Friday, July 21, 2006

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I Got Love in My Tummy

The thing I miss miss most since opting to cut off my cable is my access to The Food Network. I love the Food Network. It's so loyal and reliable. Sort of like a golden retriever. Only yummier.

And I guess that's really fat of me. But I have noticed that there is a direct correlation between how much I eat and how much Food Network I watch. During my last attempt at Weigh Watchers I could not stop watching the channel. I watched any and all shows even the ones I hate like Emeril. I think I may have even watched shows hosted by Sandra Lee and Giada De Laurentiis, two women I normally avoid with a passion! But while dieting I will watch anything to do with food. It's like I am simultaneously torturing and satisfying myself. When I stopped going to my WW meeting I didn't watch the Food Network for a month. I think I OD'd.

Normally I prefer the educational and travel shows to the actual cooking shows. Some of my favorites are A Cooks Tour, $40 A Day, and Good Eats. Sadly, A Cooks Tour is only on like once a week. And I used to hate Good Eats and refuse to watch it, but I have since seen the error of my ways. And $40 A Day is the only Rachael Ray show I can stand to watch. Probably because it's the only one in which she doesn't actually cook on. I know she is America's newest sweetheart and Oprah loves her cooking, but I once watched the woman cook something called a Mug Topper which is one of the most unappetizing thing I have even seen . It was basically spam mashed up with yellow mustard on an english muffin and floated on some soup. Maybe it's that I grew up in a ham free home, or maybe you just had to see how it turned out, but it was pure grossness. Emily and I use the term "mug topper" to refer to anyone we don't like or sometimes as an alternative to muffin top.

But I also have much love for my surrogate godmother and fake grandma Ina Garten and Paula Dean. These two women seem so inviting. Ina is really warm and cuddly and she seems like she has the most comfortable life. She lives in a pretty home in the Hamptons and has an awesome garden and has a line of credit in every store she goes into so it seems like she gets all of her ingredients for free. Personally I find her marriage to Jeffrey suspect, but Emily swears they are still in love. Emily has said, in a morbid fashion, that if she ever had a terminal illness and the Make a Wish Foundation asked what she wanted as her last, dying wish, she'd take a weekend with Ina. And Paula Dean seems like she would really usher you into her home and offer you butter muffins and a side of butter sprinkled with love and maybe some hot butter in a mug to drink by the fire. I am not even into that type of heavy southern food, but I love her all the same.

My favorite part about the Food Network is that they have programming that runs until 5 am which is a godsend for an insomniac like myself. The shows they play at that hour are pretty random and I miss some of he old ones that are out of rotation like Mings Quest.

I used to change the channel sometimes when my old flatmates came into my room, like they would suddenly realize I was fat if they saw me watching a cooking show. I wonder if anyone else feels the same way about the Food Network or if it's just indicative of my dysfunctional relationship with food.

And now for a rundown:

The Secret Life a show that I should like more. I enjoy your premise, why are you such an over-actor? It's really had to watch you sometimes. You are like an adult with ADHD who is also pretending to be straight all while you fake orgasms over BBQ. And now you're on those Internet commercials. (C+)

Oh Sandra Lee. My favorite part about you is how you co-ordinate your wardrobe for the day with the colours in your kitchen. You change all your kitchen accessories to match your nails, headband and tight shirt. Oh, and you have great tits. But you always make the same drink and the same dessert? (C)
I love you Paula!!! Sometimes when I have a cold I wish I could call you up and have you take care of me with some chicken soup and southern charm. I bet you would do that for me! (A+)
You should be a favorite. I have a softspot for chunky red heads. But I am just not into Italian. (B)
Alton, you teach me things everyday! You are totally entertaining and I am sorry I shunned you for so long! You are one of my favorites! (A-)
I wish I had this job. (B+)
I love how you charm the older ladies while you teach them how to make sushi or a proper souffle. I could really use your help. Maybe you could come over some night next week? (B)
Ah, the patriarch. You might have the most notoriety, but shit man, get some new jokes! Sometimes I even like what you make but I have to watch on mute because you are so irritating and full of yourself. Bam! (C+)
So serene. So content. So pampered. Someday Ina, I will be like you. (A)The badboy. You were too surly for this channel, but I love you anyways. There is no way anyone else would eat a still beating snakes heart on television. Unless it was on like Survivor of Fear Factor. I love your new show on the Travel Channel, No Reservations. You are also really hot for an old guy! (A-)

