SMK food part three: Food in the Family

Welcome back to our journey through Season 1 and 2 SMK food moments. We continue our exploration of SMK food with some “character-specific” food moments.

Jamie and Phillip
We don’t get to see enough of Jamie. And we don’t see much of Phillip either, although that doesn’t really bother me cow . But when we do see Amanda’s boys, they are frequently eating or hunting for food (which makes them remarkably normal!) S2E22_Jamie_banana

As I scoured the first two seasons of SMK, I could only find one instance of Jamie eating something I’d actively encourage the Minijets to consume: a banana thumbsup  (Murder Between Friends), that staple of babies and toddlers (I don’t miss those mushed banana stains!)


I’m ok with the scrambled eggs (Murder Between Friends) S2E22_Dotty_scrambledeggs
but….Jamie’s first breakfast (or lunch?) of SMK remains a mystery – it looks suspiciously like a pile of sugar on bread 15_weeping  (the First Time)
S1E1_breakfast_Jamie
Cracklin’ Critters, while they do have the benefit of continuity through the first two seasons, do not get the Learjet Stamp of (Healthy Eating) Approval: 0 star rating0-Star
S2E19_cracklin_critters_Jamie
Oh look shocked  : the boys are helping with the shopping (Saviour), except Phillip is being nasty at the same time sigh. S1E16_shopping_boys_help
And when they’re out shopping with their mother and grandma, they just want to buy…more cookies, which I guess would make them normal in my family (Just say NO, Amanda! – Ship of spies)
S2E12_cookies_boys
and don’t take those Cracklin’ Critters, Dotty shudder
S2E12_cracklin_critters
Anyone care to guess what the boys are eating here? I’m thinking hot dogs and iceberg lettuce? Or maybe macaroni cheese? Potato salad? Help me out here, JWWM’ers crazy  (Service Above and Beyond).
S1E7_boys_snack

Dotty
As a Dotty fan, I felt it was my duty to examine Dotty’s relationship with food in more detail. Dotty seems to help Amanda out a lot with meals – while Amanda is looking after those clams in tuxes, Dotty is busy with the more mundane tasks of keeping the family feed and watered, for example making a roast chicken (The First Time).
S1E1_roast_chicken_Dotty
We are able to examine Dotty’s preparation technique when she prepares a casserole (Saviour): S1E16_meat_for_stew_Dotty
She favours chunky-cut carrots for a casserole
s1E16_carrot_chopping_Dotty

S1E16_onion_dangerous_Dotty
Her onion cutting technique makes me fear for those beautifully manicured hands.

S1E16_casserole_Dotty

 

But there it goes, safely into the oven with all of Dotty’s fingers intact:

 


Dotty is sophisticated (evidence: those beautifully kept nails)… so much so that she wears unsuitably high heels to go grocery shopping…and then drops the shopping. And she buys bean sprouts yes.
Dotty (to Amanda): Yes I know you love them. They’re so Californian! (A Class Act)
S2E9_Dotty_drops_shopping
She’s a gracious hostess, making egg cress sandwiches for Dean’s mother (I Am Not, Nor Will I Ever Be A Spy)
S1E13_egg&cress_sandwich_for_Deans_mom
a
nd offering chimpanzee owner Francine strudel, reminding Francine of what her cook Moline used to say “A strudel is an act of love. To not eat it is to reject a gift” (Saved by the Bells).
S1E8_strudel_Dotty
But Dotty is human too – who could forget her stress-eating popcorn while on the call to Amanda’s doctor during her amnesia episode laughing  (I Am Now Nor Have I Ever Been a Spy)
S1E13_popcorn_stress_eating_Dotty

Lee:
Lee has a strange relationship with food his fridge is a disgrace; the smelly cheese from the fridge horrified suburban housewife Amanda gross (The ACM kid)
S1E5_mouldy_food_fridge_Lee
He’s prepared to eat some less than appetising fare while on surveillance: Exhibit 1: snack – The ACM Kid
S1E5_surveillance_snack_Lee
And Exhibit 2: sandwich – Service Above and Beyond
S1E7_surveillancesnack_VicGreenwich_Lee
He doesn’t look too happy about eating chilli on the job (Always Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth).
S1E6_Chili_Lee
and considers a Chewy Chunky Bar no replacement for a woman (If Thoughts Could Kill).
S1E3_chewychunkybar_Lee

