“Josephine, eat your potatoes and gravy and stop playing with your food.”

From the time I could read National Geographic and saw volcanoes with lava, my plate became just east of the Hawaiian Islands. Once I got to the red food coloring before my Mother erupted higher than Krakatoa, in the Pacific. My Mom was unreasonable. I once used blue ink, white frosting, and red iodine to color a cake for the 4th of July. Hey, I got the colors right. So, until I got married and had a kitchen of my own, I got my food thrills in movies and television.

Recently, I found a food show called, “Is It Cake?” I prefer the “Great British Baking Show,” but this one featured two bowling balls on a pedestal—one was real and one was cake. I could not tell which was cake. The show had three competing chefs working hard to replicate (in cake) fast food, hats, purses, or fruit. Here is the good news, they had eight hours to complete the projects. It was hard to tell the real from the cake, fake. The prize is $10, 000 and the judges are not chefs, so they are in the same category as those watching at home. If you have an extra 30 minutes in your day, you can tune in on Netflix.

Disney, I discovered, has a show like this except they have teams and use food to make 3-D food displays with the Disney animated characters. They use all sorts of real food to make cartoons. They also have a disclaimer saying that any food they do not use in the contest is donated to the local food pantry. Good ole Disney, they are good for everyone.

Not wasting food was the motto of the Catholic Sisters in my school, and was how you got into heaven. The good sisters were used to clean plates. My heart doctor would not agree. He would box all the extra food and send it to China. Food was not delivered across the ocean and once, at St. Charles Borromeo, Sister Helena had grapes frozen to give at lunch. They never had a chance to thaw. FOOOOOD Fight! I got an umbrella to avoid getting pummeled. Much later, little Holy Rollers, including our two sons, stomped on the grapes trying to make grape juice. The Lunch Ladies never served small fruit again, ever!

We all know of a great food fight in “Animal House.” John Belushi started it, and Faber College was never the same. Well, I experienced it at St. Charles. It took us a week to clean it up. And I am not sure there is not some still under the stairs. In the movies you do not have to clean it up. They have crews to do it.

Do you know where 4,000 pies were made and the greatest pie fight in all of film history was shot with Jack Lemon, Tony Curtis, and Natalie Wood? No? Guess? “The Great Race,” made in 1965. The pie fight took five days to shoot, and as a professional with melodrama so close to my heart, I always wanted to redo that pie fight in a play. The parents of kids I taught said, “No.” Sob…

To end this fall column, of cozy watching of not-cake, I will give you the most wonderful autumn dip. Two 8 oz. blocks of softened cream cheese, two 7 oz. jars of marshmallow cream, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of nutmeg. Mix it all up and put it covered in the fridge all night and serve. It will be lovely with crisp apple slices. Or just use a spoon. It is that good. Do not worry about making it look like a bowling ball or whatever. Eat and enjoy. Play with your food. I am allowing it. Roaring Mouse, licking sticky out of my whiskers, out.