Sunday, March 29, 2009

Iron Chef Shenanigans

Jacob and Ella wanted to eat some junk food before dinner tonight, so I let them compete against each other in a round of Iron Chef. I played the role of Chairman Kaga, mainly because I planned on doing a backflip to open up the show. I made the kids hold up a printed bedsheet in front of a lamp so you could see my silhouette from the audience and explained how I was going to burst through it, do the flip, and land on the kitchen linoleum. Neither sibling believed me, and I have to admit... they were right not to. The last time I did a backflip I was 15 and bouncing on a trampoline, plus I'm pretty sure I was on drugs. The kids had to settle for a disappointing front somersault on the living room carpet and, like sex with a senior citizen, it was crooked, slow and ended early. A C- at best.

After that plane crash of an opener, the games really began. The special ingredient was: WAFFLES. We used frozen Eggos. While the waffles toasted, the kids had 3 minutes to rush around the kitchen barefoot, climbing up on top of the counter and grabbing ingredients. The rules were: 1. If you got to the ingredient first, you got to have it at your station. 2. If the opponent wanted to use it, you had to oblige them, but not until AFTER you were finished using it. 3. No tattling!

Using a turkey baster as a microphone, I followed the kids around and made voiceover commentary in a Canadian accent. Jacob and Ella were so into it. You could almost see cartoon light bulbs of inspiration hovering above their heads as they rummaged through the candy cupboard. There was a gleam of confidence in their eyes, like mentally they were rubbing their hands together excitedly and saying, "Oh MAN, this is gonna be good... why, I could even be a professional and win a real cash prize!"

After I checked their stations over for safety violations and signs of race fixing, I set the timer for the cooking portion of the competition. They had 3 more minutes to make a dish using the Eggo and their chosen ingredients. Here's what they each came up with:

Jacob's Cinnamon Choco-Crunch Waffle

Ella's Marshmallow Surprise

I made the children describe their waffles to me and present them at the judge's table. Then I banished them to the living room and graded their dishes on Taste, Appearance, Creativity and Je Ne Sais Quois. It was a tough decision, but Jacob was declared the winner because "in the end, it all comes down to taste." Even though Ella's Marshmallow Surprise was the most creative with it's masterful use of chopped up granola bar, the Surprise ended up being cement-like coffee candy from 1998 and I accidentally swallowed one whole. After it was all over, I was able to teach the kids another valuable lesson about cleaning up the kitchen using mainly your mouth. Hopped up on chocolate syrup, the kids ate virtually no dinner and were then made to run laps around the yard holding sacks of flour to burn off some energy before bed.

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