Jason Adams
January 08, 2007 AT 04:00 PM EST

No, as delicious as it may look, that’s not a whetted appetite you’re sensing as you gawk at Mario Batali (pictured) putting the finishing touches on that Torta di Mele (an apple cake, to you and me). Nor are those pangs of hunger stirring inside you while watching Bobby Flay season his rainy day grilled leg of lamb. No, my friend, it seems that what you’re experiencing is your bowels hardening up on you. Based on the numerous ads for two stool softeners — the straightforward clip for Phillips’, which “works like nature intended, gently and stimulant-free,” and the SNL-worthy Dulcolax, which “doesn’t make you go, it just makes it easier to go” — the Food Network must be betting that, while you may not be able to pass up an episode of semi-homemade goodness with frou-frou headed Sandra Lee, you very well may be having trouble passing a decent semi-homemade delectable of another sort. As for the Barefoot Contessa making her husband a romantic dinner of breakfast foods? That’s not constipation you’re feeling; it’s a gag reflex.

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