My Life, in a Nutshell
Or to put it simply, “Why I Could Never Be the NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR…”
When I was very young my father crowned me with the nickname “Murphy”, as in “Murphy’s Law”: Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. I was, to put it mildly, “accident prone”. Actually, accidents followed me around like dark shadows, turning up when I’d least expect them, ruining perfectly good days.
When I was three I was up at my cottage and my brother had broken a juice glass on the floor of the kitchen. My mother cleaned up all of it (she thought) but my foot somehow managed to find the one piece she had missed. It embedded itself into my foot and I ended up in the emergency room a few days later waiting to have it removed (for which I received a pretty pink balloon…my brother was jealous).
At the ripe old age of 4 my brother (still jealous) sat me down on the kitchen floor and gave me a horrific hair cut. To this day I fear haircuts and anyone bearing scissors in the kitchen.
When I was six I tugged on the kitchen door at the cottage and the glass window fell out of it, nearly slicing off my right thumb. No emergency room this time, just a big bowl of hydrogen peroxide and a clean dish towel for a bandage. I have nerve damage in that hand and am still upset I never got a pretty pink balloon to make my brother jealous. Entering that kitchen still gives me the heebee-geebies.
At the age of eight my brother (jealous much?) whirled me around the grocery store in a shopping cart and tipped it over (with me still in it). Now I become somewhat traumatized when I walk through the doors of any large grocery store…it makes shopping a nuisance to say the least.
At 19 a good friend cooked me dinner but the chicken was slightly undercooked and I ended up sick in bed for over a week…minus one good friend. To this day I am a bit paranoid when it comes to cooking chicken.
When I was 27 I was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. A very similar disorder is caused by e. coli so I am a bit overly cautious when I cook ground beef…to the point of burning it sometimes.
Recently I wanted to make myself a cup of tea. I turned the stove on, walked out of the kitchen and made a telephone call. I returned to my kitchen to find the stove on fire and the room filled with thick grey smoke. I had turned on the wrong burner, on top of which was an old tea towel. I think you can guess the result…the house still smells funny to me and I have left the tea-making to S.
So those are my flaws (a few of them anyway), do with them what you will. But if you’re going to think ill of me for them perhaps you should examine your own past in your own kitchen(s). For your effort I will award one The Next Food Network Star prize package to the most disastrous (but believable) kitchen horror story you can come up with.
Please send me an email before June 2nd with your tragic story and I will choose the best (worst) and post it on Tuesday June 3rd. The prize package, courtesy of The Next Food Network Star includes the following:
1. Cookbook – “Bobby Flay’s Grill It!”
2. Food Network Keychain
3. Next Food Network Star Poster
4. Next Food Network Star Postcard
5. Next Food Network Star T-shirt
When my younger sister was very little we called her the "Dancing Queen" and to me she will always hold that title…
One of my closest friends is my little sister. She can be the most amazingly supportive person in the world — right when I need her the most. In the past few years I think that through everything that has happened to both of us, we have become closer than I had thought was possible. We have both grown up a great deal and we have both come into "our own" as people.
The other day I was remembering something she used to do, as a baby, when I fed her. She would always do this "la-la-la" sing-song type thing with her tongue while she moved it back and forth in her mouth. It was absolutely adorable – a really amazing thing to be able to remember so vividly, especially considering this year she is turning 30. Actually, I recall quite a bit of what she did and what she was like as a child, possibly because she was so different from me, growing up. When I was young I was terminally shy. I preferred to hide in my mother’s arms or to cling to my father’s neck…even around family and friends. I was not talkative, unless I was really comfortable with the person or persons with whom I was speaking. My sister was different, she was a "performer" from a young age and she absolutely loved to be in the spotlight.
I remember one night at our cottage, lying on the bottom bunk in our bedroom, reading. She came bounding in, all gangly legs and long, blonde hair; giggling and smiling, carrying her teddy bear. She said, "Jenny - (only my family is permitted to call me Jenny) – watch me dance!!", and she started jumping around the room in front of me, flailing her arms around and kicking up her skinny legs from under her night gown. I lay there and watched, completely mesmerized by how free she was and how easily performing came to her. She was utterly beautiful; her blonde hair hanging pin-straight down past her shoulder blades, her brown eyes flashing with mischief and her cheeks glowing with happiness. And I, in my immaturity and insecurity of my early teenage years, was jealous…knowing that I could never be like that around anyone, ever. That I could never just laugh out loud, let go of my inhibitions and dance without caring what I looked like.
It’s strange to think about that night now, because when I look at her she is an adult; she is not in need of my care or my approval or watchful eye any longer. But, I look at her and she is sill that silly, giggling dancing girl. Only now I realize that I am indeed exactly like her – in all the ways I thought I could never be. I laugh out loud a lot. I dance without caring who sees or what they might venture to think. My eyes blaze and my cheeks glow pink with happiness. It just took me a lot longer to grow into these particular attributes.
I do thank her for showing me just how amazing it could be to feel this way, though. For that gift I am forever indebted to her. And for that reason I dedicate this gorgeous yellow pineapple tart to her today on International Women’s Day.Read More