Okay, folks, here's the least science fictional of the four topics in my Assignments-in-Waiting file:
Weekend Assignment #201: To promote a new cooking show, a TV station is going to pay you $500 to eat the same basic meal every day for a week, prepared with only minor variations by their on-screen host. What's on the menu?
Extra credit: Do you tend to eat the same thing all the time anyway?
I have to say that I'm not a gourmet, by any stretch of the imagination. I don't watch The Iron Chef, but the few times I've seen it I've been completely horrified by their chocolate covered squid and other concoctions. I live by the philosophy expressed by the younger sister in the film Sibling Rivalry: "I don't cook. I reheat." If I can bring home takeout or just eat out, so much the better. And to jump in with the extra credit first (rather like starting with desert!), yes, I get in food ruts all the time. Currently I have a marked tendency to get a 5 inch tuna with fries and a large flavor-of-the-month at eegee's several times a week, mostly because the combination of that and reading Tucson Weekly while there seems to help wake me up when I'm dragging.
So actually, this is a harder than average Weekend Assignment for me to answer. Still, as a firm believer in rut-breakers, this might be a chance to eat something I don't get to have very often, and hope that the minor variations keep it interesting for a week. All right, then, I'll take steak, because it's a major foodstuff from my childhood that I hardly ever eat any more. John doesn't like steak, and doesn't like the smell of me cooking steak, and steak restaurants tend to have a wait to get in. Medium or medium rare, please, depending how my chef for a week defines those terms, and when the most recent mad cow disease scare was. Oh, and I want fresh sauteed mushrooms with that, please.
To go with it, I want potato salad, something that also comes from my childhood and is subject to variation. I want it with egg, mustard and cucumber, please, and no onion. (Chives are okay.) Add a watermelon-based fruit salad, which also can be varied a bit, and perhaps a tossed salad, and I've got my mom's basic holiday weekend meal from Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day, and not a few meals at the Speakman camp. Yeah, that'll do me.
Your turn: what will you order up from your celebrity chef, to be eaten every day next week? Write about it in your journal or blog, and then come back here and leave a link in comments. I'll do a roundup of responses a week from now, so that everyone can marvel at your culinary acumen. Or something. Have fun!