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Midterm Practicals and Things that Make me go “F*CK OFF!!!”

Thu, Mar 22, 2007

Culinary School

Well, midterm practicals are over.  I did pretty well, I guess.  The kid in me loves the fact that it is over and I did ok, the perfectionist in me hates that I lost 5 points for salt.  SALT!!  Anyway, salt aside, it was good, and 145 out of 150 is noting to sneeze at.  I suppose it would be sane healthy to let the obsession with 5 points go.  I will work on that. 

I made Baguettes with Poolish and Cranberry Sour Cream Muffins.  Our practical was over two night so I presented muffins night one and baguettes night two.  Neither was all that hard aside from measuring salt and I had fun with it.  Monday will be the not so fun written midterm.  Yay!!

So, last night I got to see the Sandra Lee Chefography on Food Network. 

dis·hon·est (dĭs-ŏn'ĭst)
adj.

  1. Disposed to lie, cheat, defraud, or deceive.
  2. Resulting from or marked by a lack of honesty.

I want to be nice.  I do.  Sandy had a hard time growing up.  Her parents seem like they were not interested in her, and she was really just raised by Bisquick her grandmothers.  If what she said is all true, I am sorry for the little girl she was. 

It has been widely known that Sandy had a rough childhood, despite what was said in her Chefography.

It’s easy to trace the path from Lee's childhood to her love of instant cooking. When she was only nine and living in Sumner, Washington, her mother was too ill to do much more than commute between her bed and the living room couch. So Lee cooked, cleaned, and watched after her four younger siblings. What kind of menus does an inventive grade-schooler dream up? "I used a lot of Bisquick,"  

She has said in previous interviews that the reason she started cooking was because she HAD to cook for her sisters and brothers when her mom got 'sick'. Also, her grandmothers have been referenced as inspiration. We all remember the recipes/cocktails she made in tribute to Grandma' Dicey.

I feel for her, I really do and there is no way I would advocate making fun of anyones childhood pain. It sucks when you have little money and live in an unstable home.

What burns my cookies about this whole thing is the way she uses her childhood as an excuse for her philosophy on cooking/living today. Her Semi-homemade empire is based on the flawed idea that quick 'n' easy trumps healthy 'n' fresh. Sorry, no. Looks are not always important. Content is important.  But, when your own network calls you the "Queen of Presentation" you should expect little in the substance department.

Sure, at nine I would make a box of mac and cheese and toss in a can of tuna. VIOLA! Tuna Mac! Mix up the cake batter and toss it in the Easy Bake Oven.  Bam!!  Cake!!  I was proud of my creations then, and to be honest I owe my love of cooking on the time I spent in the kitchen as a kid with my mom.

Where Sandy went on to make Krappy Kurtans, I moved on from pre-packaged foods to homemade foods. My mom taught me how to enjoy food. Sandra acts like she hates the thought of cooking, and she only cooks because the final product matches her insipid tablescapes.

Playing on the insecurities of women is what Sandy does best and I really think she is projecting. Everything has to look perfect, be impressive, but who wants all that monkey business work??  Why bother learning how to cook real food when you can put together food that LOOKS like it took skill and talent in the kitchen? All you do is defrost and massacre a pie, bake some puff pastry sheets and top it all with whipped topping? Don't make a cream sauce because it is a lot of work, use a packet of sauce mix and add a handful of 'pre-shredded' cheese and it will taste like you made it!! Mix some spices into Cheese Wiz and, 'Walla!' fondue!!

No, no, no, NO!

This show is perpetuating the myth that real cooking is hard. Our society is addicted to fast-food and we are so impatient we can't microwave a bag of popcorn without scavenging for a snack during the 3 1/2 minutes it takes to pop. Add to this the unrealistic expectations presented to people via the media about how we should look, live, cook, and behave and it is little wonder Sandra found an audience. If Sandra had something useful to teach people, something real, then I would not bother with some little things. But, Sandra is the "Queen of Presentation", and under the mounds of pudding cups, whipped topping and seasoning packets you will find sub-standard food and lowered expectations.

That is so wrong.

Sandra's Chefography is dishonest. They ignore her marriage to Bruce Katz (former CEO of KB Homes and all-around rich guy) so that leads one to wonder, are there other details they glossed over?  How do we really know what they said was not embellished … like her whipped topping?

I wonder how much of 'her money' (because it is always 'her money' she says) really went into her company? Also, I call BS on her claims that she self-published the first 50,000 of Semi-Homemade Cooking, that she had saved $50,000.00 by the time she was 25, and that she bought the first four seasons of table decorations and fabric for her show with 'her money'. 

Also, she claims to have shut down her company after her grandmother died, yet it seems to me that was about the time she was starting things up with her ex … I wonder if he financed her world-tour? If she shut down her company she had to know the gravy train had arrived because Sandy does not seem like the kind of woman to suffer poverty a second time.

She may have had it rough, but under the blue eyes and 'perky' smile is a hard woman who will do anything to get what she wants. Even destroy a marriage. Yes, that is right, she is the main reason her ex divorced the woman he was married to before Sandra.  

The marriage was omitted because it cast Sandy in a bad light.  If you are pretending to be 'every woman' it makes sense to ignore your marriage to a man who had millions, and who (more than likely) settled the divorce, leaving you with a tidy nest-egg.  Sorry, Sandra, but the average woman who is 'trying to get it done' can't relate to the wife of a millionaire. 

© 2007, Evil Shenanigans – Baking & Cooking Blog. All rights reserved.

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