Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sugar and Spice and Reality TV

Here's the thing about reality TV. I don't watch any shows habitually. I don't wait until 8pm every Tuesday because I just HAVE to know who's going to be kicked out of the house this week. However, I tend to watch reality TV shows in marathons during school holidays. Consequently, my day today consisted of hours upon hours of Top Chef: Just Desserts. Yes. I watched the entire season. Okay, I missed the first few episodes and napped through a couple of the later episodes, but I still feel as if I have invested my entire life in the show.

I hadn't seen a single episode of the show before today, but by the time I got to the finale, I was sooooo glad that Yigit, the adorable and funny and talented gay man was named winner over Morgan, the cut-throat, overly-competitive a**hole. I feel as if I've known the contestants forever (okay, I exaggerate). I could tell you their specialty dishes and when they're having off days (not an exaggeration). How do we become so invested in these reality shows? I don't actually know these people. I can't really relate to them at all. I'm no pastry chef. Yet for some reason, I feel as if I MUST know their fates. After a few episodes, it's clear that winning this competition is the single most important thing on the planet. It's more important than school and wars and the future of nuclear technology. Because if you're not a winner, you're a loser. And no one wants to be told to "please pack your knives and go home."

This is Yigit. He awesome and he won.
This is Morgan. He's a jerk and he lost. 

Here's one theory on why I became so involved in Top Chef just Desserts: it showed me hours upon hours of people making chocolates and cakes and ice creams and pastries. Since I'm a fatty-Mcfat-fat when it comes to anything with sugar in it, I think shows about sweets are awesome. Seriously, I have the sweet tooth of a hyperactive ten year old on Halloween. I've been an avid fan of Top Chef for years, but this "Just Desserts" season reaffirmed my belief that sweet > salty.

Mango Panna Cotta, Acai Fluid Gel, Tarragon Syrup, Passion Fruit Sorbet. OMG WANT.

Now, people often ask me how I can watch the food network (and other foodie shows, because this one is obviously on Bravo) without just wanting to eat more. Shouldn't looking at all the food I can't have be torture? Well, I counter: is watching a professional sports game torture because you'll never be as good as the pros? Is reading Harry Potter torture because you'll never attend Hogwarts (sorry, Harvard is close, but not quite the same)? No way. I love sugar. Like, for real. And although I can't taste or even smell anything that's on the television, I can dream and I can pretend. I've got a pretty impressive imagination, so I work with what's given to me.

Dark Chocolate Stracciatella Mousse Torte with Milk Chocolate Grand Marnier Caramel Sauce

Look at that photo (above). How can your imagination not run and run and run? One thing I learned during my summer in Italy was that Stracciatella is DELICIOUS. As in, if all of the Ancient Greek gods put their powers together to make one food item, it would be Stracciatella. Add milk chocolate, caramel, and an orange garnish...DIVINITY. WANT SO BADLY.

Table of chocolate. No, MOUNTAIN of chocolate.
But sometimes, I don't want cake or fruit or pastry. I want chocolate and chocolate only. So when it came time for the Godiva chocolate bon-bon making challenge, I just about drooled all over my fatty-McFat-fat self. So.Much.Chocolate. Milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate with nuts, chocolate with exotic spices. Bon-bon craving in 3...2...1.

Table of bon-bons. Because a table of straight up chocolate isn't enough.

Yes, I really did this with my day. Don't judge me.

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