I'm very late to the party on this one, but it is a party I am unwilling to miss, regardless of severe tardiness issues. For those of you who don't know of it, there is a cable television channel out there called Food Network. And a decent amount of the time, its shows are actually about food. Not necessarily good types of food, but food nonetheless. Then there are their other shows, about Guy Fieri buying coke in seedy diners or whatever. And then there are the unclassifiable shows. Foremost amongst these is the wonderful/reprehensible/nauseating Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee. This show, Sandra claims, will teach you how to make delicious meals that are no fuss out of 70% store-bought ingredients and 30% fresh ingredients, because who has the time to cook these days? The answer: obviously not Sandra.
You see, the premise for the show is reasonable enough for a certain target market. The problem lies in the fact that Sandra has no idea whatsoever how to cook (If you would like proof of this, here is a recipe she made on-air for a skirt steak flavored with 1/4 cup of taco seasoning, then topped with a chocolate-merlot sauce. Really. I swear to god. The users' comments on the recipe might be even funnier than the recipe itself). She simply throws things together at random and then either fakes a foodgasm when she tastes them, or eschews the tasting of her terrifying creations altogether in favor of moving on to her favorite portion of the show: cocktail time! This is the part of the show that explains the whole thing. Sandra's drinking habit. She excitedly makes a cocktail on every show, and then even more excitedly consumes it. Based on how the shows go, it's entirely possible that this is how she prepares for them as well. Not that these are necessarily any better-tasting than the food, but at least if you drink enough of them first, the rest of the mess might seem palatable (You think I'm kidding about these being bad? Oh no. Here is one that combines lemonade, heavy cream, and vodka. Oh yes, you read that ingredient list right. Sandra is evidently not familiar with the term 'curdle').
But then, why does she have a show? I am not entirely sure. But she is blond and prettyish, which apparently goes a long way when combined with rampant alcoholism and a total disregard for the stomachs of her viewing audience. This probably has something to do with it. However, where her show absolutely shines is in her favorite thing other than booze, her 'tablescapes'. Every episode she coordinates things so that her entire dining room is filled with randomly-glued-together items from a craft store designed to accentuate the 'theme' of whatever terrifying menu she has concocted (If you're feeling really motivated, Youtube has a video of the time she covered her christmas tree with all the glasses from her bar. "It shines just like real crystal!" Amazing). Her kitchen will inevitably match whatever she is wearing. It is terrifying. She is essentially a completely over-the-top stereotype of a bored 1950s housewife with a severe drinking problem frozen and then brought back to life in this century and thrust directly in front of a television camera. She simultaneously terrifies and amuses me. Why this lengthy preamble? To give you some context for the greatness that is to follow. Behold: Sandra Lee making a Kwanzaa cake.