I disagree with almost everything you order with your $40 a day, but I still love this show! Stay out of the kitchen, and I'll watch any city you take me to as we pretend that spending only $40 a day on food is a hard thing to do. (A-)
I love the garbage bowl idea. It's the food I hate. Stick with traveling and giggling. And for gods sake if you are going to abbreviate and say EVOO, why do you always have to say extra virgin olive oil after that? Doesn't that detract from the point of abbreviating?? (C)


Anonymous said...

My boyfriend and I love watching the "Iron Chef" and "Iron Chef America".
They are fabulous cooks, but it is also a competition, which keeps me on the edge of my seat.
Sakai (Iron Chef French) was my idol for awhile.

Iron Chef America Batali (sp?)
is also an excellent chef.

Sam said...

this is the funniest shit I've ever read. I think the lady in the cubicle next to me keeps wondering why I keep laughing.

Anonymous said...

This may be the hands down best thing I have ever read! EVER!!

I didn't know anyone else felt this way about the food channel!!

It's like my porn!

fatty mcgee said...

Hey Guys,
This is Lindsey. It has come to my attention that there may be something wrong with Blogger or there may be too many images on this site. But, if all the text isn't showing up on your screen (like on mine), you may have to highlight the areas where there should be text, and then it will show up for you. Hopefully. Let us know if you are having problems seeing it. Enjoy!

Sass said...

I couldn't have said anything better myself: " Ah, the patriarch. You might have the most notoriety, but shit man, get some new jokes! Sometimes I even like what you make but I have to watch on mute because you are so irritating and full of yourself. Bam! (C+)"

Rachel said...

I absolutely ABHOR Rachael Ray. I don't think she has ever eaten anything she didn't love. I'm not that big a fan of the Barefoot Contessa either (get a personality, woman!), but I LOVE me some Alton Brown and Paula Dean. I had a thing for Tyler on Food 911 until he flirted with some bimbo he was 911-ing. And I am SO with you on Emeril and that dude from The Secret Life Of... It's called Ritalin, buddy.

Meredith said...

I, too, am a Food Network geek. I have a good excuse though; I'm going to start culinary school in the fall. I cannot stand Rachel Ray. I hate how she fakes giggles, talks with her hands way too much, is on the network all the bloody time, and cannot say extra-virgin olive oil in its entirety. My partner likes to watch her because I ineveitably get annoyed and start arguing with the television set. I am also convinced that Emeril is really a cartoon or android and not the real deal. How else could one explain him saying "oh baby" 5 times in as many minutes? On second thought, I could come up with a good reason but it definitely does not involve making a sandwich...

Haystacks said...

I hate EVOO

Anonymous said...

my god.... it's like you're in my brain!!! Get out! No one knows that this is my special place!!! Oh I do have to say that A Cook's Tour was one my faves!!! OH I miss that show! and I liked Follow That Food and the new one with Pauls Dean's sons! It's yummy not only fo rthe food... Hot Boys!

Jessica Smith said...

"cannot say extra-virgin olive oil in its entirety." I don't mind rachel ray, but it bothers me that she always says "EVOO - extra virgin olive oil" like just choose! don't say both things all the time!

I love a cook's tour and good eats! but i like the food network in general, too, even the stupid shows ("american's best" or whatever). i think this is because the kitchen was always the center of activity in my family and now that i live alone, it's like having a family. it definitely ties into all the food=love issues. (perhaps this also has to do with why i generally dislike the shows hosted by aggressive men, ie Emeril.)

littlem said...

Iron Chef rocks.

I am a die-hard Emeril fan. The food is hot, the band is hot, the seasonings make good marinades/rubs for high quality protein (blackened salmon, anyone)? Who needs jokes? We have those right here!

*falls over laughing from rest of post*

little lucie said...

What a fantastic review of the Network we all know and love. Actually, I've never had full access, but we're moving soon and getting cable. Hooray!!

And Giada...she annoys me but her show is so damn hypnotic!

AnaBell said...

