Grandmas. They’re cuddly, sweet, they can make all your favourite comfort food dishes, and flirt for what they want – wait, what?
Food Network’s latest cook-off sees five grandmas battle it out for a grand prize of $10,000 each show. And if the first episode is anything to go by, these grandmas have plenty of tricks up their sleeves - and not always of the Country Women's Association kind.
“I’m one badass grandma." That's Sherri Williams; she’s a grandma of one and has over 70 cooking competition titles under her belt. Sherri pays particular attention to old-school flavour combos, and to Food Network judge Eddie Jackson.
“Eddy. Lord have mercy. He’s just one nice piece of eye-candy.”
Granny Noemi calls herself 'express’, and with good reason; the 69-year-old sweet-faced pocket rocket sprints around the kitchen like an athlete. Then, she challenges host Ryan Scott to a push-up contest, and comes out on top.
“I move fast, honey. I exercise all the time. I like to do things differently, and I don’t follow the rules.
"My grandparenting style is laissez faire,” says Noemi.
Grandma Janice spends most of the episode thirsty. “Does anybody have a cold beer?”
Later, she's fighting back the urge to down a glass of white wine. As for her secret cooking weapon?
“I’m all about the bass - I mean taste - I’m all about the taste. Tanya, how you doing over there?” Janice calls out to her fellow contestant. “Tanya? She can’t hear, she’s deaf.”
63-year-old grandma of six, Tanya owns a catering company. “Where’s the booze, woman?” she shouts to Janice, swiping a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc off Janice’s bench. Poor Janice forgot to add wine to her dish, and in doing so gave Tanya the idea to add it to her own dish.
Later, Tanya takes a swipe at one of the challenges, which was to recreate a Thanksgiving pie in cake pop form.
"A pie on a stick? We're grandmas! Everyone comes to grandma's for pie on a plate."
Tanya isn't alone; Sherri is less than impressed by how the judges test whether the cake pops are firmly attached to their sticks.
"Have you ever seen someone hold a lollipop upside down? Apperently they've [the judges] never heard of gravity."
There’s no shortage of dirty tricks or nostalgic food recipes in this cooking show. Tune in; you could learn a thing or two.
To re-cap, here are some key food lessons that granny taught us:
- Stick to tried-and-true flavour combinations (butter and sage; rosemary and garlic; bacon and brussels sprouts).
- Always cook with a drink in one hand; it inevitably makes food taste better.
- If there's judges involved, don't be afraid to turn on the charm. This may or may not include winking.
- And finally, sometimes it's best steer clear of food trends and stick to what you know. Flavour, not gimmicks (including food on sticks), is what matters the most.
Check out our nostalgic 'like grandma made' recipes collection here.
Made with buttermilk for a welcome tangy bite, Katie Lee’s golden brown biscuits are best served warm alongside the sweet molasses-laced butter.
"This is my mother-in-law Rosetta's recipe," says Katrina Pizzini. "She worked with an Austrian pastry chef when she was young, and that’s where she learnt it."
My partner Sadie’s family comes from a property called Newlands in western Victoria. Her great-grandma, Annie Macmeikan, passed her recipe down through the family. It’s still being made by Sadie’s dad, Parks, and has been handed onto us at Puggle Farm. This is the sauce we call ours, though it does vary slightly from year to year.