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JANICE WELLS: Browsing the television menu

Daughter #1 is the Masterchef in my life. Her locally sourced plate featuring lamb shank. — Janice Wells photo
Daughter #1 is the Masterchef in my life. Her locally sourced plate featuring lamb shank. — Janice Wells photo - Saltwire

Janine thinks I’m an oddball because of the television programs that I like to watch. My favourite shows are Blue Jays games, the Westminster Dog Show, “The Great British Baking Show”, “Master Chef Canada” and “Escape to the Country”, in that order.

Right now I’m thinking maybe I should delay writing this column by a few hours because I have recorded the final part of the Westminster Dog Show. I’d really rather save it to watch later in the day with a nice drink in my hand. That’s when and how I enjoy “Masterchef Canada” and “The Great British Baking Show.”

I don’t want to watch it now. In fact I’m rotted, (trendier than poisoned and sounds worse). It’s too early for gin plus I don’t want to spend my most energetic time of the day watching TV (Energetic being a relative term ha ha).

My pleasure level will be diminished. Newman suggested putting Bailey’s in my coffee, but it’s not just the alcohol, it’s the whole ambiance.

Janine thinks it’s all hilarious.

She says I haven’t tried a new recipe or baked anything in years, have never shown any inclination to own a dog or spent any time in the English countryside.

None of this is true, except the countryside bit. I can even share a new recipe with you; flourless pancakes. Beat eggs and add mashed ripe banana. Cook as you would a regular pancake. I can’t tell you the proportions (too many ingredients ha ha) because I haven’t made them for a couple of years but they’re really good … if you like bananas.

As for baking, I make Lebanese food for Daughter #2’s birthday every year and make the flatbread from scratch.

OK, I’ve started using touton dough, but I shape them and stand by a 500-degree oven pulling them out at just the right second. I do not buy pita bread like someone I know, I bake it.

“Escape to the Country” is a yucky weather afternoon indulgence. The English countryside and centuries-old houses appeal to me no end, as would the country sides of any country, but the English one is the only one I know of on TV.

Janine calls and asks what I’m up to and I’ll say I’m escaping to the country and she’ll say I have my own Newfoundland way of doing that, and how many barn conversions can anyone watch anyway and I say I’ll let her know when I find out.

She doesn’t get it.

The fact that I’ve never been there makes it all the more fascinating. She watches “The Bachelor” and she thinks I’m living in a fantasy land! Ha!

I do have a granddog. — Ashley Sweetland photo.
I do have a granddog. — Ashley Sweetland photo.

Which brings me to dogs.

We had a dog once, a corgi mix named Charlie. The kids loved him and so did I but I am essentially a cat person.

There is no cat show I can watch. If you know of one please let me know. And I would continue to love the Westminster Dog Show anyway.

I love watching it because the dogs are so beautiful.

Seeing so many breeds together never ceases to enthral me. There are so many that are so different. I watch one and I think ‘that would be the dog I’d want if I wanted a dog.’ and then along comes another one and another one and I know it’s a good thing that I can’t afford any of those dogs because I’d never be able to decide. Plus I would get a rescue dog anyway.

If I was planning to get a dog.

Which I am not.

Unless I turn of all connections to the outside world I am guaranteed to hear which dog won best in show. Kelly and Ryan will probably have him/her on their show. They’ll announce it on CNN. I don’t dare open Facebook or listen to any news so I unless I watch it now the spoiler alert cannot be lifted.

I’ve now made it to two o’clock. Maybe I’ll get a start on gutting out the spare room, whether it needs it or not, ha ha.

Who says four o’clock is too early for a civilized sip?

Janice Wells lives in St. John’s. She can be reached at janicew@nf.sympatico.ca. (or jwelloeo@hotmail.com.)

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