You don’t need onions to cry with the Cooking Channel
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
“Why are you crying?” Husband-Head asked with concern when he came through the door after work and found me wiping me eyes. “What’s wrong?”
I couldn’t speak yet and just pointed to the TV.
“Please don’t tell me you were watching ‘Bridges of Madison County’ again,” Husband-Head scolded. “Or ‘Love Story.’ You know what those movies do to you. …”
“No, there’s a new channel on the television,” I started, trying to regain my composure.
“Lifetime – Television that makes women cry?” Husband-Head tried to guess.
I shook my head.
“No, it’s a cooking channel,” I admitted, laughing and crying at the same time.
Husband-Head opened the fridge to see exactly how much wine was gone from the bottle.
I then explained that I’d been watching this new cooking channel put out by Food Network that featured some different programs. But apparently they haven’t filled up their lineup with chefs and have instead inserted some slots with older cooking shows.
“Have you ever watched a 1960s episode of Julia Child?” I asked Husband-Head, then began laughing again, referring to the famous American chef known for her French cooking.
“Isn’t she dead?” Husband-Head said, confused. “Why would she be on?”
Who knows, but on this particular episode Julia was making Eggs Benedict with homemade English muffins. Or that was the plan.
Set in a kitchen that clearly had no modern appliances, Julia began making a batter for the muffins. I noticed she seemed a little confused about how to work the oven.
“You put the batter in the crumpet rings,” she said in her famous English accent – or maybe it’s French, I don’t know. “But if you don’t have any, you can use cat food cans, if you’re lucky enough to have a pussy.”
This was the first time I spit out my drink laughing.
Julia then advised to wait and watch for little bubbles in the English muffin batter, which she cooked in the crumpet rings and the disgusting cat food cans.
Then she flipped them over and each one was completely burnt.
“Oh … these didn’t turn out so well,” she muttered to herself.
Then she proceeded to promote some cookbook and couldn’t remember what the title was, even though it was being shown by the camera to the TV viewers. …
“Well … whatever,” she shrugged.
In the next shot, she comes back with a plate of English muffins that are clearly not the burnt ones she had just made as these were nice and golden.
After explaining how English muffins should never be sliced with a knife and instead opened with a fork to maintain the nooks and crannies, she proceeds to demonstrate.
The muffin completely falls apart and I’m starting to laugh – really hard.
Next she demonstrates how to poach the eggs for Eggs Benedict. First she boils them for 10 seconds and then shows her foolproof poaching method with an egg pricker.
I’ve never heard of an “egg pricker,” but I do believe I’ve known men in my life who could be called that.
“The reason for pricking the eggs is to let the air out of the large end,” she explained.
I am riveted to the show at this point. And if I didn’t know better, I’d have thought it was a Saturday Night Live spoof.
Julia then gets ready to poach the eggs and lifts the lid on the pot.
“I was hoping to have really boiling water, which we don’t seem to have,” she said, peering into the pot.
It’s obvious that this whole Eggs Benedict thing is not going very well … but it’s damn entertaining.
She finally gets some water boiling and drops an egg into it. The egg breaks and the whites spread all over the place.
“Well … that didn’t go terribly well, did it?” she quipped. “This is a really miserable egg. You probably wouldn’t want to serve it.”
At this point lady, you’d probably want to go out to McDonald’s and just buy a bag of Egg McMuffins and call it good. …
It was about this time that tears started flowing down my face.
However, it all changed after the commercial break. Julia then presented a plate of nonburnt English muffins, with perfectly shaped poached eggs, covered with Hollandaise sauce.
“HEY! How come we didn’t get to see you screw up the Hollandaise sauce?” I screamed at the TV. “That would’ve been a HOOT!”
Husband-Head and I sat down for dinner in front of the TV that evening and he asked me what I wanted to watch.
“If you don’t mind, I’d like to see the Cooking Channel again,” I admitted. “That old show ‘The Galloping Gourmet’ is supposed to be on. …”
Heidi Rice is a columnist for the Citizen Telegram and the Post Independent. Her column appears every Thursday in the CT and Friday in the PI. Visit her website at http://www.heidirice.com to see more columns or to buy her book collection.
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