Monday, October 22, 2007

But WHY Does It DO That?

I have a dirty little secret.

I'm obsessed with Alton Brown.

No, I'm not "into" him in any unfortunate way... I'm just ecstatic that there's someone out there like ME!

See, some people mistakenly think I'm some sort of Martha Stewart wannabe. I'm not! I'm not really into domesticity for impressing all my friends (which seems obvious to me - as I err on the antisocial side). I don't want to be a chef. In fact, I can't think of anything much more miserable than being forced to cook, sew, etc. on demand, day in and day out.

Oh wait. I do that.

But I don't like that part of my job.

Some might not guess this, as I do find great joy in creating perfection - primarily in the kitchen. I'm a very picky eater, and I hate to have to go to the effort of cooking something unless it's going to be fabulous.

It may seem unrelated, but in highschool I hated chemistry. Balancing equations and doing mundane labwork bored me to tears.

At home, I persistently protested having to cook or bake anything.

But ask me a question about nutrition, and I can still spit out all sorts of crazy factoids about nutrition content, serving sizes, food pairings to maximize vitamin absorption or the completion of proteins... I kind of like baking - not just because I'm a total carb addict, but also because I love analyzing why a recipe works (or doesn't).

Enter Alton Brown and that love-hate relationship I have with TV.

A few weeks ago, while channel surfing one evening, I came across a geeky little show called Good Eats on The Food Network. As is usual, for me, I was nursing A off to sleep while J read G her bedtime stories. Good Eats totally hooked me. I don't really get into the recipe shows, but this was totally different. In each episode, Alton Brown focuses on a food (or recipe) and explains the science behind it. What makes it work? What ingredients can be freely substituted? Which ingredients must always be precisely combined? WHY? What tools are essential? Which tools are little more than expensive kitchen paperweights?

After getting addicted to Good Eats, I discovered he also does Feasting on Asphalt and hosts Iron Chef.

Yes, I now watch those faithfully.

So today I'm heading down to the library to check out the books I've reserved: All the works of Alton Brown as well as On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee (warning - this is a chemistry book, not a cookbook). Woo Hoo!

Oh, and I had that follow-up ultrasound, this morning. I know what kind of baby I'm having. ;o)


  1. I love Alton Brown! He lives right here in my very own Atlanta and I was lucky enough to spot him out and about one night last year. (Unfortunately, I couldnt bring myself to do that pesky fan thing) He tapes all his cooking shows here in Atlanta. The extras in his show are also local stage actors. His wit is very dry and the expression on his face when he delivers his lines are priceless. Glad you found his shows and liked them!

  2. Glad you are having another human. *snort*

    I'll have to check out this guy. What time and channel is he on?

  3. This is B's favorite show on tv. If this and Hannah Montana came on at the same time I think she might cry! Haha. I love him too, but not as much as B.