Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Unwrapped: Sad Christmas on The Food Channel

"Next on the Food Network, Beulah McCormack shows us just how "gruel" life can be with her Classic Slop recipe, just like (the mother she never knew) used to make!"

I've had trouble getting to sleep lately, thanks to a little channel I recently discovered called "Food Network on Demand." There I'll be, 3 in the morning, eyes a-bloodshot, hands trembling, glued to the tv screen watching "America's Pastry Challenge", where pastry chefs from all over the world compete to make chocolate, paint and sugar look like museum worthy sculptures. I've decided that when I die, and if I'm rich enough, I'm going to sponsor a "Chocolate Coffin Challenge", where 6 chefs compete to create the most ornate, elaborate chocolate coffin to lay me to rest in. Although I'd also happily be buried in an oversized pita with a side of babaganoush.

So late last night, as per usual these days, I turn to the Food Network on Demand to see their latest offerings. I refuse to watch anything hosted by Rachael Ray after 8 pm, for fear of inducing a dream where my innards are sucked through a straw by a flesh-hungry demon on a budget.

Rachael Ray: "Here I am in Seattle, and I've just ordered the skull of a baby baked in pig's blood for only five dollars. Let's take a taste... (winks, and puts forkful in mouth.) Mmmm... (pretending it's too hot)... Mmmm... that is sooo good you guys. Mmm..."

Finally, I settled in on an old favorite, "Unwrapped", hosted by Double Dare Alum and OCD-addled Marc Summers, the only man on television who sports a Jewfro and gets away with it. "Unwrapped" shows you the behind-the-scenes makings of some of your favorite foods, and it's comforting to know that the Campbell's soup factory does not employ 14-year-old Thai hookers, as once rumored by the riveting John Stossel of 20/20. (Did you know that Chicken Noodle soup is cooked after it has been sealed in the can? They do it in a pressure cooker! Mmm Mmm fascinating!)

Last night's theme was "Winter Treats". I learned of a delicious looking Grilled Cheese restaurant by the same name in the Lower East Side, as well as how candy cane trees are made (ironically, and seriously, by Thai hookers.) But one segment really pulled me in, and that was how "The Swiss Colony" store makes their famous "Christmas Log." It's basically a layer cake rolled up and covered in chocolate, with an adorable chocolate mold of three little raccoons applied to one end. The factory looked really friendly, and the food reminded me of fattening garbage I used to sell to strange neighbors in order to win a trip to Space Camp. (Needless to say, I bought everything myself, and earned a paid trip to Fat Camp.)

I decided to find out how much these Christmas Logs cost, as they were adorable and looked delicious. And it was on "The Swiss Colony" website that I discovered the real truth behind "Christmas Logs"... they're actually called "ORPHAN LOGS." ORPHAN LOGS. Well doesn't that just spell Christmas! Never once on the show were these cakes referred to as "Orphan Logs"... what's the back-story? Let's check out the description:

(Unwanted) Youngsters of all ages (without parents) will savor this Orphans' Logs! The (motherless) raccoons are pure milk chocolate, too! Our chocolate Yule logs, decorated with care by (really small, almost babylike) hand(s), are meant to remind (long lost, forgotten) loved ones of the original Yule log (their mother used to make), the decorated wooden logs brought home (by your brawny dad) that burned throughout the holiday festivities. And though ours still symbolizes the same family togetherness (you now so often miss and crave), this scrumptious pastry rarely lasts for days. . .it's often devoured in minutes (by hungry, hungry orphans)!

(parentheticals added.)

And now, a Holiday Cartoon, brought to you by your friends at "The Swiss Colony":

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