credit for overcoming them all and marrying her second husband Santa/Fishingboat Captain Mike who seems to love her to bits. And also for opening successful dining establishments and so on.
Plus she's just one crazy chick and I'd totally want to hang out with her, because just look at her. The woman knows how to have fun. My one caveat is that I get to control what I'm eating.

When it comes to her cooking... yikes. We all know she is the Queen of Butter (followed closely by Ina Garten and our beloved Julia Child) but she goes even farther with the creamy fatty solids adding copious amounts of mayo and such to her dishes. It's just revolting.
I did not grow up in The South, so there are many things I just do not understand about Southern Cuisine. I do not like okra, or grits, or black-eyed peas, hominy or collard greens... I know I love fried chicken, biscuits, and corn bread, and barbecue, but they are more special occasion foods, rather than regular dietary staples. So I am missing the basic connection to Paula Deen's cooking on that level, and I admit it.
But in my world the ingredient is just "cream."  There should be no cream-of anything. Add a splash of cream to a tomato sauce, the end of a wild mushroom pasta dish, etc.. Cream is a fabulous thing and it enhances many dishes. But the dish itself should not be called Cream Of --- Anything. It's just vile.

But now here's the kicker. Paula Deen, the Queen of Butter herself, made a CHILDREN'S COOKBOOK!!! Two of them! Full of cakes and desserts and stuff. Childhood obesity being on the rise, and she herself not the paramount of toned svelte-itude, and she's getting the kids on the ground floor. Hell in a few years she could be sued for contributing heavily (ha!) to the obesity problem! She should seriously back off that market. She has enough diamonds dripping off her already.
And on that note, I have to question anyone who wears diamonds the size of my eyeballs on both hands while she's cooking. There must be so much gunk trapped in there... shame. Maybe when we go drinking together she'll wash her hands and one will slip off her and onto my hand :)

So that's todays list of Cooking-Show Hosts that piss me off: a Person Who Buys Canned Coup to make a Semi-homemade Soup, a Permanent Stoner, and a Crazy Lady I'd Like to Drink With.

*I have no idea if Dan Eaton has ever even seen a joint. But I went to Wesleyan, so I've seen a few, and I must say his personality fits the profile.

Stay tuned for future installments...
Bobby Flay, I'm lookin' at you.


Sassy said...

Hahahahaha. Oh man, I love this series. Keep 'em coming.

PS: The Martha Stewart and the Dollar store comment was priceless.

RocknRollGourmet said...

I couldn't not share this comment from a friend, as it made me feel highly vindicated:

"Joanna: You and I are on the same wavelength because just this morning I was thinking, "There's that Dan Eaton again on NY1. How the hell is he still on TV. That annoying cadence in that milkey-toast voice. Blech. Well, maybe if I just imagine that he's stoned, this segment will be more entertaining."
And it was."

Signe said...

This is the funniest! Sandra Lee makes me want to yetch...especially when she's whipping up one of her tacky 'melted ice cream, vodka, and a candy cane garnish' cocktails.