My family and I have become addicted to the Food Network. Episodes of Sweet Genius and Halloween Wars find my husband and daughter glued to the set. I simply cannot miss Chopped.
On Friday, I had the following conversation with my daughter as I set her dinner in front of her, or attempted to.
“Mom, serve it to me the way they do on Iron Chef.”
“What do you mean?”
“Tell me about the food when you put the plate down.”
“Ookay. Well, this is a tortilla—that I got from a package—and I filled it with chili.”
“What’s in the chili?”
“Ground turkey, beans, tomatoes and a rich assortment of seasonings…I’d have to check the can to be sure.”
Seriously? Generally if food is not televised, the child can hardly be bothered with it.
“Well, thinking the chili might be too highly seasoned for a young palate—“ I started getting into it, encouraged by her nodding “—I added a dollop of sour cream to tone it down and stirred in a sprinkle of grated cheddar. I warmed the mixture to blend all the flavors and then stuffed the tortilla. On the side you will find small red chili beans, again mildly spiced for your pleasure, and brown rice with olive oil and salsa. Please enjoy.”
“Thank you.” But instead of digging in, she folded her hands on her lap and studied the plate. “What I see is that you have a lot of brown on this plate. It would have been better to use more color. Red or green or orange. A vegetable, perhaps?”
Get real! When was the last time the child ate “a vegetable perhaps” without threat of losing Moshi Monster privileges for a week?
“And,” she continued, delicately tasting a corner of her Mexi-melt, “while the taste is quite nice, the presentation will count as fifty percent of your score.”
“Well, I’ll keep that in mind when I present your oatmeal to you tomorrow morning.”
“Thank you, Chef.”
“Thank you, Judge.”
Thank you, Food Network.