Emeril is annoying, the barefoot contessa has no personality. And Rachel Ray has no talent.
I too used to hate Good Eats but now I watch it every time.
And did you know that Anthony Bourdain recorded his book? I'm dying to get it. 3 hours of Tony talking to me. Oh baby! Oh baby! Oh!

Joey said...

Terrific post, I am laughing out loud! You have encapsulated exactly how I feel about Ina and Paula, especially Ina.
I Tivo Ina daily and watch episodes I've seen 20 times just because she seems so happy and so calm and oh, Ina, why can't I be one of your fabulous friends???

hannah said...

i have one question to you and the rest of your readers.

wouldnt you like to be known for your character and personality rather than being fat?

wouldnt you want to be refered to as 'the girl who likes.... and smiles alot' rather than the 'fat girl'?

Anonymous said...

Do you get Ready, Steady, Cook! on your side of the atlantic? It's something we have over here in th UK. The premise is basically: they send some random guests to get some random ingredients, then two chefs compete to see who can make the best meal out of whatever their respective guest has bought.

Regina said...

I watch shows with cake: Sugar Rush, Cake-Off, and Unwrapped when it's about cake.

Christi Nielsen said...

I hear ya!

In another life, I would so love to go to culinary school.

Now that I don't have cable, I get so much more done. I had to cut it off because I couldn't see paying that ridiculous cable every month for just one channel - The Food Network!!!! I would even watch it while trying to write a paper for school.


Lidian said...

I love this post and I can't wait to read the rest of your blog...Count me in as another Food Network fanatic. I love Iron Chef (unless they are cooking something like octopus, cuz they are beautiful intelligent creatures & one tried to run away from the podium, then I changed the channel). I like Alton Brown and I used to like David Rosengarten on "Taste" ages ago.

I like Unwrapped when they are doing candy especially, but then I want to eat candy, which is sorta counterproductive to the diet thing. I like Juam Carlos Cruz the Calorie Commando, but his stuff is still kind of high in calories.

I wish they would rerun the old 1970s Julia Child shows, too. And I think the Thirsty Traveller has the coolest job, travelling and tasting wine and stuff. Yum, yum.

Midknyt said...

I too love Food Network. I do regularly watch 30 Minute Meals, alas, because sometimes she cooks things that do taste good. How can you not love Bacon-wrapped asparagus? It's a vegetable wrapped in bacon so it is edible for the whole family. Now how fat is that? :)

I may have venture into watching Barefoot Contessa...I've avoided it because of the name. I just pictured the whole women should be in the home barefoot, pregnant, and making their hubby's dinner thing.

Giada makes me want to drive a stake through my heart. And isn't it cute how she cooks in a shirt that shows half of her boobs and an apron on her waist so she looks the part.

Oh, I could keep going. Food Network, how I love thee.

And I usually don't tell people I watch them either. :)

Heather said...

I guess I'm in the minority here because I love Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals, although she is in 2nd place. 1st place is Good Eats, mainly b/c I am a chemist and the host talks about the sceintific aspect of his recipes. 3d place goes to Unwrapped, where they take you behind the scenes of our favorite foods. Another of my favorite cooking shows is Lidian's Kitchen (it's on PBS, not FN).

Stephanie said...

This is such a great post. I had no idea how many people watch this channel along with me.

Giada, oh god, she is horrible. I refer to her as big head!

Also, that show Easy Entertaining With Michale Chiarello (or whatever his name is), I can't stand it but I sometimes get enthralled because it's so rediculous.

Emeril, I agree can be obnoxious. I love Paula's accent! I do love Rachel Ray, she has some good ideas for quick meals; I think she's pretty charming too actually.

I love it all pretty much. Especially those contest for the sugar sculptures or those fantastic cakes! Love love love you girls!

Jenn said...

I am so glad you brought up the awkwardness of Ina's relationship with Jeffrey. Why is he always running off someplace? He even did this on her Christmas show. It makes me very uncomfortable and it makes it hard for me to focus on the peaches with sauteurnes or whatever fabulousness she's cooking up. I think he has some chick on the side and I don't like it one bit.

littlem said...

These comments are mostly so fun. Hi, Christie I've been reading your consistently astounding site and will comment again soon). Midknyt, thank you for putting your finger on what was bugging me about the nomenclature of "Barefoot Contessa" -- I couldn't quite figure it out myself.

