Saturday, January 13, 2007

What have I done?!

It all started a few months ago, when I began letting my children watch the Rachel Ray show in the mornings before school. I should have know that giving them exposure to a cooking show was going to lead to trouble. My philosophy on food is this: if you can't add it to coffee, or if it doesn't contain chocolate as one of its ingredients, it's not meant to be consumed. Doubly so if preparing it requires the use of a dutch oven, wire whisk, or food processor. As I think I've said before, I only have a kitchen because it came with the house.

So there's perky little Rachel, brainwashing my kids with her sublimal messages that cooking is fun! and there's more to life than pb&j! and why don't you bug your mom to make frittattas for breakfast? They'd never even heard of frittattas before, and now suddenly their usual breakfast of Cocoa Frosted Sugar Bombs wasn't good enough any more.

One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was buying my sixteen year old son, Mr. "I Wonder if Rachel Ray Has a Younger Sister," an official RR frying pan, complete with the cute orange handle, for Christmas. He is totally enamored with RR, as I guess most guys would be. She's cute, has great teeth, and loves to cook. She's probably worth a few bucks, too, judging by what I paid for that stupid pan.

Anyway. Then I started getting shopping lists handed to me, with things listed on them like parmagiano reggiano, couscous, and shark. I had to remind my children that the only grocery store in town is StuffMart, where wheat bread is considered a gourmet food, and where, if you ask for the specialty cheese section, you will be directed to a seven foot high display of CheezWhiz jars. 

But now the situation is totally out of hand. I took the kids to the library yesterday, and what did my eleven year old son, Sasquatch, choose off the shelves? Not a hockey biography. Not a nail-biting mystery. No. He checked out FOUR cookbooks, and all of them were for foods from other countries. He thinks we should try crepes (except he pronounces it, "crap-pays") from the French cookbook. He wants piroshki and blini from the Russian cookbook. And, worst of all, he wants artichokes with garlic mayonnaise from the Spanish cookbook. Oh, where will it all end?!

I'm definitely blaming this disturbing trend on homeschooling. If I had sent them to public school, they'd still be content with faux chicken parts fried in trans fats, carrot coins, and a stale sugar cookie.

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