Am I right in thinking that many women would have a hard time choosing between a man and a chocolate bar crazy ? You can rely on chocolate in a way than you can’t always rely on a mere man…

Lee turns up his nose at jelly but Bedside Bluebell Amanda is happy to wolf it down (If Thoughts Could Kill)
S1E3_Lee_jelly_Amanda
(Comfort eating from to deal with Cranky Lee – I know exactly how she feels; I’ve often felt a strong craving for sugar after the Minijets have pushed me a little too far!)

Lee eats his beans under sufferance when wounded on the job and Amanda “persuades” him yuck  (The Long Christmas Eve).
S1E10_Lee_eats_beans
As mentioned in the previous post, being an intelligence operative is a dangerous job…especially when Amanda gets a steak while Lee struggles to eat his soup after taking a punch in the jaw (The Artful Dodger).
S1E17_soup_punched_lip_Lee
Ultimately, metrosexual Scarecrow is most comfortable with more sophisticated (and exotic wink) dining and even cooks Amanda a Japanese meal at Maplewood drive (Remembrance of Things Past).
s1E11_Japanese_meal_Lee
He prefers smelly cheese from Harrods so maybe he had stinky cheese in his fridge on purpose crazy ? (To Catch a Mongoose)
S2E1_Lee_smellycheese_Harrods
And to finish off with my two favourite (and most uncomfortable) Lee’s dinners out: that terribly awkward one (for Amanda) with his “wife” at the Cumberland (Weekend)
S1E20_dinner_at_the_Cumberland
And then dinner with Amanda (downgraded to mere “girlfriend”) and the Colonel (A Relative Situation)
S2E15_dinner_with_the_Colonel
And a cute moment between Lee and Amanda, after Lee takes a “dead” Amanda grocery shopping (You Only Die Twice) and they share a packet of popcorn.
S2E20_popcorn_Lee_Amanda

So has anyone got any observation about the food choices of the family at Maplewood Drive? Where did Lee get his eating habits from? Was it from the Colonel? Any other food moments to share from seasons 1 and 2?
That concludes this trilogy on food and drink. wave from Learjet!

 

48 responses to “SMK food part three: Food in the Family

  1. Okay, I checked.. no comments from iwsod yet. Lol.

    Gah! Jamie and Phillip and food??!!! I shudder..

    Rofl! Love the cow emoticon!!! Wasn’t that usually Francine’s?!!! I’ve gotten out of the habit of using it boo!

    Jamie’s first breakfast (or lunch?) of SMK remains a mystery – it looks suspiciously like a pile of sugar on bread (the First Time)

    Yuck! Yes…. Let’s keep it a mystery 😉

    Whahahhaaha love the star rating system learjet – Does that translate for americans? I know in the UK there is a traffic light system.. the star system is new to australia.. and IMHO doesn’t really do what it’s suppose to 😉

    I think Cracklin’ Critters refers to what your teeth become after eating this cereal 😉

    Whahahahaahahaaa at the inclusion of annoying Phillip with the groceries learjet. This made me laugh and laugh!

    Anyone care to guess what the boys are eating here? I’m thinking hot dogs and iceberg lettuce? Or maybe macaroni cheese? Potato salad? Help me out here, JWWM’ers (Service Above and Beyond).

    I think they are eating sour grapes 😉

    I’m a Dotty fan too!! We get to see Dotty wrangle a roast chicken at the start of every episode!
    Phew.. great catches here Learjet.. so much food prep!

    Dotty (to Amanda): Yes I know you love them. They’re so Californian! (A Class Act)

    One of the clunkiest plot reveals ever!

