Friday, April 9, 2010

Food Network Junkie

I am a self professed Food Network junkie. I’ll watch almost anything they air. My favorites are 30 Minute Meals and everything else Rachael hosts, Everyday Italian, Paula Deen’s many shows, Diners Drive-ins and Dives, Throw Down, Iron Chef, and pretty much almost anything else. The only two I can’t stand to watch are 5 Ingredient Fix (can’t stand her raspy voice) and Semi-Homemade (can’t stand Sandra Lee one bit).

That being said there is one show that I do love to watch, but annoys me to no end at the same time. I have a love hate relationship with Ina Garten. I like to think of her as Food Network’s resident Food Snob.

Here’s a sample of what drives me nuts about Ina:

- Ina recently said to always use farm stand tomatoes. No others will do. The ones from your market might as well be fed to the servants. Ina, dear, we don’t have markets here in Lancaster let alone farm stands. We also do not have lovely ladies who will weekly put a large basket of fresh fruit and veggies together for what I’m guessing cost at least $100 a basket.

- Ina also frequently uses saffron in her recipes. Because, you know, we middle class can afford to purchase saffron and use it daily. I’m not sure we have saffron in Lancaster, either.

- Truffle Butter is also a must for Ms. Garten. Who does she think is watching her show? I’m pretty sure it’s not the people who actually consume truffle butter and saffron. Those folks have full time cooks to use the ingredients for them.

- My biggest beef with Ina is that she expects me to always use homemade chicken stock. If I don’t I’m not worthy of making her recipes. Even if I wanted to and had 6 hours to make my own stock, I can’t for several reasons. First, I don’t have a pot large enough. Second, I can’t bring myself to purchase three chickens to use for stock and then freeze the remnants, which I don’t have room for in my freezer. That brings me to my third point, Ina says she just freezes her chicken stock until she needs it. Since I don’t have room for the chicken remnants I most certainly don’t have room for quarts upon quarts of chicken stock (which I wouldn’t even use that often) nor do I have the storage devices needed to store all that stock. Sorry Ina, but I will continue to purchase the boxed stock at Meijer’s. Rachael Ray says they're great!

This list is just the tip of the iceberg. Every episode Ina has some new requirement that just isn’t going to work for me or really anyone else watching who doesn’t live in the Hamptons.

But then there are times when Ina will say something that comes right of out left field. I was shocked to learn she didn’t require gourmet or homemade ketchup for a recipe, but that bottled ketchup is just fine. It took me an hour to pull myself off the floor when she told the audience it was perfectly acceptable and then preceded to pop the top and squirt a few squirts of store bought ketchup into her recipe.

While I'm at it, I love how Ina’s Barefoot Contessa show had to go “back to basics” because her recipes were to frilly. Even with the “basic” elements her recipes are still much harder than the recipes I have in my Crock Pot and Betty Crocker Cookbooks.  I have a feeling Ina will not be asked to contribute to the Kraft Foods recipes any time soon.

I also love how Ina always hops in one of her two Mercedes (a convertible for the summer months a regular sedan for the winter months) to run all of her errands. I’m pretty sure if she knew our annual income she would ask that I refrain from watching her show in the first place. We can’t afford two new Mercedes like Mrs. Garten, let alone all her ingredients. We’re driving a used Honda Accord Coupe (our nice card) and a used 1996 Volvo (our tank) whose FM radio stopped working 3 years ago (although said FM radio occasionally resurrects itself from the dead for a few days before dying again), whose air conditioner cut out 2.5 years ago, and whose odometer bit the dust last year. But don’t worry the “Warning! It’s cold enough to have the roads freeze” indicator light still works.

I may not be able to make my own stock or tell how many miles my car has on it, but I do know when the weather conditions are just right to produce slick roads.

1 comment:

Hen Jen said...

you made me laugh! I like my chicken stock in a can, and on sale!!