Announcer: Goooood morning! (audience applauds profusely) And welcome to another edition of Celebrity Chefs. Last week, we brought you the best in Christian entertain….I mean…. Christian nonfiction authors. Today, we bring you the best in Christian minist….I mean….Christian entertainment (looks away) is that right? Can I say that? Ahem. (looks back at camera) Contemporary Christian Artists. Today, we’ll be baking cookies.
Last week––since nobody followed the directions––we’ll let our artists be creative, how’s that? We have several recipies they can choose from, we have more than 100 cookie cutters, and lots and lots of different toppings and stuff they can add into the mix. Then, make and bake, and our judge, Chef Jeff, will determine whose is best based on presentation, consistency, taste and creativity. Ready? Go!
Announcer: Boy those 30 minutes did go by fast, didn’t they? Let’s check in on our contestants and see how they did. Chef Jeff?
Chef Jeff: (Dressed in a typical chef’s outfit) Tell me about your cookie.
Artist #1: Well, here it is. I hope you like. And if you do, all the glory goes to Him (points heavenward).
Chef Jeff: That’s good to know. Uhm…your choice seems a little flat.
Artist #1: Excuse me?
Chef Jeff: Your cookie. It seems…
Artist #1: Oh, I thought you said…you see since I’m a musician and all…
Chef Jeff: Oh, flat. Right. No. Not your voice, your choice. Your choice for a cookie. It kind of looks like a pancake.
Artist #1: Taste it.
Chef Jeff: (takes a bite) It…(talks with a full mouth) it tastes like a pancake too. But without syrup or butter. (chews and swallows hard) It’s so dry and bland.
Artist #1: I did what seems to be popular. Everyone loves pancakes.
Chef Jeff: Oh sure. But…
Artist #1: Just like my gramma used to make. (Gets out acoustic guitar and starts to strum. Looks up heavenward and then back at the camera with a smile and nods. Takes a breath like he’s going to sing.)
Chef Jeff: Hold on! Hold On! This is a baking show. Put that thing away.
Artist #1: (looks disappointed. Puts guitar down)
Chef Jeff: This is supposed to be a cookie. You know, tasty? You had lots of options. Over 100 cookie cutters to choose from and it’s just plain round. You had all kinds of frosting and whip cream and sprinkles for the top. And stuff you could fill your cookie with like chocolate chips and peanut butter chips and….
Artist #1: I just wanted to make it so everyone could have a taste. You know, not ruffle any feathers. Some people can’t have peanut butter, you know. Allergies. And what if they’re afraid of clowns? I couldn’t use a clown cookie cutter, could I? And what if I put flavor in it? Someone might think it’s too much.
Chef Jeff: Okay, next!
Artist #2: (bubbly young female) Hi!
Chef Jeff: Hi. Are you old enough to be on this show?
Artist #2: I don’t know. I’m 16 and a half. How old do I have to be?
Chef Jeff: (looks off camera) Is there an age require….no? Okay. (looks at contestant) So, what did you make?
Artist #2: Here. It’s the same thing Steven made.
Chef Jeff: What? (holds it up, adjusts glasses, turns it all over) The exact same thing?
Artist #2: Yep!
Chef Jeff: Why?
Artist #2: I wanted to make it right. You know. Steven’s been around a long, long, long, long, long, long time. And he knows how to make a cookie right. So, I just did what he did. Used his recipe and everything.
Chef Jeff: (to Steven) You let her use your recipe?
Artist #1: Oh sure. Obliged to help.
Chef Jeff: (to Steven) You know this is a contest, right? (turns to Artist #2) So, out of everything we had to offer you, you chose…nothing? Same cookie cutter? I suppose this has no taste, either?
Artist #2: Well, I like it.
Chef Jeff: (takes a bite. Makes awful face. Spits it out.) Yep. No taste. Next!
Artist #3: Howdy.
Chef Jeff: Hello. Don’t tell me you did the same thing as….(Artist #3 presents cookie). Well, now there’s a cookie!
Artist #3: Thanks. I wanted to do something a little different, use my own creativity and say what I felt led to say.
Chef Jeff: Now, there’s an artist. He understands that baking is actually conveying something. Using your own personality, sharing a little piece of your own soul. What did you want to say? (looks at cookie) I guess it says you’re fun?
Artist #3: I think that might say it. Afterall, there’s about a quarter inch of frosting, little sprinkles––and look, I made the peanut butter chips into a smiley face.
Chef Jeff: I see that. (takes a bite. Spits it out) YUK!
Artist #3: What’s the matter?
Chef Jeff: Well, first of all. The cookie itself tastes as bland as the other two…
Artist #1: (yells from the background, off camera) Much obliged!
Chef Jeff: (slightly irritated, but ignores Artist #1) But your toppings are waayy too sweet. It’s like that one author last week with the cake.
Artist #3: Oh, well, I figure you have to have the right balance––bland and sweet. That’s my formula. The more sweet stuff the better, right? The kids love the sweet stuff. And Steven is right, can’t upset anyone. One dab of flavor beyond mediocrity and it might be too much. Gotta be just in the middle so everyone will like it. No matter who they are, where they come from or what they’ve done. Safe for the whole family.
Chef Jeff: (diappointed) And you used the same cookie cutter.
Artist #3: Oh of course I did.
Artist #1: (yells from background, off camera) Much obliged!
Chef Jeff: (heaves big sigh) I…I don’t know what to say about you Christian artists and writers. It’s as if there’s nothing….I mean, aren’t you supposed to have something to say? Aren’t you supposed to have some creativity? Aren’t you supposed to…I don’t know, have some kind of standard of excellence or something? Don’t you care about doing things right? Isn’t there a baking reference like, salt of the earth or something like that in the Bible?
Artist #3: Oh yes. And that’s what we are! Salt!
Chef Jeff: I don’t know if you’ve got enough salt, but you’ve got plenty of saccharine. I’m outta here (walks off. Audience hears footsteps and rant fade away down an echoey hallway) I can’t believe it. Too bland yet too sweet at the same time. And with all of those resources we gave them, they used the same ingredients, the same cookie cutter….
Artist #1: (strums acoustic guitar, faces down the hall toward Chef Jeff. Begins to sing)
Stay encouraged, my friend, the work day has been rough, I know it’s hard; but it’s almost Friday evening, and so let me sing you these words I wrote for a greeting card…
(Steven strums guitar, turns toward camera with caring look in his eye, cue audience applause)
Announcer: Well, that’s all the time we have…thank you to our Contemporary Christian Artists for coming in today and baking…uhm…those…cookies. Tune in next week on Celebrity Chefs.