…watching the Food Network for almost two years. When I returned home from the hospital after the accident I had a lot of time on my hand (the other was firmly encased in a colourful purple cast). My pregnant, broken body was tucked into an extremely uncomfortable hospital bed in the middle of my living room which had quickly become my bedroom, bathroom and dining room. People brought me books, which was a nice idea – after all I’ve always been an avid reader. However, I found that I couldn’t concentrate and kept reading the same sentences over and over again. So much for getting through all those great classics.
I’m sure some people feared that I would start to watch daytime talk shows and soap operas. I couldn’t bring myself to do that either. Oprah and Dr. Phil were even more annoying than usual, Ellen didn’t make me laugh – even Regis couldn’t bring a smile to my face. I had no interest in soap operas. I kind of felt like I was living one – a really bad one, with really bad greasy hair and no hope of getting better in a week.
So what did I do? I watched the Food Network. I think this drove everybody but my father crazy. I don’t know what I found so intriguing. After all, I couldn’t cook either – I could barely sit in my wheelchair for 20 minutes. I like to eat but after the accident I had absolutely no appetite. I lived on Ensure – ahhh, nothing like the refreshing taste of chocolate flavoured chalky syrup. So, even though I’m not sure why I watched, I did log hundreds of viewing hours and learned quite a bit some of which I will share with you now.
- Extra virgin olive oil is indispensable. A few months ago, I ran out and asked a friend to borrow some. She did with the qualifier that she had no idea how old it was. I was shocked! Olive oil MUST be fresh and of good quality!
- Salt and pepper everything – in layers – and always measure with your hands. You NEVER shake directly out of the container. You have to FEEL the seasoning.
- The list of foods that have a “nutty” or “buttery” flavour is endless.
- I should really try cooking with anchovies because apparently when cooked, they don’t taste fishy at all but add a nice salty flavour to your food.
- The best vanilla flavour comes from the tiny seeds inside the pods which you cut open and then scrape with the tip of the knife. However, I also learned that vanilla pods are very expensive and difficult to find.
- It actually is quite easy to seed and chop a tomato and well worth the effort.
- When pan frying something you want it to “caramelize”. Then deglaze the pan because all the flavour is in those “brown bits”.
- NEVER use a cooking wine. Always use one that you would drink on its own. This can be difficult because if you like to drink it then isn’t it better to drink it rather than cook it? Ahh…wine….
- A man who knows his way around a kitchen is very attractive – especially with good lighting.
I still watch the Food Network – a lot. Bennett seems to enjoy it too. I think his favourite is Rachael Ray. I’m not sure why – maybe because she’s so perky. Something his mother will NEVER be accused of.
Any other Food Network fans out there? Any more tips for me? Am I crazy? (OK – don’t answer that one)