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Admitting you have a problem is the first step

I have an addiction–aside from my addiction to coffee. (Which, sadly, is a real one. Sometimes I embrace it, and sometimes I try to fight it.)

The other addiction is to cookbooks and cooking shows.

I have for many years read cookbooks–for fun. I have quite a collection, which I regularly purge to make room for new ones. And it can be downright embarrassing the way I can find myself totally absorbed into a Food Network show. I don’t mean to be. I always think I can watch for just a minute, but then I am hooked. I MUST know how the stew turns out.

So, when I was approached a year ago with the chance to be ON A FOOD NETWORK SHOW–I didn’t walk. I ran. I thought I was going to be a part of a large audience. This is how I roped my friend John into going with me. He said to me quite specifically as we were on our way to the shoot, “We’re going to be with lots and lots of people, right, Mo?”

And I said, “John, of course. What, do you think we’ll be the only ones on the episode?”

We weren’t technically the only ones. There was the star of the show. And one other guy. So, we were the happy foursome who made up the entire episode.

John said to me, in a way that only a friend can, “I am so going to get you for this. And you will never see it coming.”

I don’t want to say which show I was on, largely because over the course of it, I was asked to drink more and more as various shots were re-shot. (It was part of the show! I had to! Really!) I was the only girl, so I had to sit next to the host and react a lot to things he said and did. This got much harder as the day more on. I mean, how would you handle instructions like this:

“Okay, Maureen. Now, [FOOD NETWORK STAR] is going to hold up the vinegar. You sniff it, okay?”

Vinegar makes me sneeze. I tried not to sneeze.

“CUT! Okay, Maureen. That was good. But this time, when [FOOD NETWORK STAR] holds up the vinegar, look him in the eye and smile, okay? But drink some of the beer first.”

I drank some beer. Sniffed the vinegar. Tried not to sneeze. Gave the FNS a smile that was also an attempt to hold back the sneeze.

“CUT! Okay. One more time. First, drink the beer. Then bite the sandwich. Nod. Sniff the vinegar while looking at [FNS].”

I tried again. FNS mumbled a joke under his breath. He almost got a facefull of beer, but I managed to hold back the laugh–but I can’t imagine what face I was making when I tried to sniff the vinegar again.

It went on like this for six or seven hours. Thankfully, John and I only appear in about four minutes of the whole thing. But still. I will never tell what show it was.

Anyway, I permitted a friend to drag me away from my desk last night, and wound up at a party with the host of a New York show called The Post Punk Kitchen. She’s just put out a cookbook, which I paged through while I was there. Let me tell you, as an experienced examiner of cookbooks, this is one fine volume. It’s called Vegan with a Vengeance. I am buying one tomorrow. (I am also vegetarian, though cookbooks of all varieties are welcome in my kitchen.)

The host, Isa, brought a cake to the party that you would seriously not believe. Layers upon layers of goodness.

You can see her site and her recipes here: www.theppk.com

If you make that fine-looking brunch, please invite me over. I want some of that action.

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Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2006 @ 10:41 pm
Categories: Uncategorized.
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