12 Most Important Reasons to Avoid Watching Cooking Shows

12 Most Important Reasons to Avoid Watching Cooking Shows

If you are a wife and mother, or even just a wife, you have to cook things. Some of us have cooked things for years. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. You use your Mom’s recipes. He wants you to use his Mom’s recipes. Things fall into a predictable pattern. But at least there is food on the table. Let that be the end of it. So what if it’s meatloaf on Mondays, and macaroni and cheese on Thursdays? If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

So whatever you do, don’t turn on the Food Channel. Because that is a world of fantasy and watching it will only complicate your life and bring all kinds of conflict into your marriage. I can give you 12 good reasons!

1. Television cooking shows feature CHEFS, not regular people

Let’s just consider Emeril Lagasse. He has a dozen or more restaurants all around the world. He uses words like “BAM” and “Kick it up a notch.” Do you need this kind of thing in your kitchen? Does your meatloaf need hot sauce or creole seasoning in it? Of course not. And chefs like lots of ingredients. Let’s just stick with the ground beef, ketchup and eggs for the meatloaf. Throw in some breadcrumbs, and you are good to go.

2. Cooking show chefs never wear aprons

What happens when you don’t wear an apron? Right. You get grease spots and tomato sauce blotches all over your shirt. Aprons are for the “real” cooks out there — those of us who slog through the trenches every single day, frying bacon and spilling stuff down our fronts. There are no retakes or costume departments! I bet Ina Garten has hundreds of those navy blue blouses she wears on camera. You and I? Not so much. That top has to last from lunch until after the PTA meeting. We wear aprons!

3. TV cooking shows have “themes”

When was the last time you had “Greek Night” at your house? Do you crave a meal with a main dish and three sides that all end in “vlaki?” Of course you don’t. Children hate most ethnic dishes. So unless it’s pizza night or take out from Tacos R Us, forget the themes!

4. One word: herbs

If you are an average homemaker, you have these in your cupboard: salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, garlic powder, and maybe cinnamon. The cooking shows like recipes that call for herbs. Apparently, herbs really make things taste much better. Marjoram. Thyme. Rosemary. And let’s not even mention spices. Cumin. Curry. Saffron. Here’s the thing: these ingredients are expensive, and you are supposed to replace them every six months before they go stale or something. I would rather spend that money on a pedicure.

5. No one really uses their food processor

I swear, every single cooking show recipe requires that you throw all kinds of things in your food processor. Multiple times. This is ridiculous. That thing is hard to clean, the blade is extremely sharp, and none of us has time to load and reload the thing five times, just to make a pot of chili. We every day cooks just use a paring knife and call it a day.

6. Salad dressing comes from a glass bottle

If I see one more TV cook just drizzle olive oil over greens and then “splash” them with lemon, I will scream. Oh, yes — I tried that. And what did the salad taste like? Oily lemon juice.

7. Children don’t like tofu

For some reason, the folks on cooking shows try to convince us that kids will eat soy curd willingly — if you put coating on it and gently sauté it. They suggest serving it to the kids with raw broccoli florets. This is nonsense. Kids like macaroni and cheese from a box. And skip anything green. Unless it is Jell-O.

8. Nobody “entertains”

Entire series on the Food Channels are dedicated to parties. Party decorations. Party foods. Hot appetizers. Cold bites. Here’s the thing: nobody does this! We are all busy and pooped. There might be a Superbowl Party, but all we need for that is a bag of chips and beer. Let’s get real.

9. Electric stoves are just fine, thank you

Have you noticed that not one single TV cook has a regular stove? They all cook on huge, restaurant appliances that blast out flames and have nine burners. We don’t need that kind of equipment to heat up a can of tomato soup and grill a cheese sandwich. Those TV stoves are just plain intimidating!

10. I have never even wanted to bone my own chicken

Once again, those chefs on TV need a dose of reality. Since when do any of us out here in the heartland have boning knives? Why in heaven’s name would I want to try to dismember a chicken when there are perfectly good butchers out there who need work? Who has time to juggle with a chicken? Good grief.

11. Let’s discuss measurements

Evidently, chefs never need measuring devices. They say things like “just add a tablespoon of olive oil,” and proceed to dump in what looks to me like a quarter cup’s worth. A pint’s a pound the world around — or something. If I cooked like that, everything would be too wet, too dry, or just plain awful. We need guidance out here!

12. TV chefs do this for a living

I bet Giada DeLaurentis doesn’t cook much. It certainly doesn’t look as if she eats much. Let’s be honest, here: the people who make all of us shlubs feel guilty about the stuff we put on the dinner table every night probably never cook dinner at home! They are busy “doing recipe research,” “shooting,” and “making personal appearances.” They probably all have people who cook for them. And nannies — they all have nannies!

Remember that food shows are not reality shows. They are strictly for entertainment. Your family shouldn’t watch them. But if it happens, don’t let your husband get any crazy ideas. If he asks you why you have never tried baking your own bread, ask him if he has ever considered auditioning for Survivor. Then go make some microwave popcorn.

What do you think of cooking shows?

Featured image courtesy of SportSuburban licensed via Creative Commons.


Molly Campbell


Molly D. Campbell is a 2 time Erma Bombeck award winning writer. She hosts her Mom ShoNeed Wine. Molly’s new book, Characters in Search of a Novel is available on Amazon http://t.co/r5mpWyS and in the iBookstore. Molly is the mother of two grown daughters who pay their own bills. This is wonderful. Molly’s husband plays the accordion. This is tragic.

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