    But Dotty is human too – who could forget her stress-eating popcorn while on the call to Amanda’s doctor during her amnesia episode

    I miss those little touches!

    On to Lee hoorah!
    Yeah I think the writers didn’t quite know what to do with Lee and food..

    He doesn’t look too happy about eating chilli on the job (Always Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth).

    His chilli is better 😉

    and considers a Chewy Chunky Bar no replacement for a woman (If Thoughts Could Kill).

    Hey didn’t Lee suggest he wanted a whole cheesecake?! That could have gone in your cake section!

    Am I right in thinking that many women would have a hard time choosing between a man and a chocolate bar ? You can rely on chocolate in a way than you can’t always rely on a mere man…

    Absolutely!

    Lee eats his beans under sufferance when wounded on the job and Amanda “persuades” him (The Long Christmas Eve).
    Hilarious image you chose learjet! Love this moment!!!

    He prefers smelly cheese from Harrods so maybe he had stinky cheese in his fridge on purpose ? (To Catch a Mongoose)

    Yeah I think they refined Lee’s relationship with food..

    Rofl. Learjet’s a fan of uncomfortable dinners for Lee haaaaaa.. Oh yes that weekend dinner is soooo awkward ugh.
    Rofl at Amanda’s downgrade 😉 good call!!

    Thanks for the food and drink trilogy learjet! I’ve loved it! Hope you had as much fun writing it as I’ve had reading it!!
    Looking forward to hearing other’s comments 

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  2. I think that what Amanda cooked and served the boys was pretty typical fare of that time period. When my mother started working more and more we ended up with those frozen TV dinners. Some of the nastiest stuff ever made. As my sister and I got older we started taking over cooking duties. No more frozen food.

    My mother refused to buy junk food. Any we ate was because we purchased it with our own money. We didn’t even do fast food other than Kentucky Fried Chicken. My mother seemed okay with that as it seemed to be real chicken. I don’t think we even knew how to order pizza until sometime around college. That all changed, however, when they became grandparents.

    Jamie and Phillip always seemed to have a lunch that they took to school. I’m not sure when hot lunch programs became all the rage. I’m always amazed at how often they seem to leave the milk out in the King household.

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  3. Great post Learjet. I chuckled through it and all the comments. I agree with you that Dotty is a great character. I loved her mix of dizziness and sharpness (who can forget ‘Clams again dear’ ).
    Lee eating hastily (or cramming down food!) is very characteristic of him, I think. He is the man of action (with a bit of pretension!).
    I have to confess that I would choose a man over chocolate any day! (but perhaps the many photographs of Lee that I have just digested are influencing me!)
    And I also have to confess that I like Brussel Sprouts! I noticed the other day that they are back in the shops which means winter is coming. (:-( )
    I was brought up on home made (and often home grown) food so it is my preference. But a lot of people seem to manage fine on ‘junk’ or convenience food so perhaps it is not that bad for you really. And while I do like cooking, it is very hard to do when you are working full time as well. (mind you Amanda did have her mother to help)

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  4. I think the boys are eating a salad with dressing, a roll, and some sort of chicken and noodle casserole. You can see red tomatoes on Phillips’ plate. And it definitely looks like Jamie has some sort of wide noodle on his plate – fettucini perhaps? Or an old-fashioned egg noodle?

    Learjet…so how do you know those Cracklin’ Critters weren’t made of healthy stuff? It doesn’t say Frosted Cracklin’ Critters 😉 So maybe there’s not a lot of sugar? Usually the cereals are displayed on store shelves according to their kind…so in the picture where Dotty has her hand on the CCs, I notice Special K beneath it (not a kid cereal) , so I’m wondering if the CCs are a healthier cereal than the usual kids’ cereal and the big animal face is meant to entice the kids since it’s not that sweet? That being said, I think I do spy something that could be Sugar Smacks and Cocoa Krispies sort of close – just on different shelves and further to the left.

