The Big Stew
You think cooking from a recipe is tough? Just imagine yourself filming a recipe. That’s what I do. When I cook I am the director of my own menus. And Sweetie-Baby, I’ve made everything from appetizers such as Four Weddings and a Fondue to big-budge entrees such as 007 in Golden Giblet. I even made the classic Star Wok: the Mu Shu Strike Back.
So when I signed on to do a stew flick for a potluck with MGM (Mouth-wateringly Good Meals), I thought “piece of cake.” After all, I’m the menu director who gave the world Ace Burgoo, Meat Detective.
What a disaster this project has been.
And going in I thought we had the makings of a classic stew. I mean, we had all the ingredients.
Great character actors such as Mr. Potato Head, “Cry Baby” Onion, and the comedy team of Peas and Carrots.
And in a starring role, one of the greatest actors to ever hit the skillet: Mr. Chuck Roast himself.
So what happened?
I’ll tell you what happened—ego.
First off, Mr. Potato Head starts complaining: “I just don’t feel this part in meaty enough for me.”
I give him a look: “Whatcha mean it’s not meaty enough for you, you ungrateful tuber. You’re a potato. Now start acting like the lousy starch you are.”
But no sooner have I finished with Mr. Potato than “Cry Baby” Onion comes in to really cry me a river: “I’m just not feeling tangy enough for this stew project.”
“Oh yeah,” I say. “Well, try peeling yourself down to where you do feel tangy or your next role will be dip.”
And if that’s not enough, Peas and Carrots are up next. Saying they want bigger parts.
“Bigger parts,” I scream. “You’re filler! You’d have to be a rabbit to want more Peas and Carrots! And the only rabbits around my stew are in the stew—now, get outta here!”
Let me tell you something, it’s not pretty watching your vegetables go bad on you.
Just as I’m thinking I got it under control, things really go crazy. The entire Exciting Blend of Herbs and Spices comes in to say their billing ain’t big enough.
“Guys,” I say, “you’re seasoning. Watcha think, a waiter is gonna come in and say, ‘Folks, the fleshly ground pepper is looking mighty tasty today!’ Or how about, ‘Would Madame like to try the specialty of the house—a zesty mound of raw chili powder?’”
Then, I get that settled and catastrophe strikes.
Chuck Roast comes in and says, “I just don’t think this part is capturing my true flavor.”
“Chuckie, baby,” I say, “You’re still the Big Beef in my Wellington, but a stew is ensemble acting. Ya gotta blend.”
Well, lemme tell ya, I’m practically on my knees begging that miserable cowburger to finish the picture. It’s demeaning. You don’t think so? Try pleading with your meatloaf sometime to be a little juicier.
Well, finally, Chuck says, “OK, I’ll finish your crummy picture, but they don’t make a stew big enough for Chuck Roast to pour out the gravy.”
OK, I’ve got revolting vegetables, sulky seasoning and a slab of beef who thinks he’s Filet of Hanks. Now I gotta actually make the stew.
What a nightmare. Believe me, if you think working with actors is difficult, try cooking them.
There were days when the only one coming to a slow boil was me. If it wasn’t Peas and Carrots deliberately sticking to the bottom of the pan, it was “Cry Baby” Onion whining that his contract calls for preheating. I settle them down and Mr. Potato Head shows up in his skuzzy eye-filled jacket saying he won’t do nudity.
Then Chuck Roast comes up and says, “I just can’t work with vegetables.”
“Chuckie, sweetie,” I say, “even Jim Carrey works with vegetables.”
So you think I care that the potluck critics will name The Big Stew the “Picture most likely to give you botulism.” You want my opinion—I’ll be lucky to get the damn thing in the can.
That’s why for my next picture, I’m going to do a nice restful omelet. A little Civil War item called Gone with the Egg Whites. With Scalett O’Regano and Rhett Butter—consider the source here—but I think were really gonna cook.
Bye for now