10 Minutes of TV Terror

Saturday was the big demo day, folks. Myself and 12 other lucky home cooks made the long haul to Seattle Center KCTS 9 studios for ten minutes of public television glory.
KCTS 9 Family Favorites airs on Saturday from 11:00am to 3:00pm. The show's hosts Carol Dearth and George Ray has been gracefully leading home cooks through a terrifying course of brights lights and big cameras for years. Th studio is an honest to goodness television set complete with false roofs and short perspective invisible to the viewer's eye.

This girl's family favorite was Spinach and Blue Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Lemon Wine Sauce. I wrote the recipe in the spring, when I was in my fresh spinach and lemon craze, but I think the flavors carry over well into any season. Sure tasted good each of the four times we've had it since getting the call two weeks ago. Poor Hubs.

Everyone has been asking how I got on the show, and to be truly honest, I cannot remember. I sent in a recipe, but can't for the life of me recall if I say the ad online or was flipping through the channels and saw it. I had nearly forgotten about my entry until I got a call from the show's producer Nicole. She immediately set a fun, inviting comfortable tone, wish carried through the entire experience, well except for the first hour...

For some reason, we thought I was going on fifth, but when I got to the studio (late, of course) it turned out that I was airing second. Ack! Thank goodness for the mass of volunteers that came to my rescue. Each of us demonstrators was assigned two volunteers who transferred our ingredients from the classy cardboard box I brought everything in, to glass ramekins and onto a rolling cart. From there, the demonstrators were not allowed to touch a thing. It was the volunteers' job to get out food from the prep kitchen to the studio and into place in front of the cameras when it was our turn. While they were taking care of all that, I was busy sitting in the green room trying not to barf. Some how I made it out of the green room unscathed aside from the half pound of make-up on my face.

It was go time and I was petrified. Here's how it goes...Whoever is on deck (next to go), sits on the side of the studio just outside of the view of the cameras and watches the person ahead of him/her. And who am I behind? Oh, a freaking cooking instructor. THAT'S FAIR! He was fabulous. I felt like an indi rocker who has to go on after Eddie Vedder randomly shows up at the bar. Fun times.

As soon as my predecessor finished, the camera swings to the left and Paula does her spiel about buying the cookbook and DVD to support public broadcasting. Remember, all of this is live and being taped in the same room. She's on for exactly two minutes which is how long the volunteers have to clear what was just prepared and set up my stuff. As I stood there, not allowed to help, I felt like I had concrete feet and Gumby arms. My neurons had given up and quit firing, while my nerves were cracking like sparklers. Chaos had officially set in in my brain.

Luckily, Chef Carol came to my rescue and gave me a huge welcoming smile. She grabbed my around my waist and plopped me into place, snug and cozy between her and George. Up goes the camera girl's fingers and the countdown begun. Five fingers, four finger, three...Smile!

Here is where the lights go out. I chopping bacon, saying "whack it" and trying to smile, but other then that its a bit of a blur. From what I'm told by Thus Hubs and assorted friends and family I did alright, my jokes weren't too lame and the food looked great. Ash Hollow and Willapa Hills were mentioned, which was as important to me as not cutting off my fingers.