Turn the TV on, and find instead Rachel Ray overacting her way through 30 painful minutes, or Sandra Lee legitimately piling peeps atop store bought cakes and cupcakes, with icing, sprinkles and anything else she can pull from a box or a can on top. Or maybe worse, finding Andrew Zimmern traipsing his bald head and bulbous belly over to somewhere like Ghana where he tries to eat some pickled piece of animal organ that has a high probability of projectiling its way right back out of his mouth...all for your viewing pleasure? I think not.
Luckily enough, the new Cooking Channel offers a bit of respite from that torture. I found myself watching it this past weekend, and then recording just about every show lined up for the following day. Some of my favorites are Food Crafters, Unique Eats and Food(ography). But they also show old Julia Childs cooking segments! (sans flannel wearing, mullet top Amy Adams)
Food Crafters in a nutshell makes me so envious. I sometimes very sincerely wish I were a farmer. Living in a quaint little house with a herd of fluffy sheep, spotted cows, baby goats, and one token big fat pig with a regal French name...although Johnny's "Pig Bomb" cause might not tolerate the last part... more on that...some time. I'd spend my days pickling and writing, and weaving things from wool....or doing any of these awesome things that the people who are actually featured on Food Crafters do, which is crafting local, artisnal food delights for your viewing and tasting pleasure.
Like, "taming the shroom" by growing seas of mushrooms in bottles like Gourmet Mushrooms Inc. It's a process called "bottle cultivation" which basically mimics the environment of a tree, where mushrooms typically grow, in a bottle.
And having a pretty good time while doing it.
Or meat. Butcher shops and sausage kings remind me of two things: mobster men and Abe Froman.
But these little guys are like hipsters of the butcher world working at a place called The Meat Hook. When one of your personality traits is "Fleetwood Mac,"and you figured a way to craft a banh mi sausage, I'm hooked...or atleast interested but for sake of the pun....
Or fishing for lobsters. Couldn't these boys be your best friends from college?
Well, they are also "lobster men" from Catch a Piece of Maine and brothers who will ship you over night packages of lobsters they catch in Maine. Or, you can reserve a cage for a year and receive all the lobsters it catches and a map of where each one was caught...so simple, innovative, and fun.
Or, saving the most appropriate for last...crafting delicious sweets like this s'more bar:
Taking the time to add smoke to the chocolate flavor with smoked tea,and the perfect recipe for graham crackers,
and really toasting the homemade marshmallowI can't wait to order some of those from Liddabit Sweets. Actually, now I want things from all of those places-- they just all look so delish. I'm sold.
I won't recap even more of the segments that I have seen, a least not yet, but definitely encourage you to tune in! Very interesting...