Impossible Reality

There are occasions when I’ll sit in Jenni’s den with her and watch some TV. Since it’s the only location on the main floor with both a TV and comfortable seating, the family tends to gather there to watch some shows.


And those of you who know Jenni know that she is a connoisseur of television and pop culture. As such, she is usually in control of the remote in her room. As a result, I end up watching whatever she’s wanting to watch. And there are those times of the year when her regular scripted shows are on hiatus, so she’ll surf around and find a reality show or two to watch.


And it dawned on me last night that many of these have simply fallen into a formula: contestants must compete in a limited amount of time to use a limited set of resources to create something (food, garment, craft, etcetera) that will be judged to determine if they’re really good at whatever field they’re competing in.


So I came up with an idea last night: I’m going to pitch an idea to the Food Network, whereby three or four of their star chefs would be challenged to come up with a meal that my entire family, plus Summer, Patrick’s girlfriend, can and will eat.


What, you say? That shouldn’t be hard? Oh contraire. Behold my gastronomic dilemma.


Summer needs a gluten-free diet. Jenni isn’t fond of pork or fish (though she’ll eat both). I’m not thrilled with peppers. Hannah is slightly more adventurous than Zoe, who prefers pasta, hates red meat, pork, fish, and vegetables. And Patrick has his Picky Eater syndrome, where flavors and textures can literally turn his stomach. So he concentrates mostly on white or tan foods: apples, pasta, breaded chicken (not unbreaded), peanut butter sandwiches, cheese and cheese sandwiches, pizza, hamburgers, and the like.


So you see the problem. Avoiding breads makes for a problem because that’s a staple in Patrick’s diet. And he wouldn’t touch a salad, even if he were starving.


What would Alton Brown do? Or even Gordon Ramsey. I could try Jacque Pepin. Or, and this one has me chuckling, Paula Deen.


Sure, the easy way out is to make some gluten-free bread or something and go from there. And that’s certainly an option. At some point I need to start playing to see if I can make my homemade pizza gluten-free. But it’s a difficult assignment, especially the more you think about it: everything Patrick likes to eat, Summer literally can’t eat.


So now I just have to package up this idea and pitch it to the networks.


See you tomorrow.