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Renegade Chef: Taking a time out from reality

When the world is in turmoil, I watch ESPN. I find myself watching that channel most of the time - or ESPN 2, or even ESPN Deportes - if reality becomes too depressing.

The sports channels may indeed be frivolous distractions for the average American male, simple documentation of the daily score, who beat whom at the envious task of putting balls of various shapes and sizes in their appropriate places. But at least people rarely die.

Tiger Woods barely made the cut at the British Open, but if he had failed it would simply have meant his weekend on the links was over. Germany won the World Soccer Cup in muggy Brazil, culminating what many ESPN experts consider the greatest World Cup ever. Never mind the poverty and political unrest in good old Rio.

Who would ever want to escape the Land of 10,000 Lakes and flee to, of all places, Cleveland? Just ask Kevin Love. Of course, he does have family ties to the city and rumor has it he plans to do some guest-dusting of his Beach Boy uncle's bust at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

According to ESPN, the moon would be a better place to play hoops than Frozenopolis, Minnesota.

ESPN doesn't talk about the Twins other than to say how nice Target Field is and how unfortunate it is that such a fine venue is home to such a crummy ball club. But as far as I know, there are no plans to do physical harm, other than Tommy John surgery, to any of our rag-armed pitchers.

No, ESPN is not all that kind to Minnesota. We don't score enough points. We're not good at putting balls in their appropriate places. Just ask Christian Ponder.

But as biased as the sports networks are, at least their scoreboards don't tally tragedy. There are no scores like Russia 298-innocent civilians 0. There are no betting lines on how many little kids will die on the beaches of the Gaza Strip or how many suicide bombs will explode in the streets of Bagdhad.

Unfortunately, life is not a game. But if it was, it would be dangerous. In light of that, let me offer you some peaceful recipes to enjoy while escaping reality and tuning in Sports Center.