So this whole cooking on live television deal turns out to be a whole lot of fun, at least for this amateur chef…
I arrived at the station about an hour before the cooking segment was to air. The producer met me and took me immediately to the set. The broadcast was in progress, and I was a bit wide-eyed as I carried my items to the set kitchen.
I was quickly clued in: “The stove, microwave, and refrigerator work…the sink does not. You can talk softly while we are ‘live,’ but clanging pots, jars, and such will need to be set up during commercial break.” And finally, “Pronounce your last name again for us?”
Working quickly, I began to assemble the pre-made “finished product” version of the dish I would be demonstrating, Deconstructed Jambalaya Pasta. Everything I was going to use for the demonstration--every spice, seasoning, and ingredient--had to be pre-measured and prepared before the demonstration began. So I began setting up all the onion, garlic, celery, etc. that I had meticulously sliced and diced the night before.
Then I waited…because as it turns out, I can set things up fairly quickly (something I attribute to my lightning-fast mommy skills), and I had some time to soak up the moment before the spot began. I have to say, I was amazed at how peaceful I felt, how excited rather than nervous, how at ease.
After a quick visit to the ladies’ room to double-check my hair, I was back on the set. But this time things looked a lot different…there were three cameras right in front of me, and the brightest, most intense lights were shining in my direction. They quickly “mic-ed” me and checked my audio. I started the heat on the pans so they would be ready for the demo, and before I knew it, it was time!
The co-anchor, Andy, walked over and introduced himself to me, and next thing I heard was "5, 4, 3, 2," and the director pointed to us. The questions were fairly simple and straightforward, but trying to explain the meal I was cooking, answer the questions coherently, smile and look up--all whilst “being myself”--was a little bit like trying to juggle a chainsaw, wet octopus, and baby all at the same time. (No, I have never done this, and please, please, please don’t try this at home.)
Before I knew it, the segment was finished and my three minutes of fame had ended. I felt good…I had answered all the questions without too many “umms,” and the cooking went off without a hitch. I felt even better when the other co-anchor looked right at me and said, “You did great!”
I left the station and quickly resumed my mommy duties, meeting my husband at preschool to switch back to my “mommy” car and give him his car so he could drive to work. Then it was off to our weekly Music Together class for G and I. How quickly my life returned to normal.
Later that day, I watched the segment with the boys. G was confused, looking at me and the television and saying, “There’s two mommies--?” R watched for about 10 seconds and then asked, “Can I watch a show?”
So that's another life experience to file away in my memory, to share with my children and to brighten a future gloomy day. A good day indeed.