The cooking show that I haven't told you about yet.
You know how sometimes there's something that you are going to do, but it makes you really nervous and to avoid stressing unnecessarily you push it to the back of your mind so that you don't even think about it until it's actually happening?
That's the state of being that I have been in for the last month. I believe it's called denial.
Oh, I knew that the day was going to come, because I promised and we scheduled and set the date and declared the theme of "easy things to prepare for dinner at back-to-school time when your house is crazy and you don't have time to cook because you're trying to get into a routine but nobody's really adjusted to the after-school schedule" or something like that, because like I said I tried not to dwell on it.
And then Dan the Camera Man showed up at precisely the time that he was scheduled to be there and it. was. time. and since I hadn't really allowed myself to think about it I wasn't as nervous as I could have been and I wasn't at all stressed like I expected I would be.
Not even when he set up his big lights and big cameras in front of me and then we had to shut the air conditioning off because of the humming noise and it got really hot because my oven was set at 400 degrees and my face was all shiny and sweaty from the hot oven and bright lights and no air conditioning on a hot day.
This is all that I remember: 1. Dan pointing at one of the cameras, and in his lovely Irish brogue proclaiming, "this is your camera, Fran."
2. I was so grateful that Jack and Nick, two boys that have been on my baseball team for the past three years, were there to help me cook and provide someone for me to talk to. I can not convey how grateful I am that these two fabulous 15-year-old boys chose to spend a couple of hours on a summer afternoon cooking with their baseball coach. Had they not been there, I would have had to talk to Dan's aforementioned camera while I cooked and I would imagine that talking to an emotionless, inanimate object like a camera would have me mumbling and grumbling to myself (a la Kreacher the house elf from the Harry Potter movies). Or maybe I would have just stared at the camera, frozen and unable to speak (like on that episode of The Brady Bunch when Cindy Brady is on the televised school quiz show and freezes when she sees the red flashing light on the camera).
3. It was hot, my face was very sweaty and I didn't care.
4. When it was over, I wanted everyone to eat all of the food we just made.
After all the cooking and filming was done, I took this picture of Dan the awesome camera man.
And here are Nick and Jack. Without them, I would have been a basket case.
What did we cook? Well, the theme of "food that is easy to prepare when you're crunched for time at mealtime" meant lots of advance prep and then just putting the ingredients together. The only thing that we actually cooked while taping the show was an apple tart that I will post later this week. We also prepared
Pasta Salad and three types of chicken wraps: Caesar (click here to go to my recipe for Chicken Caesar Salad), Cranberry-Walnut and Buffalo-Style which I'll post in a moment.
When we taped the show, I used grilled chicken that I had made in advance, but store-made rotisserie chicken works just as well.