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About Magnificence in the Mundane

Bringing humor to the many challenges of parenting, driving a gigantic SUV full of smelly boys and their friends, letting go of the idea of perfection and tackling middle age all serve as my inspiration. We all have common experiences, I just share my take on the absurdity of every... Read more

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Summer 2017: Now We’re Cooking

With college departure T-one week, I am creating a cook book for my oldest to take with him. I am still not 100% sure he will actually follow through and cook two meals a day in his apartment. But, if he gives up midway through the first semester, I’ll be damned if the reason will be lack of preparation on my part.

He will have recipes with a list of brands for ingredients and the total cost for each one if cooked to specifications. The idea is for him to stay organized and within budget which is a notion I should really look into for myself.

This emphasis on cooking got me thinking about how unrealistic the cooking shows on television are. My middle son loves them and can be found watching Top Chef, Carnival Eats or Guy’s Grocery Games. All very entertaining for sure, but not really a ton of help to the average mom on the daily,

Here are my Top 5 shows that should be in development on the Cooking Channel:

1. Vacation Vittles
Premise: How to make something edible out of the 5 non-perishable items left in the fridge the night before vacation. Well, it’s really 6 items if you include the Baking Soda placed on the shelf in hopes of disguising the odor of the stuff that actually perished.

2. Culinary Car Pool
Premise: The meat is completely thawed but now dinner has to be eaten in the car on the way to practice because time for making that awesome pre-planned meal evaporated while you looked for someone’s left cleat/jersey/lucky socks.

3. Fickle Fixins’
Premise: The meal everyone loved last week is now poison and just the sight of it burns at least one child’s eyes. On the season finale, all children will protest and make gagging sounds in unison. The meal must be stripped of all offending ingredients but still feed the entire family including the people that liked it the way it was.

4. One Hit Wonders
Premise: There is only one vegetable that all your children will eat. All recipes must include this one vegetable or your offspring will get no greens whatsoever in their diet and get scurvy or rickets or whatever disease comes from this lack of vital nutrients forcing your pediatrician to bring it to the attention of Child Protective Services.

5. Chaotic Cooking:
Premise: Host of show must cook using multi-step recipes while breaking up fights, trying not to step on the dog, pulling people snacking away from the pantry, answering multi-step algebra problems and texting with husband.

As I send him off to school armed and ready, I’m not sure his culinary expectations are any more realistic than what we see on the Cooking Channel every day. But much like the shows we watch, it will be entertaining to see him learn.

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About Maureen Stiles

Maureen is the author of the blog Magnificence in the Mundane. You can read her monthly column at The Town Courier.


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