Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's Wednesday and Hooray for NY TImes & Mark Bitten

It's Wednesday, it's sunny and life is grand! What have I been smoking or drinking you ask? Coffee from Starbucks, which also adds to my good mood, but that's not really the reason. It's the day that the NY Times has its Dining Section and my favorite food writer...Mark Bitten and his blog. I'm sure I could read his blog any other day, but I usually start my Wednesday morning ritual with him.

This week he wrote a great article about TV chefs. It brought back two memories ( I always love it when that happens):
  • the professional painter my mother hired years ago to paint our kitchen (my father had a great many skills, but handyman was not one of them). The painter made the job of papering the kitchen look so effortless that I decided to paper one straight wall in my bedroom. It probably would have taken him 10 minutes to do what took me the entire day with much sweat, cursing and lots of bubbles and pleats in the finished job. TV celebrity chefs do the same thing often. How come my kitchen doesn't look nearly as organized during cooking?

  • and my first TV appearance on CTV's national morning show Canada AM. It was to promote the annual Hadassah-WIZO fundraising bazaar. Our chapter, among other things, made cheese blintzes (typically sold out within an hour of the doors opening), and I was to make some on Canada AM while talking about the bazaar. I didn't know how much time I'd have so I went prepared with ingredients - in case I was to start from scratch; filling and batter; ready made crepes; and finished blintzes. I didn't realize that the set is not like my own kitchen where appliances are fixed to the wall and floor...funny thing how they move around. Even funnier was the fact that, although I brought everything (at least I thought I did) I forgot to bring water to add to the flour and eggs for the batter. I was prepared to "pretend" that I was adding the water - it was live, after all and I only had 10 minutes in the end - but magically, a stagehand placed a jug of water on the counter without being seen! Ahhhhh, the magic of television.

So what stands out...i.e. frustrates you when watching the "experts" cook?


marye said...

Oh..the clean kitchen thing for sure. They have kitchen faeries, you know....that is my main reason for wanting to have my own cooking show..the kitchen faeries are great perks.

Ricki said...

What a great story! For some reason, it bugs me when they don't "finish" a step before using the mixture in the next step (ie, Anna Olson never combines all the ingredients well enough in a batter before pouring it in the pan)--even though I KNOW she's not actually going to back that one!

The Food Hunter said...

I look foward to Wednesdays too and the NYT food section. It's the first thing I read.

Ruth Daniels said...

Kitchen faeries...a great perk, but can you bring them home with you?

Melissa said...

That's funny about the jug of water. Kitchen faeries would be great, eh?

I actually posted the link to Bittman's article yesterday on my Facebook and my accompanying text was this:

I actually had tears spring to my eyes for a second when I read this... I'm fine cooking nowadays, but I wish someone would have told me a lot sooner to stop trying to emulate "perfection." It would have saved me a lot of grief.And that about sums it up. :) And I love Bittman too. His "How to Cook Everything" was one of my biggest teachers in the beginning.

Johanna GGG said...

Great article and great memories - thanks

What bugs me is when they taste it at the end and I want some too :-)

Seriously, the speed of the chopping and the ease of the plating the food is nothing like my experience - it is so much longer in my kitchen