A lazy saturday morning seemed to be the ideal antidote to what turned out to be a few of the most intense weeks ever. Hiking across deserts without food and sleep, working on some projects, and walking to work every day (ok, not so much the walk!) made me pre-decide that I'd do nothing on Saturday. Excellent. Which meant of course that I wouldn't cook either. Bright fella that I am, I decided to use some delivery services and check out the various gastronomical options available near by.. Big mistake.
It turns out that none of these places - Waiter on Wheels for instance, or restaurants here in general don't deliver food orders below a certain monetary limit. One which is too expensive for regular orders anyway. But forging ahead with my ironclad plans to do nothing - I did so anyway. Just this once. Just THIS Once! Chinese take out it was, in the end, the Kung Pao going down much better than some limp noodle thingies. I'm glad I know how to cook. As I ate, I was flipping channels and encountered what is fast becoming one of my favorite channels - yes, you guessed it - the Food network!
Why? As a friend puts it - you're staring at the TV, there's no drama or nail-biting-edge-of-the-seat action, you know the shows going to end well, it looks nice, you have the option of trying to or not to learn whatever the recipe is.. and hey, its food. Apart from sex, its the single most important driving factor today - right? When people aren't looking for diverse booty (sic), they're looking for methods to get food. After all, you earn money so that you can eat. Well, most of you anyway - exceptions abound.
Anyway. There has been a particular show which I end up watching, whether I want to or not. Serendipity, I would like to imagine. Mostly, its because it has reruns exactly when I flip to that particular channel. Not that its a bad thing, but Paula's home cooking is a show I have loved to hate. Her twangy southern drawl, recipes which are anything but homely, and a rather overbearing attitude make all the difference in what could be an even better show than it is right now.. But for some mysterious reason, I STILL WATCH it. Hehe, what cracked me up was that this particular episode was being filmed in the UK and France. Question - What happens when an american chef visits countries which have a culinary history that rivals the very best in the world? Pure fun, thats what!
First stop - London. After being surprised at the fresh meats and preservative free veggies available at markets which date back to the 12th century - and making sure everyone there knew how tough food restrictions were in the US, she sampled a bunch of very interesting looking delicacies. Moving around the counties, she discovers that blue cheese indeed doesn't come from blue cows, and that fresh cheese is much more creamy than the types she's used to back home - chock full of preserves and whatnot! Alright, we're getting the picture, you say? Wait. There's more.
Moving on to France after a particularly greasy chip sandwich - white bread with large potato chips (homestyle fries, yankee style), she commits one of the biggest blunders you can commit if you're into food - calling fine chocolate - *Candy*. Come on. You're staring at arrays and arrays of truffles, bonbons and exotic liqueur filled (delicate) chocolate shells, and popping them into yourself - all the while calling them candy. Hershey's now, is candy. M&Ms more so. But thats a travesty you don't commit - giving the manna that is Godiva, the nomenclature fit only for peanut-butter-caramel-shells!
But France. Rotisserie chickens, (Much better than southern fried chicken [sic]), extensive wine based truffle dishes, and dozens of pies later - she chances across a french gentleman who talks about how the poultry from Bresse county is the best. Bresse. Alarm bells ringing, I cringed in advance waiting for the obvious joke about boobies - and there it was! "Whah di' tha' man say abou' my breahhsts". Loud laughter followed. The french, not to be taken lightly, did an immediate retort about the 'Guns of Navarone' and that pretty much shut her up :) Best moment ever. The show did however take a very emotional turn because her husband surprised her with not only a beautiful roof-top dinner in full view of the eiffel, but also invited their children over to share it with - all of this a surprise of course.
I'm surprised they covered her actually crying. Oh well. I guess you live and learn.