I have recently rediscovered my love of the Food Network on cable TV. It was during a hotel stay in Las Vegas last month that I found it again while flipping through channels as I was winding down for the night. I had originally intended to get to sleep at a reasonable hour to facilitate an early rise to take some photos at dawn, which ultimately did happen. However, I ended up spending an hour or so the night before having been sucked into watching part of a marathon of a holiday cookie baking contest. I was again hooked. In fact, it’s on my television in the other room right now as I type this.
I had first watched the Food Network while a poor post-college student in the late ’90s. My friends at the time and I would get together at the house of a young married couple in our group, and we’d watch a lot of this station as culinary geniuses and hopefuls would work in their soundstage kitchens, creating feasts and edible works of art as we watched in amazement, and hunger. These meals were in stark contrast to the non-“Hungry Man” Banquet TV dinners that awaited me back at my small apartment on the side of a ramshackle, century-old house (which is remarkably still standing).
I’ve been able to identify two, key reasons why the programming on the Food Network speaks to me so much: I love watching creative people make things and observing their entire process from start to finish, from conception to execution, and even though I’m no chef, I love to eat, even if I’m extremely self-disciplined about it. It’s really that simple.
My work station at home is in a cozy corner of my kitchen, and is bordered by a back wall behind me, a wall of windows beside me, and my Kenmore refrigerator next to me on the other side. I cannot think of a more ideal setup, with my small, raised, square-surfaced kitchen table being the perfect size for my laptop, keyboard, mousepad, and coffee mug. I have a wide vista view of my neighborhood at just one glance away, with the soft, ambient hum of my fridge continuing on in the background.
It’s all so soothing, especially during the more hectic days. There is something inherent about being in a kitchen, at any time, that has such a calming effect on me. The only real downside is that with my rediscovery of the Food Network, and with a counter full of snacks awaiting me for dietary “cheat day” on weekends, it’s now taking an extra degree of self-discipline not to think about food and snacking when I’d prefer not to.
Taking a quick break to get the mail downstairs on an otherwise ordinary Monday, I was immediately greeted by this beautiful Cadillac that was slowly passing my building literally at the moment that I got out of the front elevator. Darting outside, I managed a few shots of it with my phone before a nearby stoplight turned green and traffic again began to flow. Want to hear something weird? After noticing the pristine condition of this example, the next thought that came to my mind was that this Coupe DeVille resembled a dessert. Even its blocky shape looked a little like a cube-like slice of Betty Crocker yellow cake with buttercream frosting.
What is the official name of the factory color on this Cadillac which could be considered “Maxine’s” slightly older, less-fancy sister? Flax. A plant. I would love to “aks” who named this color “Flax”. This name isn’t even a little bit whimsical or elegant. It’s creative, yes, but flax isn’t the first thing I think of when I see the pale yellow color of this car. Flax doesn’t make me think even of blonde hair, even if its fibers are said to resemble it.
Being somewhat unfamiliar with this plant, its mention had reminded me of digestive supplements, or at least something sold at the local GNC nutritional health store. I have later come to find out that many parts of the flax plant may be used, including its fibers which are used to make rope, and its seeds which may be ground and ingested to aid in relieving constipation. The oil resulting from crushing its raw seeds is also used to treat and protect wood and concrete, among other things. Sounds kind of like a super-plant to me. Too bad its actual name doesn’t fully and effectively translate to the color we see here.
Please, nobody beat up the looks of this Cadillac, which has been done ad infinitum to this generation of DeVille. I gave this driver a wave as a gesture of good faith as I took these pictures. Let’s all enjoy a slice of cake together today and admire the truly remarkable condition of this example. This would be the last year before the Cadillac C-Body stretch that would arrive for ’89. Under its hood is the new-for-’88 4.5L V8 engine which replaced the 4.1L unit from the year before, with its 155-horsepower rating representing a 19% increase in power.
This ’88 Coupe DeVille measures 196.5″ long from end-to-end, and 71.7″ wide. The ’89 was the same width, but its restyle would add 5.8″ in length, resulting in a more substantial, traditionally Cadillac-like appearance. I was unable to confirm DeVille-specific production numbers for ’88, as the 152,500 figure in my encyclopedia for that year included the Fleetwood models. Coupes accounted for 20% of DeVille sales for ’87, and only 16% for ’89. It’s safe to interpolate based on these numbers that the sedans probably outsold the coupes by a ratio of about four-to-one also for ’88.
The comforting, domestic, tradition-based feel of the Food Network seems to echo many of the luxury-car features that have been ladled onto this little coupe, even if the overall effect on this compact Cadillac is almost like that of too much frosting on relatively too little cake. But if both cake and frosting are delicious, who really cares? Especially if you’re not the one eating or driving either one. I look forward to spending many more evenings as this year winds down in front of my TV with the Food Network on in the background. Perhaps with a little mind-trickery, it won’t be that hard to convince myself that what’s actually on the plate in front of me tastes as amazing as how the meal on my television screen looks. In the meantime, I felt this tasty Cadillac deserved to be shared, even if it’s a smaller portion than the serving size of the DeVilles that came before and after it.
Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois.
Monday, November 8, 2021.
The Cadillac brochure photos were sourced from www.oldcarbrochures.org, and the other two, non-car images were sourced from the internet.