This week, I traveled from the farm to do my first guest appearance television cooking show.
Oh my gosh. Can you believe it? Now, to anyone involved in production of anything, it is no easy task. So many details. There is a lot of pre-planning and a lot of jitters to worry about.
This past summer, I was introduced to Rita Heikenfeld over lunch through our mutual editor, Pam Stricker who produces the regional Seasons Magazine we both write for. Have you seen it? It is chock full of recipes, lifestyles, travel and much more. “Sometime,” Rita asked me, “Would you like to be my guest on my cooking show?” With surprise, I nearly spewed my ice tea out. “Of course, I would.” I accepted the invitation. Then I learned further that afternoon, she does cook shows, cooking classes, writes for many publications and lives on what she calls a “farmette.” Tending a garden, a flock of chickens and wears the title of Appalachian Herbal Scholar.
The summer passed and finally the invitation came. “Now, Sherry,” she gave me the rundown. “You will need to make your dishes the night before. Can you do two?” And she went on to tell me that we would demonstrate making our recipes in the kitchen of the Union Township Firehouse on Clough. Be there 8:30. Filming at 9 AM.
On Sunday evening before the filming on Monday October, 29th, I finished my mother’s resurrected holiday recipe New England Corn Pudding about 9 PM. This dish is so popular in the New England territory and is a popular southern living recipe too. On the show, I demonstrated the basic recipe and talked about the ingredients one can add to spice it up—onions, red chili peppers, bacon bits, cheese, sausage, Jalapenos, or Crab meat for a seaside dish, as some regional cooks add. And this recipe is tasty and so easy. I predetermined I needed easy for my first filming jitters.
The other dish I opted to share because it was super simple is cooking in the kitchen with my grands. Ten-year-old Avah and five-year-old Savannah’s Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes, decorated for the holiday—Thanksgiving style, and decorate on the show. Rita, would also be making a couple dishes too—Pumpkin Corn Chowder and an Easy Bake Egg Casserole in muffin pans.
The next morning with all my four bags packed—which literally felt like everything but the kitchen sink, and gave new meaning to the phrase—I worried as I packed the car before sunup—am I forgetting anything? What if I do? What would we do if I forget the icing for the cupcakes? Or the butter for the corn pudding? Oh gosh even worse don’t forget the Jiffy Mix for the corn pudding. The baking pan, don’t forget the pan. So, I checked my four shoulder bags as you can imagine—multiple times.
At the fire house we were transported up to the kitchen by elevator. There I met videographer Justin Hawthorne who would be doing the filming. Nice calming demeanor. “He will film and edit and post the show on the public access channel,” I was told. And suddenly, without further ado we pulled those aprons over our head and it was show time.
Nestled in beside Rita—a truel pro at this—I soon settled watching her make her pot of Pumpkin Corn Chowder as I stirred the sautéing onions for her. And then, it was my turn. And then it was her turn again and then mine again. At the end, we displayed what became a lovely ending—the photos of Rita and Sherry’s four finished dishes. And that was a wrap.
As we cleaned up and packed up, Justin’s wife Becky popped in. “Want to help me finish decorating the cupcakes?” And so, she did. A real nice gal. All the food we prepared we left for the firefighters. Such wonderful people with such stressful jobs. Real heroes.
Rita assured me I did good and she’d send me a DVD. Time will tell, when the “finished filming” airs. If you’d like the recipe for my Corn Pudding, just hop on over to my blog, www.sherryphillipsmitchell.com where I’ll be posting my debut once I get the link. And to learn more about Rita check her out at http://www.abouteating.com
In all things, Take Joy! Even if you are nervous.
Sherry is a regular contributor to The Brown County Press newspaper. Her stories of her life on the farm, both then and now, since 1962, are sprinkled with peace, love and joy! Her book My Farmhouse Journal: Memories and Recipes is available on Amazon or through the author. Write her at email@example.com