    Hahaha! So glad it’s your duty to analyze Dotty and her relationship with food! And yes, Dottie’s onion cutting method makes me want to look away from the screen! How does her onion not fall apart while she’s doing that? Her knife must be very sharp. I cut apples that way when making apple desserts, but I think that is the only one. And holding the onion that way must make her entire hands stink!!! I guess she knows the stainless steel trick.

    Grocery shopping in high heels? Puhlease…. Hope that does not offend anyone out there. I only wear heels a few times a year. And only when pressured. I do love her stress-eating popcorn in I Am Not Now! That is very funny. Dotty is very funny in general. I wish we could have seen more of her.

    And while I do love a good chocolate bar (and you know I do), I would rarely choose it over a man. But let me think about that. It depends. Yes, I can rely on a good chocolate bar, but with the way I eat chocolate, it doesn’t last very long. And a man doesn’t usually mean weight gain. Usually. Hmmm, this is a tough call. I think I’m idealizing men too much and thinking of Lee – he is in the picture after all. It would be a hard choice between chocolate and Lee. Most other men – maybe not so much. 😀

    Oh, I just have to say that in my mail today, there was an advert for a food company and on the outside of the advert it mention enoki mushrooms!!! Too bad I don’t like squid – never ever! I could have signed up and taken advantage of their US$30 coupon!

    I think Lee’s eating habits did come from having to eat mess hall food (while with his uncle) and from the job. I guess as a spy you can’t always eat what you want and sometimes you just have to make do. On the other hand, you get to travel the world and experience a gajillion cuisines. Jealous!

    I know everyone loves to knock what Jamie and Phillip eat, but I think they’re eating habits (and Amanda and Dotty’s) are pretty standard for American in the 80s given the culture and the way the food industry focused on processed foods and convenience foods over fresh foods. Unless you were diabetic, sugar was not public enemy #1 then. There wasn’t the emphasis on “fresh” like there is today. Perhaps outside the US processed and convenience foods never really became commonplace, but here they were the norm. They were less expensive and easier. And when so many women started to work in the 80s, having these types of foods available to them made it easier. It really wasn’t until the last decade or so that Americans in general really started to pay more attention to what they were eating and how all the processed foods and convenience foods affected their health. I know there are some that always paid attention, but I think they were in the minority in the 80s. Today it is definitely more “cool” to eat fresh food and healthier food.

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    • It was tang and kool-aid, and lots of white bread fried bologna sandwiches and canned vegetables in my household. But my folks were very strict about cereals – no crackin cocoa frosted critterspops for us (though we would sneak a TBSP of sugar in the milk when they weren’t looking).

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      • That’s funny in hindsight, Cindy! In my house, it was a tug of war. My mother only bought relatively healthy stuff and “forced” us to take our vitamins. But when my dad did the grocery shopping, we got to put in just about whatever we wanted, so we came home with a cart full of junk! In general, I think we ate similarly to Phillip and Jamie. They seem to have plenty of junk food, but Amanda does have mostly home-cooked meals at dinner with the occasional health drink (TACMKid) and Marvelous Marvin’s fast food thrown in.

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    • I agree on the convenience food although it probably helps that Amanda’s family doesn’t have a microwave. The kids can’t ask for some of the unhealthier tv dinners, like the chicken nuggets or fish sticks that come with a dessert. I used to like the ones that came with a brownie in them that baked up in the microwave, although I think microwave baking is a little gross now. Those brownies always were kind of gooey. 😛 I forget, did those things start showing up in the 80s or in the early 90s?

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    • The Cracklin’ Critters: I think my assumptions are based on the name. “Cracklin'” does smack of the sound effects of Cocoa Pops and Strawberry Pops (which I think you called Cocoa Krispies and Strawberry Krispies – Oooh, I loved those so much but we got them about once a year when I was growing up). But I have heard Minijet 2’s Weetbix making a crackling sound when she crushes it into her bowl (and over the counter and the floor 😦 ). So maybe the Cracklin indicates pure wheat…
      But Critters? Are cereals in the shape of animals (apparently “Critters” are [ref Google] usually horses, mules or cows {!) remotely close to their natural form?
      That said, I agree that Jamie and Phillip’s diets (and other habits which we love to dissect from our perspective 30 years on) were pretty typical for the mid-80s. Mr Jet and I were discussing how we got cordial (bright green) with our school lunches, whereas nowadays, the school decrees that only water is an acceptable beverage. No great loss; that cordial was disgusting.

