Food (television) junkies, unite!

I am a self-admitted junkie when it comes to cooking and food-related shows. FoodTV, PBS, Discovery Home, Fine Living: I’ve seen just about every show at some point or another. Some of tthe shows are quite good – Rick Bayless’ show is one, even though his manner of speaking can get on my nerves, and Lidia Bastianich is interesting – and some are just disasters worthy only of snarking – Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee tops this list. Most are somewhere in the middle.

But let me tell you one thing that is truly annoying: whenever a host or voiceover talks about how so-and-so takes pride in what they do, or how some producer talks about their secret being quality ingredients. This must be written down somewhere in the Manual Of How To Be On TV. When was the last time you heard of some business owner declaring that they’re doing the least possible they can, or that they use the crappiest ingredients they can find to make their food? It’s ridiculous. That said, if I were ever interviewed for some reason whenever this food business gets going, no doubt I’d say the same thing. How do you answer “What’s your secret”? You can’t very well give away any secrets you do have for the food you make – after all, that’s your intellectual capital. I suppose I just wish they’d find a different question to ask.

Speaking of food – and the only time I seem to not be speaking of food is when I’m speaking geek – I’ve decided that we’ll have to have some tastings around here after mom recovers from her surgery. And you know what that means: ribs! I figure I’ll take myself out to Costco, pick up some slabs, and then break down those slabs into smaller portions for tests of the rub combinations. That way, I can fire three or four portions from a single slab and test multiple rubs simultaneously. Then I can build on whatever my taste testers have to say. Of course, I keep reminding myself that it’s time to start writing down whatever it is I’m doing on a daily basis as I cook so that if something is a winner, it can be recreated consistently and eventually can be packed. Naturally, for the marinade the shrimp swam in, I wrote down nothing at all…

What’s on the to-do sheet for Sunday? More “real” work, of course, just as with Saturday even though the only part I wrote about was server setups. There’s always maintenance to be done, always something to update, always something to do. But, in the in-between moments, I do want to bake some bread, and I wouldn’t mind testing out a couple of pasta doughs to see how they do. I still have a couple of chicken carcasses in the freezer, and it may be time to break those out and go ahead and do some stock. Oh, and laundry, before I run out of clothes that actually fit. For dinner, I’m not so sure, as we have leftovers that need to be eaten, so my food output for the day may just be experiments rather than a meal. The best thing about experiments, though, is that they’re rarely completely inedible – or fatal – so the people acting as my guinea pigs won’t wind up as bodies I have to bury behind the fenceline. And my sister has specifically requested another batch of bread and butter pickles, so I’ve added that to my list as well.

Future plans: I’d like to try my hand at brewing some beer. I’ve always wanted to try it, and still do, even though I’m currently unable to drink anything with alcohol in it (it burns! it burrrrnnnnsss!). I think it’d be fun to do that and to make some wine as well. I’d love to take one of those intensive 2-3 day courses on wine at someplace like the FCI. Putting together a good tomato sauce and canning it – this will also take some testers, naturally, although one of my tasters doesn’t like tomato sauce. Grissini. Lemon curd tarlets with meringue. And on and on and on.

So many plans, so many ideas…

2 thoughts on “Food (television) junkies, unite!”

  1. I think your site is a conspiracy. A grassy knoll type plot whose function it is to pick off my now feeble attempts at drinking Slim-Fast. Thanks. Where’s Jack Ruby when I need him?

  2. Brewing is fun and very easy. I have been at it for about 7 years and can’t get enough of it. I usually give away more than I drink. You should definitely give it a try.

    The equipment can get expensive but if you buy slowly it is not as bad.

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