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Flash in the Pan

Judy's quick pot roast



It’s easy to forget that public figures lead private lives, complete with mundane moments of nose picking and piles of laundry and whatnot. Meanwhile, there are some who make it their business to invade these hidden realms, providing true believers with a range of insights into how celebrities handle the day-to-day challenges of the human condition. Noam Chomsky grumbled about this, about how his expertise in linguistics and U.S. policy analysis compelled reporters and other forms of lowlife to solicit his opinion on topics over which he has no rightful jurisdiction, such as the weather, quantum mechanics, and when and if Ben Affleck and J.Lo are going to tie the knot.

I’ve often wondered if Chomsky’s cynicism is valid. That is, whether it’s true that being a rock star in one field makes you less worthy to comment upon others. On one hand, it would seem that the characteristics that make one successful in one realm—traits such as sensitivity, creativity, diligence—would in fact enable the master of one discipline to contribute to another. After all, linguistics and political analysis aren’t exactly the same. And there is the converse possibility that less admirable traits, such as fat-headedness, simple-mindedness, insensitivity, and whatever the word is for “non-creative”—traits that might make someone less-than-successful in one field—would cripple their bearers in other arenas as well. Chef Boy Ari has often wondered about this matter, but has had no way of testing it.

Then, like a ray of light, my buddy One-Stroke e-mailed. By the way, One-Stroke’s name doesn’t refer to how long it takes him to satisfy himself in the bathroom. It simply acknowledges his talent for sinking outside jumpers and saving Chef Boy Ari the hassle of offensive rebounding. Point is, One-Stroke’s e-mail contained the subject line “Judy’s Pot Roast.”

It seems that there is a Web site that publishes the cooking secrets of American governors, and One-Stroke had copied for me the favorite recipe of the “Honorable” Judy Martz. Space permits me to print the recipe in its entirety. And I quote:

Judy’s Quick Pot Roast
One beef roast.
Small amount of water.
1 or 2 envelopes of dry soup mix (depending on the size of the roast).

Place roast in pan with water. Sprinkle onion soup mix on roast. Cover, set oven for 225 degrees. Cook all day. About one hour before finished, add potatoes and vegetables. Makes a great gravy.

Before anyone jumps to conclusions, I should point out that simplicity in cooking is not necessarily a bad thing. I’m sure all of you have had the experience of eating food that has been spiced into oblivion, into such a cacophony that you can’t taste the ingredients. Meanwhile, a few drops of lime squeezed onto a piece of melon, for example, or mushrooms sautéed in garlic can’t do better than that. So who needs complexity?

Surely not Judy. As we too well know, in the World According to Judy, those who bend over for the corporate patriarchs—the lap dogs, as it were—are the good guys. Those who have the nerve to question the wisdom of cutting, digging, pumping, burning, and guzzling our way down the ecological and economic toilet—the obstructionists, as it were—are the bad guys.

Having never made Judy’s Quick Pot Roast myself, I’m not quite in a position to posit a connection between her simple-minded leadership and possible shortcomings in her cooking. But I’m sure that Judy uses only the finest powdered soup mix, and the best hormone-enriched feedlot-ranged beef that money can buy. Or not.

All I know is, perusing the site, I noted that former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld’s orange juice-based Eggs a la Bill recipe looks positively sickening. And I couldn’t help noticing that Gov. Gray Davis of California is married to a hottie who looks half his age.

Elsewhere on the site (which features non-governor politicians as well), John Ashcroft won points for his use of scripture in the introduction to his Very Chocolate Brownie recipe. And I quote: “Eat ye that which is good and let your soul delight itself in fatness.” (Isiah 55:2) Obviously, Ashcroft is referring to the goodness of mayonnaise. But I was disappointed at the absence of anything by Trent Lott, such as his trademark Happy Sharecropper Soufflé, or his classic Stolen Watermelon Sorbet. Likewise, I simply couldn’t believe that our own Conrad Burns held out on his savory Sambo’s Beans and Rice recipe, not to mention Couscous a la Towel Head.

Read for yourself, at ons/0rec/governor.htm.

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