The contestants should be regular mom's, not people with degrees who call themselves cooks or chefs but real people. I felt that they should be drawn at random with judge showing up at their doorstep. Dani felt that the show should be 3 contestants in a more controlled environment. Regardless, the contestant or contestants should have 60 minutes or less to make dinner for a family of 4, with at least 1 family member being a child under the age of 10. The dinner should consist of salad/soup, meal and dessert. The contestants will be given random leftovers, a limited supply of pantry items, limited supply of staples such as bread, milk, eggs and cheese, and some fruits and veggies which can be frozen, canned or fresh. The leftovers must not be labeled with a date or time. The Pantry items cannot include a box mix such as Hamburger Helper or brownie mix. The milk must be close to the sell by date and some of the cheese must have mold, this is after all a reality show. The contestant will have an interruption of some sort during the meal process. Soccer practice, a phone call from a mother-in-law, a grape juice spill on the carpet are all potential interruptions. The sink must be full of dirty dishes and the dishwasher full but not run. Since this is TV, we decided that it would only be fair to give the contestants 3 lifelines. You may 1. Phone a friend and borrow 1 item (cup of sugar or egg for example) 2. You may use the internet or a cookbook to look for 1 recipe. 3. you may in-list the help of judge to stir, hold, time or change diaper if necessary. The dinner must be eatable by all family members and there cannot be any feeding the dog. Whining by the children or husband reduces your score. In the event that the dinner is burned, blackened, scorched or if the smoke detector goes off at anytime the contestant will be prevented from moving to the next round. In the event that the contestant proceeds to the next round they will be treated to dinner out, a baby sitter and a year supply of your choice of coffee or chocolate. The winner of the final round will be crowned The Leftover Queen and will be joyously celebrated for exactly 10 minutes or until the meal is finished.
a real REALITY show
While in Virginia, Danielle and I had the daunting task of making 3 meals a day for 3 adults and 5 quite persnickety children. We had meal "plan" laid out and we had a list. However, since neither of us are good at plans or lists, a fact I found quite disturbing, we would "wing it" most evenings. Sometimes, we would adapt the plan so entirely it wasn't even close to what we started with. One such evening, we were standing around the kitchen trying to brainstorm dinner. We had assorted leftovers, which are always challenging, and some fresh ingredients, when we were struck by the number of times we are called upon to concoct dinner out of almost nothing. Danielle was drawing a blank and I was firing ideas out faster than she could keep up when it hit us. I don't remember who thought of it but, it struck us as completely hilarious. This is what we feel the next Food Network show should be based on. Forget the Iron Chef, forget The Next Food Network Star what they need is a Food Network reality show. It should go something like this.