Well, of my ego, at any rate. This evening Don and I watched Iron Chef Challenge or something like that, where Iron Chef Bobby Flay took on some other chef dude - Paul Lang? - where they were given a "secret ingredient" then one hour to prepare multiple dishes with it for the judges' delectation and enjoyment.
When the secret ingredient was about to be revealed, Don and I leaned forward a little, intent on finding out what on earth it could be. The chefs were tense with anticipation, eyes glued on the large covered container which was - at last! - grandly opened to display.........chickens.
Yup. The "secret ingredient" was chicken.
We thought that to be a bit of a let down. I mean, you know....chicken? If there's a ubiquitous food in America, it has to be chicken. What the heck's so darn secret about that?
Still, the competing chefs didn't stop to ask "You're kidding. That's IT?", they began grabbing chickens by the armload and literally running with them to their respective cooking areas.
One hour later they laid in front of the judges a superlative selection of chicken dishes, at least one of which involved pork fat that had been screwed to a board, and another with sea urchins.
If I'm not going to eat shrimp, it's a sure bet I'm not going to eat sea urchins.
However, the primary point is that given exactly sixty minutes the two of 'em were able to create, cook, and plate three or four separate dishes (though admittedly they also each had a helper, which heaven knows I don't have, as what's usually heard in my kitchen is "Will y'all please get OUT? I'm trying to work!").
Give me a chicken and an hour before it's to be served and I'll be hunting for either a box of Chicken Helper or else will settle for plain roast chicken.
It's demoralizing, that's what it is.