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Friday, December 26, 2014

Season One Synopsis of the FOODIE AND GRUMPY SHOW.

Episode 1: Foodie Jean encourages Grumpy Steve to try Olive Garden. Grumpy Steve points out that 80% of the menu items would kill him. Foodie Jean explains what each dish is and how even someone with severe and extensive allergies can enjoy fine dining by careful menu selection and a frank conversation with the waiter. Foodie Jean gets the waiter to consult the chef and selects seafood Alfredo for Grumpy Steve, who pronounces the experience one he hopes to see repeated.

Episode 2: Foodie Jean tries a new menu item at Saltgrass, and declares it to be wonderful. Grumpy Steve complains that the waitress keeps refilling his tea (which he had sweetened just the way he wanted it) and snatching dirty silverware out of his hand to replace it with identical but clean silverware that he's just going to stick back into the same food. Grumpy Steve is reduced to tears by the waitress, but when she asks him what's wrong, his calm and plaintive answer reduces her to tears. Foodie Jean says Grumpy Steve was mean to the waitress.

Episode 3: Foodie Jean convinces Grumpy Steve to take her to a Chinese buffet. Grumpy Steve is known to describe Asian food as "dog vomit" and fears running into his allergies in pots of "stir fried junk" that he cannot identify. Foodie Jean convinces him that with over 100 different choices on nine buffet counters he won't starve and might actually find something he likes. She suggests that there has to be a pot or two of American food as this would only be good business. Grumpy Steve relents and goes along. Foodie Jean walks him past every counter, explaining dishes he cannot pronounce and guiding him away from toxic items. Steve finds more than enough to eat, and learns that the orange sweet and sour sauce is actually quite delicious. While there are only about 20 items he can eat out of over 100 (and fewer that he will eat), and many of those are (like any buffet) something that would be at home in a high school cafeteria, a few items are surprisingly good, and being able to have as much salmon as he can scoop up makes Grumpy Steve into Happy Steve.

Episode 4: Foodie Jean takes Grumpy Steve to a restaurant he used to visit every week, but grew tired of. Foodie Jean points out that it is easy to grow tired of a place if you always order the same one menu item. Grumpy Steve says that he has to do that, because it's too hard to figure out if he is allergic to a dish from the menu listing. Foodie Jean suggests that Grumpy Steve order something new, while she orders the item he has eaten 12 times in a row. She promises to trade plates with Grumpy Steve if he doesn't like what he gets, or if it turns out to be allergy toxic. She helps him review the menu and select some likely choices, and he gets lucky and finds a new dish that he has never tried before but which he greatly enjoys. Foodie Jean complains bitterly that the dish Steve traditionally orders is boring and plain and proceeds to liven it up with a selection of items from the condiment counter.

Episode 5: Foodie Jean challenges Grumpy Steve to a cook-off. He must prepare something she finds interesting, while she will prepare for him a new dish (being careful to avoid the items he is allergic to). Grumpy Steve dumps a can of spaghetti into a bowl along with a can of Vienna sausages that he cut into smaller pieces, then microwaves it. Foodie Jean disqualifies the dish based on a newly revealed "no microwave" rule. Grumpy Steve then makes his famous chicken stew, including a can of chicken and dumplings, a foil pack of extra chicken chunks, and half a can of peas and diced carrots, all stirred together in a saucepan over a low flame. Jean pronounces this "edible, but only barely" and suggests that it could be improved with a few spices. Foodie Jean asks for a desert and side dish, so Grumpy Steve opens a can of fruit cocktail and divides it into two bowls. Foodie Jean says "No fair, you must transform the canned food" so Grumpy Steve sprinkles pepper on one bowl and cinnamon on the other. Foodie Jean's offering to Steve is the pork chops he is known to love, served over rice with a mixture of apples and raisins. She also offers a side salad with several vegetables he is known to not be allergic to, and a cherry pie made from scratch with freshly picked fruit.
Episode 6: Foodie Jean encourages Grumpy Steve to try a different Italian restaurant. Grumpy Steve says that they should keep going to Olive Garden, since he knows what he can eat there, even if he orders exactly the same thing every time. Foodie Jean checks out a dozen websites and tells Grumpy Steve to try one called Eddie's. Grumpy Steve says he would rather go to Olive Garden where he knows what he will get, but Foodie Jean says if he will take a tiny risk of getting a bad meal they might find something better. She promises to stop at McDonald's on the way back to the office if Grumpy Steve gets a bad meal. Eddie's turns out to be a one-off local restaurant owned by the chef who uses his grandmother's recipes. The Alfredo sauce (just about the only Italian sauce that Grumpy Steve's allergies will tolerate) turns out to be far superior to Olive Garden. The manager explains that Chef Eddie made the Alfredo sauce in Grumpy Steve's bowl about five minutes after the waitress took the order. Grumpy Steve is convinced that Eddie's is a great place to eat, but is not convinced that taking risks needs to be a significant part of his life. Foodie Jean (big surprise) pronounced the chicken parmigiana to be far superior at the chef-owned restaurant compared to Olive Garden but wants to alternate the two "since each tastes good in its own way" and Grumpy Steve agrees.

