March 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
“Who put this plastic whisk here?! I want my wire whisk!! Well?! Someone get me my wire whisk!!” I imagined myself barking at my producers as I tried to create the perfect chocolate cake in front of three cameras. I would continue to angrily whisk and glare at my staff as a woman fixed the hair around my face and another powdered my nose.
I am not saying I would be that kind of famous cooking show host, but plastic whisks are nearly impossible to mix cake batter with. They are also ridiculously difficult to lick. When I was younger I used to stir chocolate chips, marshmallows, and pretty much anything sugary into my microwavable Cream of Wheat cereal. All the while I stirred up the sweet concoction I imagined I was on a cooking show. Back then I wasn’t a temperamental host, and most of my energy was channeled into gulping down ill tasting, not-so-hot cereal.
There is only one cooking show I will watch. Most of the hosts nowadays seem hyped up on too much sugar – their eyes bulging from their faces, their figures usually giving us insight into how much or how little they eat of their own recipes. In an attempt to clamber ahead of the rest they stand amidst modern kitchens full of their own brand of cookware. They find their own voice by talking a certain way or with a peculiar American accent; they even go as far to bestow new nicknames on the average ingredient.
My imaginary set looks most like an average, white kitchen – nothing modern or fancy. I use utensils bought from Target and Ikea, and apart from my wire whisk meltdowns I am pleasant to work with. In front of the cameras I laugh a lot and maybe say a bad word or two when things go awry. There might even be music playing in the background so the dead silence wouldn’t have to be filled with personal stories or cliché remarks.
It is one of those odd dreams like being a music video director or becoming a textile artist. I am pretty sure we all have them, but somewhere between the age of learning how to microwave Cream of Wheat and baking our first batch of brownies, we are told (many times over) to get our head out of the clouds. Our imagination is only nurtured until a certain age then we are supposed to wise up. We praise children for being able to play without toys, create magical worlds, and believe they are or will be something really interesting. Tisk, tisk is all you here now at this age – we shake our heads at the 30 year old musician who still hasn’t caught his big break, and we roll our eyes when we find out a friend is marrying an artist (and when we say it we use quotations with our fingers and pronounce it aaartisssst). And what about the make believe stuff? Can’t we adults enjoy a little harmless whisk yielding as we bake a cake? What’s so wrong with dressing up for no other reason than to pretend we are in a different era, going somewhere fantastic, or about to meet Prince Charming?
My cake and my imaginary cooking show personality’s tempers have both cooled. The smell of chocolate is wafting throughout the house. For a moment reality meets imaginary as I wipe up the spilled flour and drips of oil from the countertop. I wouldn’t trade this adult life for any other, but sometimes it is fun to pretend.