I wasn't going to dip back in except to read, but I must jump on "hannah"s -- um, overweeningly vapid lack of analysis.

S/he said:
"i have one question to you and the rest of your readers.

wouldnt you like to be known for your character and personality rather than being fat?

wouldnt you want to be refered to as 'the girl who likes.... and smiles alot' rather than the 'fat girl'?"

A response:

FIRST - *sigh*-
Since we are all "fat" here, depending on what part of the country you're in, since there seems to be no absolute definition from region to region (apparently size 8 is now "fat" here in NYC and in L.A., and as Stanley's character said in "Devil/Prada", 6 is the new 14), we HAVE TO depend on character and/or personality traits to distinguish one person from another in the comments. Some commenters are so good at it, they can even tell one "Anonymous" from another. Some of us can do it in real life too! Imagine that.


Some of us -- probably most of us -- hell, I'd bet on ALL of us -- are actually BOTH. (That is, if I must clarify, identifiable both by character/personality trait(s) and body weight/size. Doh.)

Hannah, work on wrapping your mind around it. It's quite simple, and profound once you get it.


To other commenters identifiable by their personalities: I'm not feeding the trolls, am I? If so, I will stop now.

Heather said...

Please, don't feed the trolls! They may bite!! LOL.

Hrundi said...

Don't feed the trolls!

FatMom said...

Wow, fatty! We're like soul sisters! I agreed with everything you said! I LOVE Anthony Bourdain, and Emeril makes me want to hurl...and in my next life, Paula Deen would be my grandma. LOVE it!

Emily said...

Hi Jenn,

Jeffrey is a dean at Yale and therefore must split his time between Conn. (where they have a home) and the Hamptons, which is about a 4 hour drive each way. He comes home every week. Ina also spends a lot of time there as well.

Ina and Jeffrey have been together since she was 15 and he was 18. She used to send him brownies while he was in college.

Isn't that sweet?

Melissa said...

I *heart* the food network. I have yet to mention Paula Dean to someone and not get the response of "Oh I LOVE HER!" If you go to her website you will see that she offers cooking classes in one of her restaurants.

And I'm just mad hot for Anthony Bourdain. I've been to Les Halles in New York and the food was AMAZING. And dead cheap for New York.

Obesio said...

I despise R. Ray. And she keeps her budget under $40 by leaving terrible tips. 20% is a normal tip these days, you cheap 15% leaving bastids.

ShortDave said...

This is pretty weird. Normally I am a huge fan of everything you girls write, but the food network does absolutely nothing for me. I enjoy eating food, sometimes I even enjoy cooking it, but to watch somebody cook it, and then not get to eat it.... that just seems kind of pointless.

This is the first time I have found a difference between the majority of the people on this site and myself. It seems as though most of you actually seem to love food.

I don't mean this as a negative judgement, just an observation.

Obesio: Forced tipping is one of the worst ideas ever, if the service isn't great, there is no tip given from me, if the service is great... huge tip.


emily pound said...

I love "Unwrapped". Seeing how they make all the junk food absolutely fascinates me.

I think you girls are being a little hard on Emeril. He's hot! I think he's great. And I agree with what another person said earlier, his band is awesome. He's just very outgoing, extroverted, and passionate about food. BAM!!! And give me about anothuh twenty cloves o' gahlic.

Anonymous said...

Best. Post. Ever.

Anonymous said...

Cheap fucks always have their justifications for being cheap fucks. Don't turn your cheapness into a philosophy. Embrace it.

ShortDave said...

I think that you are talking to me anon 3:48.
For stellar service I have tipped 80%, usually I tip around 25%, but if I have to sit for a long time wiht no drinks, nobody coming to take my order etc, or if my order is screwed up and nothing is done to fix it. Why the hell would I pay a person extra for screwing up one of the easiest jobs ever.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely fair SDave. I misunderstood you and apologize for the harshness of my earlier rash comment. Sorry.

The context of my original comment was R. Ray, who always gets fantastic service on her show, but still leaves cheapo tips.)

Anon 3:48

dusty said...