Episode 7: Grumpy Steve surprises Foodie Jean by suggesting they try a different Chinese buffet. Adventurous Foodie Jean agrees. At the new Chinese buffet, Grumpy Steve finds a bigger selection of American food and delicious things called sugar-biscuits. Foodie Jean is less successful, hating everything without trying it, then (with a deep sigh) trying the wonton soup, which she pronounces good enough to return for. After Foodie Jean finishes a bowl of wonton soup, Grumpy Steve turns the tables and encourages her to try something else, and Foodie Jean (realizing the turnabout is fair play) agrees to try the sweet and sour chicken over vegetable fried rice, which she discovers is very good "for a buffet."

Episode 8: Foodie Jean convinces Grumpy Steve to actually eat Chinese food. After surveying all available items, she determines that the only Chinese food that won't kill him is plain white rice, sweet and sour sauce, and the fried chicken nuggets. Grumpy Steve pronounces this delicious and experiments by replacing the chicken with salmon or beef brisket. Foodie Jean is horrified at the idea of sweet and sour brisket.

Episode 9: Grumpy Steve drags Foodie Jean (kicking and screaming) to an American buffet, where she discovers the only fried chicken in town that suits her taste. She also discovers that the selection of vegetables at this buffet varies day-to-day, but that the planned menu is available online.

Episode 10: Grumpy Steve drags Foodie Jean (kicking and screaming) to a local convenience store, determined to show her that decent food can be had there. After surveying the microwave hamburgers, week-old factory-made sandwiches, and fat-filled hotdogs, Foodie Jean buys a dozen eggs, some ham, string cheese, and a can of pineapple. Returning to the office, Foodie Jean whips up a delicious omelet that even Grumpy Steve declares delicious.

Episode 11: Foodie Jean and Grumpy Steve go to a local diner which has a variety of offerings they both like. Foodie Jean orders an omelet with onions and peppers, but the cook is out sick and his replacement serves the omelet with the onions and peppers almost uncooked. The smell of the uncooked (toxic) vegetables drives Grumpy Steve into a toxic shock coma and he is evacuated by ambulance. Foodie Jean says "more for me!" and reaches for Grumpy Steve's plate, looks at it, then puts it back down. She later prepares chicken soup with onions and peppers and takes it to him in the hospital, but an armed guard confiscates the soup before allowing her into Grumpy Steve's room.

Episode 12. Foodie Jean cooks the traditional holiday feast, but Grumpy Steve's idea of tradition is very different from hers so he cooks his own version at the same time. Foodie Jean offers a roast turkey with 17 different spices and herbs rubbed into the bird and stuffing made with onions, celery, and cranberries. Grumpy Steve microwaves some turkey lunchmeat. Foodie Jean cooks an elaborate gravy including giblets, onion powder, and home-churned butter; Grumpy Steve microwaves a can of chicken soup and stirs in some flour, then strains out the lumps with the thing he once used to make hash-brown potatoes. Foodie Jean makes a side dish of deviled eggs including sweet apple vinegar, mustard, real egg mayonnaise, and pickle relish. Grumpy Steve takes his half of the hardboiled eggs, mixes the yolks with salad dressing and mustard, then scoops this back into the egg whites with his pocket knife. Foodie Jean makes the traditional green bean casserole including bacon, cream of celery soup, and French fried onions. Grumpy Steve opens a can of green beans and sticks in a fork. Foodie Jean whips up mashed potatoes using cream and roasted garlic. Grumpy Steve shakes a packet of instant mashed potatoes into a bowl of milk and microwaves it. Needing bread, Foodie Jean cooks orange-cranberry muffins, while Grumpy Steve finds some leftover hotdog buns and wedges them into the toaster. Foodie Jean prepares a delicious fruit salad including pineapple bits, pears, maraschino cherries, mandarin oranges, sour cream, and miniature marshmallows. Grumpy Steve opens a can of fruit cocktail and sticks in a spoon. Foodie Jean prepares cranberry sauce including whole berries, orange juice, sliced oranges, and sugar. Grumpy Steve opens a can of jellied cranberry sauce and sticks in a spoon. Foodie Jean cooks a pecan pie including brandy, chocolate, and hand-whipped cream. Grumpy Steve opens a box of Little Debbie Brownies.