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Sandra After Sandy

Responses from New York State’s semi-homemade First Lady

November 01, 2012
Sandra Lee's Twitter Feed(Twitter)
Sandra Lee's Twitter Feed(Twitter)

Television chef Sandra Lee is best known as the chief cheerleader for “semi-homemade” housekeeping, an approach that involves drinking plenty of cocktails and relying on Cool Whip instead of electric whisks and heavy cream, and which underpins a commercial empire that runs from the Food Network to Sears and Kmart.

But, as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s live-in girlfriend, she is also New York’s semi-official First Lady, which is why it’s a little shocking to see a tweet like this one in her feed at the height of the worst disaster to hit the state since Sept. 11:

Omg, folks, stay in ur homes until tomorrow AT LEAST! This is no joke! If you have no power downtown, get to a hotel

Setting aside the question of whether there are actually any hotel rooms still available north of Manhattan’s dark zone or in Brooklyn, and how people without power or transportation access were supposed to find and get to them, Lee’s advice is, well, bizarrely 1 percent-ish, and the opposite of semi-homemade–like offering Julia Child’s laborious recipe for tarte tatin to the tens of thousands of Lower Manhattan residents who can’t afford to spend a week in a hotel, under any circumstances.

She also tweeted, with frowny faces, about trees falling over in her yard–though, unlike her fellow domestic goddess Martha Stewart, who tweeted that losing more than a hundred trees on her farm was “nothing compared to the devastation in NYC,” the ever-industrious Lee found a silver lining:

Christmas is set now that my favorite pine tree just fell down. 🙁

(Lee, who was raised as a Seventh-Day Adventist and Jehovah’s Witness but converted to Judaism more than a decade ago, has talked ardently about creating Christmas-scapes with Cuomo’s Catholic children at their home in Mt. Kisco.)

And while it’s totally understandable that Lee, who assiduously keeps her public persona separate from Cuomo’s political one, has kept tweeting her television appearances, trick-or-treating photos, and recipes — including one for open-face Jack-o’-Lantern cheeseburgers involving ranch dressing seasoning and “carved” slices of American cheese — it’s a little heartbreaking that in a week when Cuomo’s been tested more than any other of his term, and after which his prospects for a presidential run in 2016 will presumably shine even brighter, the closest Lee’s come to giving her semi-husband a shout-out is in one solitary tweet:

Related: The Jewish Martha Stewart [Tablet]