Oct 19 2007
Thanks a lot, Jessica Seinfeld. You just had to go and write a cookbook, becoming a big food sensation in the process. Thanks!
Now I’m eating spinach brownies and hearing about chicken nuggets with sweet potato or beet puree.
(Actually, that sounds kind of good.)
I’ve had apple sauce muffins with carrots stuffed in, and chocolate chip cookies with garbanzo beans tucked discreetly inside. Garbanzo beans in cookies! I have no idea what else is coming down the pipeline, but my wife has become a baking fool.
And it’s all because of you.
If you haven’t heard of Jessica Seinfeld, she’s the wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld and now has a mega-popular cookbook out called “Deceptively Delicious.” It’s all about showing you how to “deceptively” work vegetables into everyday food so your children (and stubborn husbands) will eat them. (For the record, I eat my spinach and love broccoli. The irony is that my wife is the one who’s never been a fan of vegetables. But I guess children change all of that.)
Now she’s hooked and has turned into a Jessica Seinfeld groupie. Goodbye, Martha Stewart. We hardly knew you.
She saw her on Oprah and went out to buy her cookbook. She quotes from her, looks up to her, and might even be plotting some kind of fan club.
More importantly, she’s in the kitchen all the time trying out the Seinfeld recipes. The latest were the brownies with the spinach (and who knows what else what was in there — did I detect corn?)
And the thing is — this is very painful to admit — it’s all been very good. Well, actually I like my brownies a bit richer (and made with bacon grease), but I’ve been pleasantly surprised.
When she poked the plate of garbanzo-laden cookies under my nose and urged me in that giddy voice of hers to try one, I just about turned and ran. My face crinkled up like a Shar Pei and I braced my back for the expected whip lash as I raised one to my lips. Ever notice how when you expect something to be completely disgusting, you stretch your lips as far away from your teeth as possible — as if that’s going to make it taste better? “If just my teeth touch it, maybe I won’t get the flavor in my mouth.”
But a funny thing happened on the way down my gullet: the damn thing was actually good. And no garbanzo flavor! I was almost disappointed when I didn’t gag and fall to the floor in convulsions.
My wife just smiled. I know she was thinking, “Go Jessica. You rock!”
What happened to the days when health food and nutritious treats tasted like tree bark or cat litter? It was too awful to eat. What happened to the days when junk food was just that — junk? And what’s wrong with sitting at your dining room table for eight hours trying to get your kid to eat her first bite of peas? Isn’t that part of what it means to be American?
Apparently my wife, and millions of others, don’t think so.
So she’s in the kitchen cooking and chopping, concocting and mixing, stewing and brewing, and coming up with all manner of things. It’s a virtual mad scientist’s den, and I never know what will emerge next. I picture her in a lab coat and safety goggles busting from the kitchen with a steaming lobster pot, all the while screaming, “I’ve done it! I’ve made broccoli hash with pickled cabbage biscuits and rutabaga gravy. For dessert, we have squash ice cream and soy bean sprinkles.”
I better go check the cookbook to see if that’s in there. And then I need to get ready for the fact that I might even like it and, scariest of all, that my toddler might eat it. What a funny culinary world we live in. Thanks, Jessica.