Cranks My Tractor

Published: Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 09:15 AM.

There are those of us who watch the cooking shows on television with the same intensity that folks in the South watch college football.  Personally, I find the competitive cooking shows interesting and filled with characters having attitudes and behaviors that come close to professional wrestling back when it was real (or at least I thought it was).

You can find chefs with tattoos, crazy hair and all kinds of things pierced that could seemingly get in the way when knives start chopping and pans start flying.  They put their aprons on and go at each other in a kitchen, cooking to be judged by a panel of experts who are often just as colorful as those doing the cooking.

It seems like most of the amateur chefs in these competitions have stories that are supposed to make you feel sorry for them and want them to win the competition.  Things like the ghost of their mother telling them to “Go back into the kitchen” or having a dream about the secret ingredient in Uncle Earl’s Barbecue Sauce.

Sometimes the stories are truly sad, but those of you who watch these shows know what I mean.  In addition to cooking, you get a soap opera, a little professional wrestling and one of those afternoon shows where the host brings in a couple of whack jobs to yell and scream at each other and admit to things they shouldn’t have even thought of doing.

One of the shows I find most entertaining is the one where the contestants get a basket of stuff they aren’t expecting and are asked to make an appetizer, entrée or dessert.  As many folks know, the things in the basket are usually ingredients you have never heard of, never seen on a grocery store shelf or just plain don’t go together.

Most of us have been cooking out the basket all our lives and never really thought of it that way.  In other words, we often are faced with the option of either going to the grocery store or making do with what we have.  Also, you might have situations where there’s too much week at the end of the money – you have to feed yourself and the kids and be happy about it.

So you go hunting in the pantry or the kitchen cabinets and you often need a stool or a chair to find the food that has been hiding way back in the back – things you have forgotten about or haven’t taken to the can food drive at church.

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