Your refrigerator is the larger door below your freezer. The stove is usually close by.

18 December 2007

People at work tell me that they want to learn how to cook but can’t get into it. Their mind set keeps them perpetually serving themselves frozen dinners throughout the week.

flickr: k gibbons

When we first got married we were introduced into an entire new life of poverty. The staple of our diet had become peanut butter, ramen noodles, instant potatoes, and home made ice drinks to keep us cool during those unseasonably warm nights. Once we got on our feet a little more cooking just sort of came naturally. My wife started watching the food network, her favorites being Rachel Ray, and Alton Brown. I began picking up simple recipes from the news paper and trying them out. Then we started buying the cook books of our culinary heros. Eventually this developed into a passion.

Here’s how you can fuel your new interest.
-Think about what foods you like most and think about what it might take to make them yourself. Then try it.
-Food has become a voyeuristic event in this country, stop at the food network next time your surfing.
-Buy a cook book. Don’t go into this blindly, flip through the book and see if you’d like the recipes and if they’re not completely over your head.
-Try short recipes you find in the newspaper and magazines.
-Cooking is trial and error, don’t get discouraged when you botch a meal, this will happen more than once. Its what you can learn from it that will make you a better cook.
-Remember to have fun, and take pride in your ingredients. Better ingredients can be the difference between an amazing meal, and a bland entree’ for the elderly.

The Food Network: Just enough rope to tie their own noose.

28 November 2007

“Emeril Live” is being canceled after a ten year run.

flickr: Dimsumdarren 

Emeril Lagasse is The Food Network. What amazes me is the few number of people in our culture who actually do cook. Cooking has become to them a voyerous activity. People get caught up in upgrading their kitchens with granite counter tops and high end appliances only to microwave Top Ramen, and Hamburger helper night after night. Last week I caught the end of one of those house flipping shows, they had just upgraded their kitchen and the closing lines were, “Now we just need to know how to use this stuff.” Everyone had a good laugh, and cut to Cadillac commercial.

The food network has these quasi instructional commercials disguised as cooking shorts where you can make semi-home made crap food using their tobacco subsidiary products. Now that Racheal Ray had become the poster child advertising whore of the Food Network in an attempt to build an empire comparable to Opera and Martha Stewart, I fear that its out with the old and in with the new. It seems that all of the new shows on the Food Network center around low end semi-home made food, and glutonus extreme competition with a bad boy edge. If Emeril can be dropped who’s next Mario Batalli and Alton Brown? Hopefully they will start their own network for people interested in making good food, and learning from true chefs, and less interested in the sickening display of processed food narrated by Mark Summers.

For those of you who don’t buy frozen dinners, and microwavable five minute meals you might be interested in these sites:

Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

18th Century Cuisine

The Travelers Lunch Box

Chef Talk

Bake or Break

The Fresh Loaf

Artisan Bakers

The Splendid Table