Sunday, June 13, 2010

Remember Graham Kerr?

I climbed aboard the WABAC machine (Okay, if you're too young to remember Mister Peabody and Sherman from Rocky & Bullwinkle fame, that won't make sense.) and traveled back a few decades to revisit shows like Cooking with Julia, Two Fat Ladies and, yes, The Galloping Gourmet.

You can find all of these on the new Cooking Channel which you can find on your cable network where you used to have Fine Living Network. (If your system is like ours, the menu station will still note it as "Fine Living.") I was simply channel surfing when I saw Graham Kerr pouring wine into his dish and rhapsodizing about the "lovely beverage." Yes, folks, Paula Deen is not the first TV cook to jam butter into every dish, although Graham seemed to clarify all his butter before adding it to the dish.
I was still in school during The Galloping Gourmet's heyday but I recall my sister and her friends, all young housewives and mothers, adoring the program and its charming star. He lit up their mornings. They took careful notes and laughed t his corny jokes. They eagerly awaited his next fancy dish and dreamed of being the lone audience member brought up to taste the meal at the end of the show.

Well, I watched that show on Friday and, as they say, "in the bright light of day" (or time), the shine has tarnished on the star! The jokes were CORNY, to say the least. His "charm" was so sickening sweet, you might need insulin if you watched on a daily basis. The foods were complicated and somewhat expensive to copy and, yes, you'd need a cardiologist on standby. We've become a more sophisticated audience and demand more of our TV chefs. We want fast, simple and economical meals. While you're at it, please cut some calories and fat, too. That's something else. He did the meat or main item on the show but not a "meal." We've come to expect the main item and sides, too, on our cooking shows. We now want the "whole deal." Are we spoiled, or what?

By the way, Gals, that charmer is now 76 years old and, get this, is now cooking low fat, even vegetarian!!

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