As long as I can remember, my mother has watched the Today Show in the morning on NBC.  Growing up the show was just part of the tapestry of our morning, always on in the background. Most of the time it was Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumbel, before eventually transitioning over to Matt Lauer and Katie Couric.   Meanwhile, Joan Lundun ably held down the fort at ABC’s Good Morning, America...but we never watched it.   So I grew up with Willard Scott and his buffoonish weather antics and wild-haired Gene Shalit reviewing movies along with Pauley, Gumbel, Couric and the like.  Sheesh, Gene Shalit is 86 years old this year???  That’s nuts.  Anyway, the Today Show is on my mind this morning because it appears there is going to be yet another changing of the guard.  All the major networks are reporting that anchor Ann Curry is on her way out.   So, what do you think? Will you miss Ann?

I’ve never been a guest on one of the major morning TV shows before.  Those are really tough to get on, but my publisher always sends one of our cookbooks to the producers in hopes that their interest might be piqued enough. I was invited on Fox & Friends once to discuss our The Amish Cook at Home cookbook.  While Fox & Friends isn’t one of the major morning shows, it is the marquee morning offering on Fox.  It was a warm summer Friday morning and I was supposed to arrive at the studio in New York City around 6 a.m. for a 6:45 a.m. segment (it wasn’t even the main show, it was called “Fox & Friends First!”, a half hour show that airs before the main one).   I wasn’t supposed to cook on the air, I was instead bringing a selection of prepared foods using recipes from the book: a homemade slaw, pie, rolls…all recipes prepared ahead of time by my wife. The food would be on the set and I’d walk the host through each dish and discuss its importance in Amish culinary culture.  We’d be filming the segment live outside on the plaza of the Fox studios.   At least that was the plan until Hurricane Ivan decided to churn up the east coast.  Fox News switched to 24 hurricane coverage and decided to bump my segment until Monday.  All of this meant that the prepared foods would be sitting inside a cooler in our car the whole sweltering New York City weekend. Okay, we’ll just look at the food..mental note to myself: make sure the host doesn’t try any of it. Period.

An Iraqi biological weapons expert was the scheduled guest after me on that Monday.   He didn’t speak English all that well, so I was wondering how he’d do as a guest on the program. But he spoke well enough to indicate that he thought the Cole Slaw looked might tasty (apparently sitting in a sweltering car all weekend doesn’t make food look bad).  Rachel had to, very politely, urge him not to eat the slaw.  I was sure by that point the slaw itself was a biological weapon after marinating in a hot car all weekend.  Rain continued to pelt New York City on Monday so our segment was filmed in what amount to a closest inside the Fox studios.  A phone on the wall rang twice during the segment, the weapons scientist and Rachel were jammed into a corner…SIGH…so that was my brush with morning show glory.  Maybe another time when one of my fiction books come out.  Okay, so, back to Ann Curry….are you upset she is leaving? Which morning show do you watch?

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