15 Minutes of Fame…

A couple of months ago I received an email requesting submissions of dessert recipes for an upcoming cookbook.  My first – and truly only – thought was to send the recipe for my famous (among all my friends) LOADED OATMEAL COOKIES.  So many people have asked me for the recipe, so why not send it.  Right?  Right.  So I did.

Definition of LOADED: lots of wonderful flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and pumpkin pie spice, plus a ton of “goodies” a.k.a. chocolate chips, pecans, coconut, dried cranberries, and toffee bits.

Weeks went by with no word whether it was accepted for the cookbook or not.  Then one day a few weeks ago I received a call from Nicole.  Nicole stated that she loved my unique recipe and wanted to know if I would like to demonstrate my cookies on TV.  On TV?  Um, sure, why not! Thus began my journey to my “15 Minutes of Fame” on KCTS 9.

I was thrilled, yet nervous, to be on TV even if it was for only a quick 10 minutes.  I have had challenges in the past speaking in public, and speaking for a video presentation.  So I wasn’t sure how I would handle this brief LIVE television experience.  (It was going to be part of the KCTS pledge drive.)  All I really knew was that I was getting a chance to share something that I created.  Nicole stayed in touch with me over the next couple of weeks, assuring me that I would have a great time, and how excited the station was to include my very  “loaded” cookies in their upcoming KCTS 9 Cooks: Just Desserts cookbook and program.  I plotted out what I needed to bring, and the various stages of my cookies, including how I would present my recipe.   Dry ingredients.. check.  Wet ingredients… check.  “Loaded” goodies… check.  Finished product… check.  Then the day came.  It was now time to drive to Seattle and continue this journey.  I felt like a kid on Christmas day!

My husband, Jeff, packed the car with what looked like enough supplies to carry us through a long cold winter.  I made sure I had all the ingredients for the four different stages of cookie making, along with extra supplies “just in case…”, and of course, I had all the bowls, measuring implements, utensils, etc.  Seattle, here we come!

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies - ingredients

We arrived at the station a tad early, but we were thankful we did.  We were able to get a great parking space, and we were greeted by very helpful volunteers who helped us unload the car.  We were then greeted by Brett, who took care of making sure we checked in, and that my recipe was correct for the show and for the book.  Then I met Nicole.  I could finally put a face to the wonderful personality I had dealt with on the phone. After everyone arrived we toured the studio and were given a run through of how the day would progress, including each of our segments.  I found out I would be number 8 (of 13) on the line up over four hours.  During our tour we met Paula Nemzek, who is one of the pledge personalities; Carol Dearth, owner of Sizzleworks in Bellevue; and Mark Christopher, a man of many media (and other) talents.  I learned that Carol and Mark would be my guides on the segment.  Thank goodness for these angels!  They were so easy-going and fun that I knew we’d all have a great time.

As we each waited for our turn at the camera, we were treated to wondrous foods … breakfast items, then lunch items, and of course, we got to try each other’s desserts after each segment completed.  All I can say is wow!  We were kings and queens!  And I was surrounded by some very talented cooks and bakers!  I think my favorite dessert (besides mine, of course) was the Semolina Custard Tart that Mark Nass made.  It was so heavenly… layers of Phylo dough, butter, and cinnamon sugar, with a semolina custard filling, that was baked, and then served with a Greek honey syrup and the best pine nut brittle I’ve every had!

In between eating I waited patiently for my turn in the make up chair.  In a short 10 minute time frame I was camera ready.  It was now time to wheel my cart into the studio and wait and watch as Mark Nass presented his Semolina Custard Tart.  The moment he was done, in swooped a team that cleared away all his dishes, emptied out the fridge, removed items from the oven, and cleaned off the countertop.  As that was happening there was a team setting up all my stuff.  All this happened in a short two-minute time frame!  And then it was my turn.  Three cameras standing in front of me, one camera over head, my husband sitting off to the left with camera in hand, Paula off to my right over in the corner making pledge announcements, the phone bank behind Paula taking all the pledge calls, crew members everywhere, the producer in front of me with time cards….  And me… Oh my gosh, I’m standing next to Carol Dearth, and listening to Mark Christopher on my right introducing “Sandy Harvey from Tacoma and her Loaded, and I mean LOADED, Oatmeal Cookies!”  Hey, that’s me!

Hey, that's me!

Hey, that’s me!

OMG, I'm really on TV!

OMG, I’m really on TV!

Carol Dearth, me, and Mark Christopher

Carol Dearth, me, and Mark Christopher

Before I knew it, my segment was over.   I can only relate it to my wedding day.  It was something so exciting that I wanted to enjoy every moment of it, yet I knew I wouldn’t remember a thing about it.  I never once saw any person, heard any phones, saw any time cards or cameras, nor my husband taking pictures.  But I remember exactly what I was doing in that moment.  My world shrunk in a flash, just big enough for me, Carol, and Mark.  I wasn’t nervous (at least I didn’t feel nervous, but after watching the replay I heard my nervous laugh throughout my demo).  Carol and Mark simply led the way and I followed.  And I felt good.  I feel like I did my mom proud.  Let me back track a little.

When I was little my mom was a demo cook for Southern California Edison.  Mom was a fantastic cook and baker, the one who didn’t need a recipe, nor ever made a dish the same way twice, but it was always delicious.  If you asked her what was in the dish, she would say “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember.”  I’m not like her in the kitchen… I need to at least start with a recipe, and then perhaps tweak it to fit my needs or taste.  But I always have a recipe!  I guess it’s my crutch so I don’t fail.  This dessert demo made me feel as if I had completed a baking circle between mom and me.  I felt like she was smiling down on me from heaven.  Thanks mom!

I returned to the guest room to exuberant applause from my fellow demonstrators.  Everyone was very gracious and supportive to each other. Although I was free to leave at that point, Jeff and I decided to stay to watch and support the remaining segments.  By the time we left I felt like we were all family… the KCTS crew and all the demonstrators.  It was such a wonderful experience!  And I consider it a great honor to have been chosen.

But what I most appreciated about this whole journey was the genuine encouragement, support, and congratulations that I received from all my family and friends.  It was nice to share this with all of them.

My greatest supporter!  My hubby, Jeff :)

My greatest supporter! My husband, Jeff 🙂

So, here’s to checking off another item on my bucket list (that I never knew I had), or that it was something I ever wanted to do.  I love how God’s plan for my life unfolds in such unexpected ways!  I’m sure it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun if it had been MY plan.  🙂

I think my next on-air journey will be something about my painting.  Excited to see where that journey takes me!

Click here to view all the recipe segments from the show.