This post is part of the YummyMummyClub.ca and The Keg Steakhouse + Bar #TheKeg sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.
Ever notice that reality shows don’t actually reflect … reality? Yeah, me too. Neither do stock photos.
So let’s get real. Even if you are one of those moms who is naturally gifted in the kitchen, meal preparation doesn’t look anything like MasterChef for you. First of all, you do not have a pantry stocked with every single ingredient you need for your recipe. No, your pantry is missing the one critical ingredient needed to prepare tonight’s meal, and you’ve only noticed it at 4:45 PM when your newborn is finally asleep in her crib, and loading your toddler into the car so close yet so far from bedtime would risk an ill-timed nap and a burst of energy until midnight. Your partner isn’t giving a heartfelt testimonial to the camera about how your lifelong dream was to be a chef, and he’s not looking on and cheering for you from a balcony as you chop, sauté and braise (Is that a thing? I don’t know, I’m a terrible cook.). No, he’s walking in the door starving, wondering why dinner’s not ready since you’ve been home all day. (Okay, unless he has a death wish he doesn’t actually utter those words, but the expression on his face says it all.) Getting things done in the kitchen when you have young kids is practically an Olympic sport, and that’s why moms will love a meal they don’t have to plan, prepare, share or clean up at The Keg this Mother’s Day!
I’m trying to get a meeting with Mark Burnett to pitch what I think would be his most successful reality competition yet. I call it Ultimate Master Chef Ninja Warrior: Mother’s Day Edition. Michelin-star chefs (ideally those with no parenting experience) would compete in five real meal-preparation challenges that moms face every day. (And as an aside, I’m talking “moms” here because my post is inspired by Mother’s Day, but this applies to any stay-at-home caregiver or whoever takes on the lion’s share of the childcare and household tasks in your family!)
Challenge 1: The Pregnancy Punisher
Competitors must prepare a three-course meal that will be judged by passive-aggressive in-laws. Difficulty is enhanced when the sight and smell of all ingredients except a box of saltines induce involuntary gagging.
Challenge 2: Nightmare on Newborn Street
Sleep-deprived contestants must select from a Pinterest board of 30-minute recipes which they will have 19 minutes to prepare. The chefs must put together a Pinterest-worthy meal one-handed with a life-sized baby doll on their hip. Bonus points will be awarded to contestants who keep their cool when their dinner companion arrives earlier than expected and asks: “Dinner’s not ready?”
Challenge 3: Picky Eater Purgatory
Each contestant will receive a mystery envelope with a list of arbitrary dietary restrictions and preferences that are subject to change midway through meal preparation. To win this challenge, all diners— including the four-year-old—must consume the prepared meal, which must include the correct proportion of each food group as prescribed by Canada’s Food Guide.
Challenge 4: Supermarket Smackdown
Each contestant will receive $100, a stack of coupons, a shopping cart with one bad wheel and two children who skipped their afternoon nap. With ten minutes to make a meal plan on the back of a gum wrapper, the cooks then have twenty minutes on the clock to navigate a supermarket with a Saturday crowd and buy only what’s on their lists. Points will be docked for purchasing items at child’s-eye-level to calm tantrums, forgetting to price match and going over budget.
Challenge 5: Calendar Catastrophe
Cooks will receive a family of five’s weekday schedule. The winning cook must be able to feed all family members—including herself—a balanced meal before 9:00 PM each night without being late for any practices, rehearsals, meetings, appointments or games. Each contestant has one drive-thru token to be used carefully.
To win Ultimate Master Chef Ninja Warrior, these talented chefs will have to show they can cut carrots and coupons, make meat loaf and meal plans, appease the arbitrary dietary restrictions of a preschooler and conquer the expectations of social media supermoms. Even the best chef is no match for the unexpected challenges of cooking a quality meal with children underfoot and a hungry partner about to burst in the door. This Mother’s Day, moms deserve a delicious meal at The Keg!
I recently had the pleasure of inviting my best mom friend to The Keg for an early Mother’s Day treat. While we agreed that even hiding in the pantry shoving caramels into our mouths feels pretty awesome in terms of enjoying a meal alone, we concluded that adding a lobster tail to a steak or salmon platter with wine carefully chosen by our friendly sommelier was infinitely better. I would like to award bonus points to the house sommelier for not scoffing when I identified my usual wine choice as “boxed.” Already a fast eater by nature, since having children I barely even chew my food because as soon as I sit down, someone is crying, thirsty or has to poop. Spending an evening with appetizers, a main meal and dessert when I don’t have anyone sitting on my lap or telling me the food is disgusting was amazing. I felt special, I felt relaxed, I felt loopy (that was the wine), and I felt ready to face my next kitchen challenge in the morning.
The Keg will open at noon on Mother’s Day, May 14. Give the mom you love (and that includes yourself) the meal she dreams of, and let her know she’s your Ultimate Master Chef Ninja Warrior!
Find The Keg nearest you!