When I was in high school I starred in a well-known local production called Cooking With Jill. Okay, okay, I may be overstating it a bit.
I suppose I should back up a tad.
My friend, Heather, was enrolled in a videography class and she needed a subject for one of her assignments. I forget how she came up with the idea or if I volunteered. The details escape me. Regardless, she came to the conclusion that she would record me cooking. I liked the idea. It sounded like a lot of fun. I would cook, she would record. It would be called Cooking with Jill.
For the first episode we had to come up with an idea of what to cook. We decided on pizza. I was going to provide the kitchen, the dough and the sauce. Heather was bringing the cheese and, because we had run out, the cooking spray for the pans. This was long before I found out about the joy of pizza stones which, incidentally, require no spray.
Heather arrived at my house and we set up my table. I got on my apron as Heather set up the video equipment. We laid out all of the ingredients and readied ourselves for filming. Heather got behind the
camera, counted and pointed.
I began with an introduction and started preparing the pizza. I showed how to make the sauce and the dough. Before I laid the dough on the pan, I advised my viewers to spray it lightly with a layer of nonstick spray. Earlier that evening I had read the side of the spray can. It was a brand I had never seen before: Amway. The side of the can advised me to spray in a well-ventilated area, even suggesting outside. I thought that was a silly and overly cautious warning, so of course, I ignored it.
Back to the story.
I opened the can of Amway nonstick spray and began to lightly coat the pans. At first there was no problem. I continued to spray the pans then all of a sudden I broke out into a raging coughing fit, followed by a laughing fit, followed by more coughing. I guess the can was right to caution me. It was nuts!
A few minutes later I composed myself, and Heather finished filming. During the coughing fit she never did shut off the camera. She assured me that she would edit it out and no one would see my faux pas. That satisfied me.
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Some time went by and the episode was set to air on the local cable access channel. It was fun to think that someone might actually watch me cook. I never wanted to be a movie star or anything, it was just neat to be on TV.
The episode did air. I was unaware of the date of the premiere, so I didn't actually catch the first viewing. But lo and behold, the morning after it aired I was greeted by several students at school commenting on my coughing fit. They thought it was quite funny.
I found Heather as soon as I was able and asked her about it. She said the edited version was supposed to air, but the wrong one must have gotten on the air. Boy, was my face red.
Overall, it was such a funny memory that in the end I was glad the wrong episode aired. I even went on to make several more episodes featuring things such as homemade pasta and baked chicken. It was a very fun time in my life, even if I never ended up famous.
I will never forget Cooking with Jill, and even when it does occasionally slip my mind, a former teacher with whom I attend church, mentions it with a smile. I suppose I did make an impression. Thanks Amway!