My Family's Obsession With the Food Network is Screwing with My Family's Expectations
My husband and children are obsessed with the Food Network. While other five year olds are watching "Paw Patrol," my son is watching "Chopped" and "Guy’s Grocery Games." My 12 year old loves "Cutthroat Kitchen" and "Iron Chef." I actually don’t mind their food show fascination. It is rare to otherwise be able to find something on television that everyone in the family enjoys. Most of the crap on television these days is filled with swearing and nudity. Crudites we allow in our television shows. Nudity, not usually. It’s ironic that my family is so enthralled with watching chefs cooking exotic foods that they would never eat. The last time I checked, Bobby Flay wasn’t heating up any chicken nuggets or making macaroni out of a box. Yet that is what my kids would eat at every meal if I let them.
While I am glad that my family is learning the difference between diced and julienne knife cuts, their fascination with the Food Network has some negatives as well. Here are a few, in no particular order:
1. My children think that they are judging every meal I set in front of them.
Hey, kids! Guess what? Unless I start the meal by saying “What I have prepared for you today is a reheated casserole of some sort”, DO NOT comment on either my presentation or flavor profile! I don’t particularly care whether you think my pork chops are a little overcooked. You will eat what I make without comment, got it? Geesh. Oh, and you cannot chop me. I'm your mother and you're in my house.
2. My children think every meal needs “more salt”.
Yes, I know that the judges on the Food Network like their food well-seasoned. I, however, don’t want my elementary aged children developing high blood pressure before they even get into double digits. Simmer it down with the sodium!
3. My children think every trip to the grocery store is a race.
We are just at the store to pick up a few things. We are not contestants on “Guy’s Grocery Games”. SLOW DOWN! We are not racing! Do you see anyone else running down the aisles? No? That's because it is NOT A RACE!
4. My family forgets that we don’t have a behind-the-scenes crew to clean up our kitchen.
After every round of “Chopped”, the chefs present their meals then go sit in a room and wait for the judges to pick who will get sent home. Who cleans up the mess they just made in the kitchen? I’m sure only moms wonder about that. In our house, my dear children, we don’t go sit in another room after dinner. We clean up! Yes, that means you, too, Dad! There is no magical behind the scenes crew washing our pots and pans.
5. My family expects every meal to be beautifully presented and served to them.
Nope. Not happening. I'll tell you where to place your "mise en place"! You will be grateful that you even have a meal to eat. No, we don't have any edible flower garnishes.
6. My family expects a three course meal, complete with a dessert round.
Since it is a freaking miracle if I get anything reasonably resembling an edible meal on the table after a long day at work and between multiple kid activities, there is no way in heck that I will be making more than one course. And by "course" I mean boiled spaghetti and heated up sauce from a jar. Tomatoes are a fruit. Fruit can be a dessert. Done and done.
Now, if any member of my family wants to try out anything they have learned watching Food Network, by all means, knock yourself out! I will encourage my family's viewing of all things Food Network as long as they don't expect me to be an Iron Chef. Or a chef of any sort. I will not be making my own chorizo, de-veining shrimp, or making a rue any time soon. Sorry.
Nope, not sorry, actually. Not sorry at all. But you all will be sorry if you don't bring your expectations of my cooking down a notch.