Monday, May 17, 2010

Turn off the TV and Get in the Kitchen

I did not learn to cook by watching television. I learned to cook by not watching television. I know there are a lot of cooking shows on TV these days and they seem more a marketing platform for cookbooks, cook wear, pre-packaged processed food and the not-necessarily talented celebrity chefs that star in them. Since when is a chef worthy of celebrity. It's food people, we all need it and some of us are pretty good at taking the right ingredients and creating near works of art...but the celebrity thing puzzles me. Celebrity is never more admired than by the negligent. Real chefs don't have time to show the world their creations between advertisements for Stove Top Stuffing and Hot Pockets, they are in their kitchens. Most people who watch cooking shows don't even know the difference between a food mill and a mandoline. Granted, there are exceptions and some people who really like to cook get inspired by these shows. I'm sure some people who want to learn to cook might also get inspired and actually give it a go. Watching Tyler Florence chop ingredients and then pull a beautiful blue cheese souffle with figs and honey out of the oven is not going to teach you to cook. I could not even find one recipe on his web site. I don't care how good he looks in a sweater, I am not going to buy his over-priced zinc cheese tins. When I saw Mario Batali's pasta sauce in a jar available at the local grocery store I nearly gasped. No, I did gasp. At nine dollars a jar I really had to wonder, are there people so stupid they would buy this? For nine dollars I could make enough pasta sauce to last a month. Even though Mario's line is made in small batches (sure) with no added sugar (who puts sugar in pasta sauce?) in a certified green facility (just what does that mean anyway?) I'm going to make my own. Nine dollars? Are you kidding?

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Pound

Mom and I went to the dog pound today. We had agreed to foster an abused dog named Sophie. She is nearly eight months old. She was living with a crazed hoodlum who "disciplined" her as he saw fit. He threw her against the wall and fractured her leg...more than once.
They euthanize dogs at the pound after they have been there for too long, sometimes as soon as three days. Sophie needs surgery to fix her leg. Had we not stepped forward to foster her while she recovers they would have euthanized her. Members of the community donated money to pay her medical bils.
She had a housemate who is also at the pound. She may not be as lucky as Sophie. Her name is Brownie and she is a playful beauty.
Mom cried and had to leave the building...who can blame her. I held back tears.
I saw each of the dog's faces, and there were a lot of them. I saw their tails wag with hope as I passed their kennels. I touched as many as I could. They all touched heart.
I cried hours later while I made Francesca and Clint's lunches for tomorrow. We have a tomorrow. Sophie has a tomorrow...and hopefully a forever family will find her. She will be healed and ready to start her life over with people who will love her. She will be disciplined with a raised eyebrow and not a raised fist.
Several of the dogs we saw today have no tomorrow. Time ran out for them.
How I wish I could help them all.