I have a horrible confession to make.
I am…addicted to the Food Network.
Hey, the first step to solving a problem is admitting it, right?
Honestly, I can’t help myself. Every time I turn to the Food Network, Giada’s smiling into the camera and she’s spooning out ricotta cheese by the heaping spoonfuls and whatever she’s baking/frying/sauteeing/blending just looks so damn amazing that I can’t look away. And before I know it, two hours have passed and Alton Brown is explaining how to make the perfect cheesecake in his characteristic, scientist-y way.
I love pretty much everything about the Food Network. I love Paula Deen and her adorable southern drawl. I love Throwdown with Bobby Flay (I especially love when he gets his smug ass handed to him). I love watching how things are made on Unwrapped. And God forbid they show a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives marathon because I will sit in front of the TV until it’s over. Not even kidding.
But here’s where the problem comes in; every time I attempt to make a semi-homemade meal with Sandra Lee, IT NEVER TURNS OUT THE SAME WAY. I always try to keep up, but inevitably my water doesn’t boil as quickly as hers and I end up missing an ingredient or I wait too long and I turn around and my tilapia has gone up in smoke. Literally.
After thousands of attempts at a Rachel Ray-sanctioned, 30-minute meal, I’ve finally realized the whole gimmick. The food looks delicious, yes, but it’s a long way between point A and point B. First of all, the personalities on Food Network have been at this for years, so naturally they chop onions much faster than I can. Second of all, they have top of the line appliances and utensils that never stick and never dull. Third of all, they have expensive, quality ingredients. They don’t ever have to substitute heavy cream with 2% milk or a ciabatta loaf with Wonderbread.
So after I burn my roux for the six millionth time, I shake my fist uselessly at Guy Fieri and blame him and his perpetually lobster-red face for all my kitchen problems. Then I turn off the TV in disgust and vow to never again watch the Food Network because it results only in disappointment and heartbreak.
But then the very next day when I turn on the TV, it’s still set on the Food Network and inevitably they’ll be playing Ace of Cakes. And I’m sucked in once again.