Author: Risë Birnbaum

WHAT’S FOR DINNER? …whatever takes 2 minutes or less to make

I grew up in a comfortable community where my mother always had dinner on the table by 6:30 every night.  There was salad, a rotation of chicken and lamb chops and rib eye, and baked potato or rice.  To this day my mom claims she isn’t “the best” cook in the world, but I pretty much licked my plate before grabbing an apple or scooter pie and heading upstairs to finish my homework.

I’m not sure what went sideways between those home-cooked meals and my adult life in the kitchen (or not in the kitchen), but I have a good guess.  First, I never cooked in college and grad school.  I was always on some meal plan and even when I lived in Boston with roommates, they preferred to cook and I preferred to eat, so it was a perfect relationship.

Then, as a reporter and correspondent I never seemed to have the time to cook.  I was either getting beeped to cover some airline strike or sent overseas to cover some big sports events (someone had to do it).  In those days I’d grab a corned beef sandwich in NYC or some fish and chips in London and call it a day.

Back in DC as a mom I was lucky enough to have a lovely woman help me out with my daughter while I worked.  The fact she could roast a chicken and make rice for everyone’s dinner iced the cake and allowed my daughter (and her parents) to have a home cooked meal while I worked late.

And now, as a working adult who’s out and about most of the week, whenever I come home and am hungry there’s only one priority…how fast can I make dinner?  Yes, I shop at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, but it’s a slice of pizza here, a container of fruit or a side dish of pasta there.  It’s never those six, heavy bags filled to the brim with food that my mother used to schlep into the house.  So, my at-home menu is as follows:  peanut butter & (grape) jelly on whole wheat bread, tuna sandwich with tomato and mayo (the real stuff) on whole wheat toast or sardine sandwich with tomato and mayo on whole wheat toast.  Dessert is an apple or container of apple sauce and maybe potato chips if I crave salt that night.

The ultimate irony?  I love The Food Network and could hypnotically watch Guy Fieri eat his way through every diner, drive-in and dive from Trenton to Sacramento while I eat my pb&j (creamy not chunky).  When not watching Guy, it might be Chopped, or Beat Bobby Flay, Knife Fight or Andrew Zimmern munching on some grilled squirrel kidneys.

Feel sorry for me?  Don’t.  Most of the week I’m out with friends or clients eating everything from lobster ravioli to steak frites.  And I’m even considering cooking school.  If I can go to Tuscany, pull on an apron and sip some chianti while my classmates perfect their brown butter gnocchi, I’ll book the very next flight.

TRUMP AND CROCKETT — KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER

WHO COULD GUESS WILD CARD DONALD TRUMP WOULD WIND UP THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE FOR PREZ? NOT ME. NOT IN A MILLION YEARS. TALK ABOUT WILD.

DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT EVERY TIME I SEE TRUMP AT A PODIUM WITH HIS FRESHLY-DYED, GOLDEN-TOPPED HAIR (OR HAIR SUBSTITUTE) I THINK OF DAVY CROCKETT. DAVY PROUDLY WORE THAT COONSKIN CAP, SO REMINISCENT OF TRUMP’S FAVORED HEADPIECE.

SO, I DID SOME DIGGING AND HERE ARE THE TOP WAYS TRUMP AND DAVY ARE ALIKE:

• THE HAIR APPARENT – BOTH HAD A THING ABOUT THAT THING ON THEIR HEAD

• TV SHOWS – TRUMP HAD THE APPRENTICE AND DAVY CROCKETT HAD A SHOW

    (AND A SONG) IN THE 50s

• MULTIPLE WIVES – TRUMP 3, CROCKETT 2

• POLITICS – BOTH TRUMP AND CROCKETT HAD DIFFERENT CAREERS BEFORE TOSSING

    THEIR “HAT” IN THE RING FOR POLITICAL CAREERS

• KNIVES & GUNS – BOTH TRUMP AND CROCKETT ARE PRO-WEAPONS

    (TRUMP EVEN PRO-NUKE)

• ANTI-MEXICAN – TRUMP WANTS TO BUILD A WALL AND CROCKETT WAS AT THE

    ALAMO AND WAS KILLED BY MEXICAN SOLDIERS

SO, THERE YOU HAVE IT. A FAST LOOK AT HOW TRUMP AND CROCKETT ARE TWINSIES.

JUDGING SARAH

palinI just read that someone is actually giving Sarah Palin a gavel and her own “Judge Judy-like” syndicated TV show.  Has everyone lost their mind?  What… was Judge Ito not available?

Remember, this is the same woman who can see Russia from her front porch and couldn’t name one newspaper or magazine that she reads when Katie Couric asked her. Trust me, it’s not the New Yorker.

Yes, I know you don’t actually need to be a judge or even a lawyer to “mediate” cases, and the defendant and the plaintiff get paid for showing up on these reality court shows.  But, Sarah Palin???  Really?

Oh, wait.  Sarah is not a TV virgin.  She hosted “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” on TLC and what a big hit that was.  I actually tuned in once to see Sarah shoot an elk…several times.  Nice job, Sarah.

This show has been in the works since 2015 when Sarah was approached by the same TV exec who found Judge Judy and Judge Brown.  Just one difference.  Those guys are actual judges.  Sarah Palin is an actual airhead.

Do airheads generate TV ratings?  Yes, they do.  Just look at the Bravo reality “Housewives” franchise.  Now, some of those women are smart cookies, like Lisa Vanderpump.  But, others must have an IQ about 90 on a good day and Sarah Palin is in that camp.  I’m amazed this TV exec had the cojones to pick Palin.  What chutzpah!  Have our brains turned to absolute mush that we need to be spoon fed pure pablum?  The TV exec who came up with this courtroom disaster should consider giving up his license.

I was a network correspondent so I understand TV and the need for ratings.  But, shame on any station that picks up this show.  Can you even imagine Sarah deciding who owes money to whom for back rent, or the fate of a husband who insists his wife was stealing from him?  Sarah’s out of her depth on these kinds of tough issues.  If anything, I think she should completely steer clear of TV from now on.  Instead she should stick to snowmobiling down a hill or maybe gutting a fish or two and then going to check on her misguided family.

When her husband just got hurt in a snowmobile accident, I figured the guy was driving at 90 mph without a helmet.  Whenever I hear Sarah speak, I feel she’s also had one bad bounce too many without a helmet.

I say we boycott this show.   Not judging or anything. ; )  Who’s with me?