Cheesy soup leads to Rachael Ray gig
By Jeremy Sellew
Published: Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, 12:51 a.m.
An avid “Rachael Ray Show” fan, Cathy Michener answered this question posed by the popular daytime host: “What are some of your favorite comfort foods?”
“When I was a little girl, I remembered my grandma made this cheesy potato soup,” said Michener, a Belle Vernon Area school director. “So, I just sent it in.”
The Rostraver Township woman didn't expect a call from the hit daytime show, but then her phone rang.
As a result, Michener and her family were featured Tuesday on the New Year's Eve episode featuring Ray's Top 10 recipes of 2013.
“The producer, Jessica, called and said that Rachael wanted me to make the soup and then serve it to my family,” Michener said. “She sent us directions on how the segment had to go, and we did it.”
Michener's husband, Dean, served as cameraman and director for the homemade production.
“Well, we took many takes, let's say that much,” Michener said of the taping session. “Either I didn't smile enough, or I had potatoes in my hair ... or I had to tilt something a certain way.”
It was fitting that Michener chose the soup recipe, because she got to serve it to her grandson, Trevor Zuzak, for the first time.
“My son (David Zuzak) was stationed in Georgia while in the U.S. Army. He was back and had my grandson with him so it was really special for me,” she said. “He never had it before, so, I got to serve it to my grandson, just like my grandmother served it to me.”
Michener said everyone was “very, very well-behaved” during the taping.
“At first when I told them that the show called me they didn't believe it,” she said of her family. “Once they realized it was true, everything went great.”
After sending the video, Michener didn't know what to expect.
“A few days later, Jessica called back and said that Rachael loved it,” Michener reported. “Unfortunately, the video we sent was just a bit too long. But she said they were doing a Rachael's Top 10 Recipes of the Year show, and they wanted me to choose one and do the same thing.
“I'm not sure what number it is, but I chose to do the Chicken and Green Bean Casserole.”
A couple of weeks after the first tape session, the Micheners were back in the kitchen. And Dean, a barber by day, was back behind the camera.
“The second time was a little easier,” she said with a laugh. “We had two weeks in between to get it together.
“As fun as it was, it gets a little nerveracking. When you make things at home, you don't have to describe what you're doing step by step. I had to do it twice, so the second time was a little easier.”
The second go-round did not include her grandson, but her other son, Zachary Zuzak, made the cast. Zachary Zuzak is stationed in Virginia with the U.S. Coast Guard.
“The timing worked out again, because we aren't able to get together a whole lot,” she said. “It was definitely special.”
Michener said the experience was rewarding and fun.
“The video had to be to them by 10 a.m. on Monday, and there we were at midnight Sunday night cooking and serving,” she said with a chuckle. “They called us and said they got it and that it was decided it was going to air on New Year's Eve. Our DVR is set.
“It was just a fun experience overall, and I'd definitely do it again.”
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2667.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Belle Vernon students show grasp of history
- New Eagle dance on as scheduled; ‘Porky’ Chedwick tribute in works
- Yough Middle School Science Fair continues to grow after 9 years
- Brownsville alum to discuss Battle of Gettysburg’s impact on townspeople
- St. Molokai parish ruling imminent
- Cal U offers military personnel, families discounted online rates
- Monessen teen in court for drug charges
- Monessen students might lose cell phones
- 4 Donora men to stand trial for Rostraver hotel incident
- Photo gallery: California Area High School drama club stages ‘The Pajama Game’
- Finleyville Food Pantry always in need of donations, volunteers