Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I spy with my little eye a coconut, a lei, a machete, some marijuana, and a yucca plant.

I've always loved cooking shows.

When I was a kid in the mid-80's, the whole family would gather 'round to watch Yan Can Cook on PBS. The food he cooked looked pretty sketchy to an 8 year old kid who was raised on beef, elk and ketchup, but Yan had a hell of a personality. But back in the 80's, especially when they didn't have cable in your area and your parents were too frugal and principled to buy a satellite dish, Yan was pretty much the only game in town1.

In 5th grade we had an assignment where each student had to do some kind of demonstration in front of the class. One kid made a bird feeder, another showed how to balance a checkbook(!) and everyone else cooked stuff. I had some serious competition, but I knew I could bust out my cooking show wisdom on the class. I showed the class how to make spritzbakken cookies and I used the cooking show "trick" of having the dough and finished cookies pre-made. It was a rousing success, I got an A and no one got sick from eating the cookie dough that sat in my backpack for 7 hours.

Cooking shows were few and far between as a grew up, but I finally got cable for the first time in '99 and Food Network for the first time in '03. It was a revelation to watch all the different personalities, all the yummy food and decadent contests. I found myself watching more and more Food Network over the last few years, and now I'm at the point where the Food Network comprises at least 50% of all tv watching in my household. I don't love everything on the Food Network, and there are some glaring omissions (not a single vegetarian cooking show?!) but they run a pretty tight ship.

Now, on with the show.

1 PBS did show Julia Child regularly, but I must confess that her appearance kind of freaked me out as a child. Additionally, I think I was already tiring of my beef and elk diet and her meat-heavy French dishes were overloading my system. I became vegetarian when I hit college, but I don't blame Julia Child.

I still enjoy ketchup

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