Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Thoughts for Food

I love to cook and I love TV, so it stands to reason that one of my favorite things to watch is the food network. I have learned a great deal and have amassed a considerable number of recipes by watching this channel. One thing I find interesting is the way the network juxtaposes some of its women. Paula Deen is followed by Giada de Laurentiis (did you just hear a choir of angels?). You go from watching deep fried fat to sumptuous Italian cuisine. From full figured to full cleavage. Both shows are entertaining, but I rarely make any of Paula's recipes.

Paula and Giada are both masters of their respective styles of cooking. Paula is a home cook with no formal training. Giada combines family recipes with culinary training. They both make their recipes personal and share stories about them as they cook. I feel like I am sitting across the counter from them as they prepare their dishes. How awesome would that be? To sit across the counter from Giada as she cooks. Sorry, I digress.

Someone needs to do an intervention for Paula. I realize she does southern style cooking which by its nature is not always the most healthy style of cooking. Nevertheless, how about some accountability? Right now she is making fish. You are probably thinking, "Such, fish is healthy." Yes, it is usually, but not when Ms. Deen gets a hold of it. First off she is making catfish. Now, I admit I am not a fan of fish so most fish to me is gross, but catfish is especially nasty. I know it is a southern thing, but it tastes like the bottom of the pond it came from. Personal feelings about fish aside, Ms. Deen takes any of the health benefits away from fish by deep frying it.

On the other end of the spectrum is Giada's show, Everyday Italian. The food is generally easy to prepare, great tasting and not fat laden. I admit it, I adore Giada. I may not like everything she cooks, but I love watching her. Not in a stalkery, peeping kind of way though. I always learn something when I watch Giada, whether it is a new recipe or a new technique. I even have all of her cookbooks. I love it when I watch her make something I have already tried from one of the books. Giada's recipes are perfect. If you follow them your food will come out great. The only times I have had a problem with any of them is when I thought something didn't look right, so I played with it. In those instances, the recipe was right.

No matter what your taste in food, both of these shows are bound to entertain. And who knows, you might even come away with a new recipe. For these women cooking is about sharing a part of yourself with friends and family. So while the food is different the heart of these shows is the same. Perhaps that is why they are back to back.

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