“Cutthroat Kitchen” (Food Cop and TV Cop)

English: Alton Brown speaking at the Google Ca...

English: Alton Brown speaking at the Google Campus in Mountain View, CA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since the New Year I have literally been focusing on the good in my life, trying to single out the positive and not making a big fuss of what is negative. Trying to see Life in a new light. Many of us fight with this each and every day, it is our attitude that makes us the person we are. I was doing well, checking in with myself hour to hour, truly. Bad news was coming at me but I reasoned, bad news comes to everybody, it comes, you get used to it, you adjust.

That said, I came across a cooking show that I had never seen before and started watching it with my husband for mere entertainment. What a mistake! The name of this show is “Cutthroat Kitchen” with (ugh) Alton Brown. Sorry, that’s only my opinion. This guy shows up EVERYWHERE and I have seen too much of him. He’s sarcastic and biting and I just don’t want that in my life. His “brand” visibility is “Over-branded?” I’m sure there must be some real public relations word for it( overexposed maybe?) Not sure if that is even a word, but you get my drift. When I see his face on the television set, I don’t smile and say “Oh look it’s that cute Alton Brown!” I sigh and say, “Oh God, not him again and prepare for his sarcastic remarks.” Then I change the channel.

The latest show he is involved with which now I have watched many episodes to give it MORE than a fair chance is some show named Cutthroat Kitchen. You would think that with this title I would have been forewarned that it was not for me but no, I gave it a chance. Not once, many times. I am a glutton for punishment. It’s just my opinion but I hated this show.You would have thought the word “Cutthroat” in the title might have clued me in but I didn’t want to be swayed, also I’m a complete, gullible idiot.

It’s mean-spirited, nasty, underhanded and nothing I want to see promoted on television, especially with that nasty, sarcastic Alton Brown. Isn’t there enough bad stuff in the world already? Do we have to have more? Listen, I watched, as did my husband, and of course judged it. Then, I turned it off. It particularly lost its appeal when one arrogant competitor made another arrogant competitor ( if you haven’t picked up on it, they are all arrogant, like an Alton Brown characteristic demolition derby)  duck taped a potato masher to another contestant’s arm and made them cook. Believe me, I wish I was making this up, but even I could not think that creatively or maliciously.

The objective is that each contestant is given money from Alton and they can use it to spitefully sabotage their components so that they will lose. (Nice concept, right?) The person who bought the sabotage will (YAY) most hopefully win. Ha! It doesn’t always work out that way. There are no manners in THIS game, no “sorry, man” or good luck, Bonnie” Nothing. For every aging ex-bully on the block? This show is for you, you will love it. Guaranteed.

I paid my dues, I watched this awful show. I will NOT be watching it again. Ever. Tell Alton to retire ( or just yank him off television) somewhere with a Food Magazine and tell him, nicely, to keep his mouth shut. Have him design a handy, dandy little toaster oven or better yet, a grill. Now, how hard could that be? Have him “retire” and pay him a small amount for residuals. That’s all I ask, truly.

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Plinky Prompt: Best Rooftop View

  • Best Rooftop View
  • Ba, LL And The Last BBQ
    Boston Sunset My friend Barbara and I were on the rooftop of an apartment she was renting in Boston. This was the last night I was going to see her before she moved to Florida. I was devastated that my best friend was leaving but I knew to appreciate the last night we would spend together.
    Barbara was an amazing chef, for our last meal, she decided we would have a barbecue up on the roof, she must have made enough food for fourteen people. There were pork ribs glazed in syrupy sweetness, bbq chicken in a maple glaze, vegetables on the grill, potatoes, several kinds of thick, crusty bread, chips and of course, a selection of dessert I had brought: a little chocolate tart, a small fruit tart, strawberries, blueberries and apricots glistening with sugar.
    We sat together on folding chairs, overlooking the Boston skyline, while the sky changed colors from yellow and red to pink, purple and blue to late in the evening when it turned almost black. I remember this evening vividly. If you have to say good-bye to your best friend, you want to remember it this way, with magic.

The Lingering Smell Of Basil

A cooked hot dog garnished with mustard.

Image via Wikipedia

As soon as I feel the first warm hint of spring on my shoulders and see the first crocus I immediately rejoice! It’s Spring, not officially, but in my snow-sickened world it is the start. As soon as Spring is even in the air I start thinking of having barbeques, especially the one BIG BBQ we try to have every few years.  I’m imagining all our friends and family out in the back yard eating cheeseburgers from the Weber grill, dripping with either cheddar or American cheese. I think about   grilled chicken with barbecue sauce and juicy hot dogs, and bright yellow mustard. I also think of potato chips, the real kind, the ones we had as kids and not the baked, healthy, kind either. There would be Heinz ketchup, (of course I’m brand loyal) potato salad made with a touch of mayonnaise, coleslaw and perhaps a large tomato and mozzarella salad with fresh basil and a touch of light green extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the vibrant red tomatoes and the creamy white mozzarella cheese. I love how the earthy smell of basil lingers between your fingertips all afternoon.

In addition, we may have small roasted potatoes on the grill along side smokey-sweet yellow and white kernels of corn on the cob.  Red and white plastic table cloths, bright red or blue plastic plates (preferably the ones that have three sections, love those!) and disposable cups. Napkins would be stacked high in your hands as if they were towels. Messy and barbeques to me are happy synonyms.

Once we went to a barbecue at Charlotte’s house, (“Charlotte of the charmed life” as I call her) the table was like a set directly from a page right out of Martha Stewart Living. Everything matched, the beige, ironed linen table-cloth ( l-i-n-e-n),  the highest quality count, and the china decorated with large blue and yellow flowers bursting on the plates.  Of course, all the bowls, the silver utensils, they all matched perfectly as I watched in unmitigated horror and delight. This is not what I thought I was coming to, I felt under-dressed and ill at ease. It was absolute perfection just not MY type of perfection. It was for high-class people with lots of money and so very different from our dinners and us.

We dined on steak and salmon, ( I hid my salmon) a glossy arrangement of bright green, yellow and red fresh vegetables and imported cheeses. There were no sticky fingers and plastic glasses of lemonade, just a beautiful crystal pitcher filled with ice water, ice cubes that were in the shape of tropical fruit. I was afraid to eat, afraid to get the napkins dirty so I ate slowly and carefully and with my luck, ended up leaving a stain on the tablecloth which I fervently tried to hide underneath the matching napkin. There were no s’mores at this dinner, it was too elegant. We had assorted cookies from the expensive bakery in town shaped and iced beautifully like flowers and cars and ice cream cones but utterly tasteless.

At our barbeques we have cherry, blueberry and apple crumb pies glistening on the table inside with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream readily waiting in our freezer. I make my home-baked banana raisin-chocolate chip loaf and there would always, I mean always, be a chocolate cake and brownies.

I put my nephew, Jon, in charge of music so the sounds of Neil Young,  Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac and various other oldies will be playing out the window like the days when music screamed from dorm rooms. It isn’t fancy or elegant and it may just be ordinary but I guarantee you, there will be, a lot of food, including s’mores and an equal amount of laughter. Hope you can come.