Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Chrismukkah!

I hope that all of my readers have a happy holiday, and a safe and prosperous new year. Actually, since there are only about six readers of these little scribblings I'll open that holiday wish out to everybody...

Cheers to you all!

Image: PRWeb

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gordon Ramsay's Cookalong

Well he doesn't yell. He introduces a dish, people to try it out, interviews "people on the street" like Jay Leno about what the dish might contain and the goes to the cooking,

The stage set overwhelms the chef and the guests; they are trapped in a cramped red formica donut surrounded by audience and cameras on booms. They also have skype with random people who are cooking along (cookalong, get it?) including Whoopi Goldberg, who had been showing up in enough advertising I half expect to pass her in line for a soda at the cafeteria...

Despite his direction to appear he's on happy pills. Ramsay looks like he's about three seconds from going nuclear, even as he guides people through slicing the garlic and sauteeing the veg. The whole thing reads like a grind. Fox hasn't gotten the idea that food isn't a race; home cooks don't want to feel like they've run a marathon to make dinner. The brilliance of Rachael Ray is that she's gotten people to look at the kitchen as something that's not an adversary.

Gordon's barely contained fury and multiple cameras will only send most people back to Hot Pockets..

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

What Ever Happened to Cupcake Stud?

Once upon a time, the food network was about food, and not it's manufactured "stars". Back in the day Emeril, Nigella and the rest actually made shows that were aspirational; as much as I enjoy Ina Garten it's not 1986 anymore and frankly the deep-fried cuisine of some of the newer people make me want to live on psyllium husk smoothies forever.

But for about 10 minutes there was a guy that had me and several of my friends all a-twitter. His name is Warren Brown and he makes cakes. He's a lawyer (which caused at least one female friend of mine to pant "he can bake AND litigate?" and one to name him "cupcake Stud") and had his show "Sugar Rush" on Food Network which didn't last nearly long enough. I saw him once at the now defunct Maple Drive restaurant and he was seriously tall. Sorry ladies, he's married.

Photo: Wall Street Journal

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Just is blind

..and terribly inconvenient.

Jury duty is something that we all have to do. I've done it, and lived to whine about it. Well, I got caught again. I received a summons and registered. It was even the same venue at the corner of Depressing and Hopeless in downtown LA that I had served before. But a dump in the hand is worth two in the bush, or something so I considered it to be not so bad. After all, my friend had to go from her place in Pasadena all the way out to San Fernando in the far Northwest San Fernando Valley, where they confiscated her salad fork as a deadly weapon. So it was the same routine: Monday, call in. Don't have to report. Tuesday, ditto. Wednesday, call in. Oh yes you're reporting. To the valley-dwelling fork-snatchers. (I have nothing against the SFV, but there's a courthouse 3 blocks from my house!) I look at the options for transportation: three freeways in my car, or two hours on the dreaded Metro.

I opted for the bus: I can just about face being driven to that back of beyond in the valley first thing in the AM, I can't possibly face driving there. Despite the fact that the Metro website's algorithms are apparently set up to get your destination with as few transfers as possible rather than the most direct route and it took hours, I wasn't sitting in my car grinding my gears and my molars. When I finally got to San Fernando I found it was actually kind of cute, far nicer than the traffic court on Washington. I had an indifferent bagel, Diet Coke, and games and books on my iPhone to pass the time, and possibilities for lunch that unlike Traffic court were unlikely to lead to, say, rabies.

I also made it into the courtroom, this time on a criminal case. I wasn't picked, which was fine. Even if it's my civic duty, I don't need that commute more that once..