OMG, here I thought I was the only one, lol. Ina is one of my favorites. I liked the show where she made a picnic lunch for her and a friend and they ate it at the beach while watching a younger group play volleyball. I can't remember exactly but they did a two person "wave" and figured they'd done enough exercise to eat desert. It was so funny. (emily, thanks for the info. on Jeffrey. Their anniversary show was really sweet.)

Since most of you are big fans, does anyone know what happened between her and Martha Stewart? I guess they used to be best friends and then they had a big falling out.

I liked Rachel Ray at first, but it's like she's turned into a caricature of herself. (I hate that fact that because of her I find myself saying "yummy" alot.)

I don't watch her all the time but I like Sandra Lee, especially all the holiday shows.

And like regina, I love the shows with cake!

shortdave: For me it's about their personalities and I love how everything (whatever they're cooking) comes together in the end.

ShortDave said...

Gotcha anon 3:48, thanks.

And now my apoogy to Dusty and all the rest of you I guess for lumping you all together instead of realising that there is more than one reason to watch a TV program, whether it be about food or not.


Anonymous said...

dusty -- you have not been fully pulled under until you start saying YUM-O. I think you're safe. ;)

Good Eats my my #1 show of all time. But that may be because I'm a geek that loves to cook.

I watch 30 minute meals because practically that's the one I'm apt to cook from most. I get home exhausted every day and don't have time for Alton's 3 hours cook times. (Sorry Alton!)

I don't watch Everyday Italian, because it's not one when I'm home, but I have her cook book because I love her food. Italian food without the long cooking time--what's not to love?!

FatMom said...

I love cooking shows, but it's very similar to watching porn. You get to SEE the action, but you wonder how much of it is acting... AND, you don't get to do it yourself. All you can do is sit there watching it, all open-mouthed, suddenly realizing you're not breathing. But, I can't stop watching! If I can't EAT like that, then I want to see someone cook like that.

peppa said...

I agree with shortdave on his previous comment. I also don't relate too much on this subject, I guess I'm in the minority here too, I'm not a fan of cooking shows and don't consider myself a food lover.

I did enjoy old-school cooking shows like Martha Stewart doing her holiday specials. I do love her vocabulary when describing food. And that kooky show: "At Home on the Range" (dumb redhead and older man cooking in a garage) that was something else!

I'm a fan of simplicity, I'd rather have fresh strawberries with real cream than cake. So cooking shows don't do much for me unless I'm super bored or I actually need a recipe.

I've watched The Naked Chef - I find him annoying! Rachael Ray annoys me too, her perkiness seems fake. And I dislike seeing any chef who doesn't pull their long hair up. Chefs should never do cooking with their hair loose, it's unhygienic!

Laura said...

I have never been a big fan of the food network. Just never got into it. And I can't afford cable right now, so I guess I won't be getting into it.

It might be just that I would rather be cooking it than watching it.

Heather said...

anon 4:06

I couldn't agree with you more about Rachel Ray's low tipping. That's been a pet peeve of mine since I've started watching the $40/day.

Unless the waitress gets some other kind of perk for being on TV that we don't know about?

Anonymous said...

In NYC you often have to pay to get even the most basic stations like NBC and FOX. And then thrown into the mix for free you get TBS and the Food Network - so I've watched a lot of it over the years when I didn't have cable.

My...boyfriend/guy I'm seeing/ relationship still kind of defined...and I have a thing for the food network, we'll curl up in bed and watch it. I like the specials and cooking contests a lot. He left my place and Saturday and I texted him b/c he was missing the BEST special on the search for a new haagen daz flavor - now that was good!

As for hosts I have a real soft spot in my heart for Sara Moulton - I used to love her show. And I really like Giada (even if I find her to be skinny for a cook) b/c I like the food she makes and her set is so calming. And of course the fag hag who cooks for all of her Hampton fags - that sounds nice to me. I originally liked Rachael Ray, but lord do I find her both horribly annoying, but she also cooks the most disgusting, fattening, un-Jewishy foods in the world. My underfined boy however thinks she's hot - whatevs.

Emily and Lindsey, have you guys seen the new young, Jewish guy on the FN? His name is like Dave Lieberman or something ultra-Jew like that. Do you like him? Gay or straight you think?

Anonymous said...

My friend's husband was a plumber who worked on construction at Emeril's house. Emeril was really nice to them - made them beniegts. But Emeril is a total cocaine fiend and his wife is a bitchy socialite.

