For those of you who don’t know, Sandra Lee is a Food Network personality who does not know how to cook. She has a half-hour show called “Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee,” in which she whips together tragic combinations of ingredients with no technique.
You will learn absolutely nothing about the culinary arts from watching her show. She has put corn nuts on a cake. She pronounces espresso “express-o”. She once described a store-bought balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing as containing “…olive oil, vinegar, basil, and balsamic.” She’s never made a cocktail on her show that didn’t involve at least a fifth of vodka.
So people love to hate on her, but I have a major soft spot for her. If I want to learn something, I’ll read a book. I watch the Food Network for entertainment, and her show is super entertaining. She’s ridiculous, but she’s also fun and unpretentious. She used to work in infomercials, and you can totally tell; she commits all of her blunders in the kitchen with an epic, infectious enthusiasm.
She comes up with recipes the exact same way I do: she thinks of a few things that she really likes separately and decides to put them together without any consideration of how the individual flavors and textures will interact with one another, and then she prepares them in the most exciting, haphazard way possible. We’re whimsical, clueless dreamers, Sandra and I.
She’s got a great rags-to-riches story, too. She was raised poor white trash, and now she makes white-trash food on cable TV and is dating the governor of New York. She’s 46 but looks 32. SO HOW ABOUT THAT, INA GARTEN?
And I feel like she’d probably have some amazing crazy-ex-lover stories if you got a few drinks in her.
And hey, she dressed up as Cher that one time!
Here are some of my favorite clips from her show:
Baked Potato Ice Cream
Tastes Like BBQ Potato Chips
My Local Aquarium