Like I said, I’ve been sick this week, so I’ve been watching a lot of cooking shoes. These are the least mentally taxing form of entertainment available to human beings, so I always fall into them whenever I’m swamp-headed and couch-bound for a few days.
Now that I’m better, I thought I should try out some of the recipes I’ve watched other people make on TV. My parents are visiting this week, so I thought I would make Nigella Lawson’s no-dairy, no-gluten carrot cake, which looks both easy and amazing:
I followed the recipe to a T: Whatever she did, I did. Measure, stir, pour. And at every single step, mine didn’t look like hers. She mixes in the eggs and her dough is the color of a Mediterranean midday; I mix mine and it’s the color of a football field behind a middle school in Chechnya. Her cake fluffs up in the oven, mine falls and bedenses to the point of having a gravitational pull. Not to mention that her recipe calls for a fucking waterfall of lemon juice, which totally overpowers the almond flour and the carrots.
Anthony Bourdain says cooking shows are the new pornography: ‘It’s watching people make things on TV that you’re never going to be doing yourself.’ I should have known this in the first place, and anticipated that Lawson’s show is designed to entertain, not instruct. (Come to think of it, we should probably tell boys this when they get to porn-clicking age too: Entertainment may overlap with education, but we shouldn’t confuse one for the other).
So here I am, icing a crummy, lemony, fax-machine version of a carrot cake. We’ll eat it anyway. Next time I want to make a new recipe, though, I’ll try to remind myself of today’s mini-piphany: Cooking shows are to food what monster truck rallies are to commuting.