T. Comfyshoes said...

The only times I've had cable, I've been addicted to Food Network too.

Now I just read cookbooks. How fat is that?

mikey loves fat women said...

I must take exception to the Rachael Ray admiration. I have no doubt she can cook, nor have I any doubt she can self-promote. Still, I can't watch her because she, at least on "30-Minute Meals", seems to be more like a car crash waiting to happen. Ms. Ray seems to be growing increasingly hyper with the passing years, not something I'd wish upon her or the audience.

The EVOO comes out too often; also the stories of the soda-girl days, and the unnecessary loading of the arms for the long lonely three-foot walk to the counter and the eye rolls and the awful extra-exuberant grins. It all creeps me out.

If she'd just calm down a little and maybe gain a pound or two (just a couple, just to show she's all in) she might be great. As it is she may already be great; I could very well be missing something, please clue me in.

Anonymous said...

I am SO glad someone else is feeling my love for chunky red-haired men. If I ever got the chance, I would totally sex Mario Batali to death (I know, TMI-- that's why I'm anonymous).

Anonymous said...

What's the $40 a day show based on? $40 at the supermarket? For one person? Per day? That's a LOT of food. Or is that for a family of like ten or something?

Heather said...

$40/day is based on staying within a $40.00 budget when on vacation and eating all meals out (I believe the $40 also goes towards to entertainment, but am not sure about that). It still seems like a lot since when I'm on the road, I tend to order from the 0.99 menu at McDs or Wendys! But I guess if you're going to nicer restaurants, $40 can easily be spent at one meal!

Anonymous said...

Wow, $40 a day for eating out??!! My budget when I travel is usually about $20 per day, and I eat a LOT. Then again I mostly hit buffets, where a 5-10% tip is more than enough. Never realized I was such a cheapskate compared to everyone else..

Anonymous said...

Of course, many people travel and eat at fast food restaurants or buffet-type places, where tipping is barely an issue. Sometimes more affluent travelers choose to eat at restaurants where a single entree is between $20 and $45 and tipping can become a big issue. This morning, I had breakfast at the counter of a local restaurant where I am treated very well. The check was $5.00 and I left $1.50 tip.

Heather said...

Maybe we could start a thread similar to the $40/day idea. Not so much the part where you try to stick within a budget but we could list some of our favorite "must try" places for the states/cities in which we live. I always prefer mom-n-pop places but when you're on the road, it's not always easy to find them!!!

Tim said...

I love Rachel Ray and I think she's super cute. The hot thing is that she always looks like she's finnaly gonna get fat but never does. I think that's what's really appealing for me, as with other FFA's. when is she gonna give in and indulge and get fat!?!?!

Angela said...

Did anyone watch the Rachel Ray Holiday special?? She tried to make an entire holiday dinner in 60 minutes. It was hysterical! It was like Rachel Ray on crack, she was talking a mile a minute, running around the kitchen like a lunatic and just generally acting like a big freak. I know you're probably thinking that she acts like this anyway, but it was like Rachel Ray X 10. There is NO WAY a normal person could have gotten that meal cooked in 60 min. I forget what she made but that show was one of the best things I have ever seen. Even better than the old Martha Stewart Christmas Special when the bird started eating the animal dude's sweater.

Buffpuff said...

Now I just read cookbooks. How fat is that?

My cousin has a theory that reading cookbooks while you're eating instantly makes whatever you're eating, no matter how dull, taste much, much better.

Buffpuff said...

Now I just read cookbooks. How fat is that?

My cousin has a theory that reading cookbooks while you're eating instantly makes whatever you're eating, no matter how dull, taste much, much better.

buffpuff said...

Gah! Sorry. I'm always doing that...

Anonymous said...

You have summed up my feelings on the food network exactly. I always have it on, but change the channel when my roomie comes home...I truly feel like I'm watching porn.
And I love love love Alton!!!

As for those of you who like Emeril...he reminds me of a weird creepy molester-esque uncle. Ever notice his sexual innuendos usually having to do with putting a rub on a chicken leg or something equally gross? And what is with the audience? They laugh at the stupidest things and cheer every time he adds garlic (which he adds to everything!!) Ugh, Emeril, get over yourself.