How my Snuggie and the Food Network Changed my Life

An informal essay I wrote for my English class.

Last year some idiot on the Family channel decided that Phineas and Ferb wouldn’t air all summer.  Let me tell you those were the worst two months of my life.  The summer before, I had honestly spent the whole time on my couch watching the Phineas and Ferb marathons every weekday from eleven to two.  Afterwards I would go to dance, or work, or go on a bike ride- something productive.  The past summer was completely different.

I was a mess for the last two weeks of school.  I would sulk around and yell at people who thought it was a great idea to say to me, “Hey Emerald, did you hear Phineas and Ferb isn’t airing on Family anymore?  What are you going to do?”

Watch the Food Network, that’s what.

I don’t really remember how I came across the Food Network exactly, but it changed that summer and my life.  I found that I became more adventurous with what foods I wanted to try, and I got my mom to start cooking new things that eventually became family favourites.  Watching the Food Network became my favourite pastime for that summer, but as with anything great in life, there are downsides.

When I first started watching the Food Network, I would watch every single show.  I ultimately came to have favourites (“Dinners, Drive-ins and Dives!” and “You Gotta Eat Here!”), yet at first I was just okay with watching every single show because it was food, and what teenage girl doesn’t want to watch food all day?!  I certainly did.  I would spend the whole day wrapped up in my Snuggie watching people cook food, taste food, and serve food.  My mouth would be watering as I imagined going to all the places featured on “You Gotta Eat Here!” and trying out all the regular’s favourites.  I would call my mom- wherever she may have been, even if it was just upstairs- and tell her to make chicken dumplings, donut sandwiches and salad with arugula.  I became obsessed with this beautiful channel and it ended up with me losing all ambition.

I’m not saying I lost my will to live or even to stop dreaming of become a writer/historian/comedian, but I did notice a lack of self-motivation.  I didn’t write everyday or practice writing in hieroglyphics.  I would wake up with the plan of accomplishing something great and then I would go to the kitchen.  I would quietly make breakfast because I was always up earlier than everyone else and if I woke my family up, I wouldn’t get to watch what I wanted on TV.  I would change the channel to the Food Network and continue to watch it even after I finished my breakfast.  As the day went on my ambition would fly out the window like a bird and I would slowly melt; becoming part of the couch.  I would only get up to get more food; because the biggest downside of watching food is that you are always craving food.

I didn’t dance last summer either.  I was in the process of quitting dance and rebelling from going to the mandatory workshop and technique classes that I had been going to since I was eight years old.  I didn’t tell my studio I was quitting; I wanted them to stand on the tips of their toes waiting for the moment I walked through that door.  It never happened.  I never went back, and truthfully they didn’t really care or ask about me.

My point was, unlike the summer before I didn’t watch TV for the morning and then go to dance for four hours at night.  I sat on that couch all day.  Watching food.  My favourite comedian became John Pinette, who goes on about how his friends threw him a cake-intervention because he was always watching the Cake Boss.  My motto became a quote from Ellen DeGeneres, “I really don’t think I need buns of steel. I’d be happy with buns of cinnamon.”  It was the laziest summer I had ever had and it was also probably the best.  No, I didn’t listen to Phineas who always told me to “carpe diem,” but I did learn that Gnocchi is a delicious and filling meal!

Alas, all summers have to end, and so did my Food Network watching.  I do occasionally (okay more than occasionally) flip to that channel and watch some food get made, and for the last few Sundays I did spend my afternoons watching “Rachel vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-off,” but I feel like I’m accomplishing things too.  I always made sure that my homework was done BEFORE watching the cook-off and I do dance again- probably the most I have in quite a while.  The celebrity cook-off ended a couple of weeks ago, so now I’m confused by what I should do for the next few Sundays before the third season starts up.  I did, however, get my ambition back and I have a new goal too!

I’m going to be a food critic on


*It has occurred to be that to be a judge on Chopped you must first be world-renowned chef.


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