Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Reality Cooking

My family is very odd, indeed. One of our family traditions lately is to settle down on the couch together on Monday and Tuesday nights to tune into "Master Chef." Master Chef, if you don't watch network TV or reality shows, is about a group of ameteur chefs preparing various dishes, taking on culinary challenges (like cooking for 250 kids at a block party,) and generally attempting to impress three gourmet superstars: Chefs Ramses, Graham, and "Zod."

I can not explain my family's attraction to this show. It really ought to be quite boring, but, of course, the various chef superstars ham it up and, when the contestants's entries suck, they spit out food, gag, and throw things in the bin with much panache. There's a designated villian among the amatuer chefs -- this season, it's the arrogant, potty-mouthed Christian. Likewise, there are good guys to root for: Ben Starr is currently my favorite (because my gaydar goes ding), but there are others I like well enough that I wouldn't be disappointed if they won. It's all very melodramatic and manufactured, but we're hooked none-the-less.

The positive outcome of our obsession, however, is this:

On Saturday morning, before I headed off to the con, I pulled out one of my more favorite blueberry muffin recipies and let him read and follow the directions on his own (with only a few helpful hints from me about measuring and whatnot.) Afterwards, we played Master Chef by pretending to be the various chefs commenting on his offering.

Mason really wanted to wear the apron because one of the shticks in Master Chef is that if you get "voted off the island" you have to surrender your Master Chef apron. Theirs are, alas, notably less frilly, but Mason didn't care as long as it was an apron.

Also, please note the "M" shape of the muffins. Mason has learned that, on Master Chef, "plating" is sometimes as important as taste!