Saturday’s New York Times article on Food Network star, Sandra Lee’s relationship with New York gubernatorial front runner, Andrew M. Cuomo has me thinking about what Albany might look like with Ms. Lee as First Lady of the Empire State.
Lee’s show Semi-Homemade Cooking is built on her 70/30 combination of 70% ready-made foodstuffs (such as season packets or rotisserie chicken)and 30% personal touches. The recipes are often incredibly composed aesthetically – a red, white, and blue trifle or rainbow chicken rolls. Meals are themed – a Bachelor Barbecue, Crossword Puzzle (apparently, brunch on a budget), and something called “Wisteria Land.” A rather high strung woman, Ms. Lee is always in need of a cocktail, and so each episode features a signature drink (often pink and frothy.)
But what has always made me a fan of Ms. Lee are what she calls “tablescapes“, heavily curated table settings, created around the central theme of the meal being served. Recent tablescapes included “Happy Harley Day”
And “Holiday Spirits”
Since the Times article ran, I’ve been thinking about themed tablescapes Ms. Lee might create in the New York State Executive Mansion if Cuomo is elected. Of course, his victory party would be a doozy, but once in office the possibilities would be endless.
Perhaps if teacher lay-offs continue in New York City, a reading, writing, and arithmetic theme in which words are misspelled and sums incorrect?
Since Albany is known for its intense in-fighting, a choreographed food fight might be in order – the meal would of course be constructed of a rainbow palate of foods so that the resulting mess would be artful. I’m thinking blueberries, beets, and maybe some wasabi paste.
If, God forbid, there were the sort of infidelity scandal that has been rocking the New York governor’s seat of late, I have no doubt that Ms. Lee would rise to the occasion, creating a well-appointed black table setting, befitting the severity of the situation, all the while maintaining her dignity. And of course, she would make a signature cocktail for the occasion — strong, but very, very pretty.