Thursday, February 17, 2011

Restoration and Redemption

I have to confess that I have recently become fascinated with makeover shows. No, not the ones where you walk into the studio dressed in paint splattered holey jeans and sweatshirt then come out fifty minutes later looking like a runway model. When I say a makeover show I mean the shows where a young struggling newly joined couple is living in their recently deceased Aunt Betsy's old fashioned house. The furniture was bought in 1950 and the appliances are the version that came out ten years after the invention of refrigeration and indoor cooking. The couple is being unnecessarily stunted by the house. They would be able to finally finish that master's thesis or have that first child or succeed in their high powered entry level careers if only the house was more up to date and worthy of who they aspire to become in twenty years. The house is dark and depressing. The house is holding them back.

A perky decorator and her friend the dependable and creative general contractor use $1000 to completely update the house. By the way, I can believe the perky decorator much more than I can visualize a dependable contractor.

This process takes three days and the fabulous new home is revealed in thirty minutes.

One thing I've noticed. Even though the young couple are in ripped jeans and dark or even black clothing during the initial consultation with the decorator, they show up for the big reveal in neat clothes that have color accents which match the new paint or pillows.

My good friend Anne told me about these shows several years ago but somehow I did not get addicted to watching them until one week end this winter when we had snow, ice and 15 degree temperatures.

I've decided this is like last year when I first discovered food blogs. I subscribe to quite a few on and am fascinated by the pictures and recipes. I've probably saved a hundred of these beautiful pictures and preparation methods.

You might ask "How many dishes have you prepared from these?"

I have gone so far as to buy the oddly named spice and the refined sanding sugar, but I have prepared none. Not the beautiful cookies in unique shapes with meticulous frosting and complicated designs. Not the fifteen versions of apple pie and home made pastry. Not the magnificent ten inch round eighteen inch tall four layer cakes prepared for that three year old's birthday party.

I look at the page, read the recipe along with supporting copy describing the reason the blogger's son Sean likes dark chocolate and cowboys on horses vs. milk chocolate and space men. I then copy it all to a word processing document, and save it in a catalogued file on my hard drive; cookies, biscuits, pies, cakes, meat, side dishes, etc.
I can loose myself in that activity realizing hours later I have accomplished nothing else.

When do foodies have time to make the dishes? Do they entertain every week where a group of victims, err friends taste everything and gratefully acknowledge the talent of the cook?

While I might have the inclination to make the cakes and roast the meat, I don’t have time. I'm watching how to retile my downstairs bathroom, paint three bedrooms, plant annuals at the front of the house and insulate the basement.