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      • Just curious, Learjet, but what exactly is ‘cordial?’ I looked it up and only saw ‘alcohol.’ The best I got for lunch were Hi-C drink boxes.

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        • I was kind of wondering this, too. There is a non-alcoholic cordial, isn’t there? I remember in Anne of Green Gables, Marilla told Anne that she could give her friend some raspberry cordial when she came to visit, but Anne gave her some wine by mistake because the bottles weren’t labeled, and her friend’s mother was angry because she thought that Anne had given her daughter alcohol on purpose.

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        • “Cordial” is a concentrated fake juice which you add water to. Basically a sugary, flavoured drink given to kids. I’ve always hated the taste – it comes in cream soda, orange, raspberry and any other flavour you can imagine. Here is a link to an Aussie “classic” brand…

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          • I suspect Marilla’s raspberry cordial actually contained raspberries. These days, no fruit gets a look-in in those cordials

            Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks, Learjet! There’s probably something somewhat similar in the US. A lot of the ‘kid drinks’ when I was growing up said 10% juice. The rest is sugar and water.

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      • Yep, cracklin’ refers to the pure wheat 😉 lol Yes, I do think they are in the shape of animals – a bear’s head to be exact, just like on the box. Surely they could shape wheat into any shape to get kids to eat it? I know I’m losing the argument here, just feeling a bit energetic from my morning dose of caffeine.

        On a separate note, I thought a cordial was an alcoholic beverage too, but I see that it’s not. I only remember having the choice of white or chocolate milk in our school cafeteria growing up. Even today, milk is still served in cafeterias at my kids’ schools. I don’t know if water is available in the lower grades for students, but probably in the secondary schools.

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    • I know everyone loves to knock what Jamie and Phillip eat, but I think they’re eating habits (and Amanda and Dotty’s) are pretty standard for American in the 80s given the culture and the way the food industry focused on processed foods and convenience foods over fresh foods.

      Yes I love to knock what they eat..

      Yes, I realise it was pretty standard 😉
      It’s the same in Australia, so I certainly don’t claim any cultural superiority.. today processed and convenience foods are still extremely popular..

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  5. Wait a second – did we just discuss Dotty’s eating habits without reiterating the Great Peanut Butter Marshmallow Incident?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The way that Dotty cuts that onion is the way my mother cuts a lot of fruits and veggies. I have trouble doing it that way because I’m always afraid that I’ll cut my thumb.

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  7. The boys’ meal in SAAB looks like fried chicken and Brussels sprouts to me! No wonder Phillip is picking at it.

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    • Will anyone admit to liking Brussel Sprouts? I’ve tried, really I’ve tried but to no avail…..

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      • I kind of do, actually. But, part of the reason is all the salt and butter I use on them. (Bad Jestress!) That, and it’s kind of cute how they look like little cabbages.

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      • I love them. I usually cut them in half and sautee them with a little olive oil and some garlic powder. Really good when they get that golden brown from the olive oil.

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      • I love ’em, too.

        Instead of olive oil and garlic powder as Sara does, I sautee them with butter (sometimes we also use olive oil) adding a little pepper, salt and some nutmeg at the end. My daughter loves them too, my hubby doesn’t mind them and my 3 sons more or less don’t like them at all.

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      • I love them! Just be sure to choose small ones and eat when in season. the large ones taste too iodine-y!

        Especially delish with fennel seeds and bacon. Oh my.. I’m drooling!

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  8. “and considers a Chewy Chunky Bar no replacement for a woman (If Thoughts Could Kill).
    A Chewy Chunky Bar is no replacement for food either. :-/

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hmmm men versus chocolate – It would depend on the man and the quality of chocolate. I don’t see why I have to choose.

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