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Saturday, October 2, 2010

I'm just here for the food...

This is something I just HAVE to do. I've seen stewing over it for a long time now and something I came across recently just pushed me over the edge. I have a loooooooooong fuse, I really do. But it does, eventually, reach the powder.


Internet foodies are the WORST. I think that, in over 50 years of hanging around various kitchens, including several in Iowa, I have NEVER found people who despise both food and people as much as Internet Foodies do.

I have, though the last several years, been subjected to perfect bakers, perfect farmers, perfect gourmands. Several of them eat only an a handful of restaurants, as the others do NOT measure up to the exacting standards of the Foodies in question.

I would LOVE to make this funny but damn! Okay, the people themselves are funny. I have, of late, realized that people in general take themselves FAR too seriously. Especially Foodies. Foodies and conservatives. Oh, jeez, there's a horrifying thought. Glenn Beck on the Food Network.

Years ago, when we were watching Food TV a LOT, my younger son came up with an idea for a new show. "FUCK YOU!...with Bobby Flay". He does a mean Bobby Flay impression, btw, and his premise was based largely on Bobby's distinctly New York accent. It was dead on perfect and we would laugh until we couldn't breathe. I admit, you really had to hear him, putting it in writing it loses about 80% of what he did with it. I can imagine Glenn Beck doing the same show...for serious. "You used PACKAGED SHREDDED CHEESE? FUCK YOU!"

Back to Internet Foodies, God help us. Face it, when you start referring to food as "comestibles" you don't care about cooking. You care about showing off. They only dine at restaurants tied into the Patina Group, and therefore Downtown Disney is the Holy Land. It'll be a cold day in hell before I drop money into the overpriced and over garnished Patina Group's idea of over the top cuisine. I don't care HOW many baby turnips you trim, it won't make your food any less ordinary. It also doesn't disguise the fact that they assemble a LOT of it at a central kitchen and ship it pre-packaged. Like Stouffer's. Besides, if I'm going to drop that kind of money at a restaurant I'll drop it at La Toque, in Napa.

This also, much like Temple Grandin's curved cow pathways, will lead one to the Holy Grail of "The Napa Rose". I like their chef, I once cooked with him. I like his attitude about food. His patrons, on the other hand, I can't stand. Every damn one of them think they're better than the people eating at Del Taco. Every damn one of them is a horse's ass. Guys? If your chef is having fun, why aren't you? Why are you sitting at your tables, pretentiously aerating your wine high enough so the other diners can see you do it, rolling your eyes back in your head in rapture over the rack of lamb and frantically tweeting to all and sundry about the subtleties in the pureed turnips?

See, if you really liked food, instead of taking cell phone pictures and tweeting your location and the contents of your plate you would be yelling to the restaurant "OH MY GOD! I can die happy, this is the best shit I EVER ATE!"

This brings me to the difference between the two reactions, inappropriate as the second one may actually be. The first reaction is an affectation. The second - passion.

I used to read and avidly participate in several of these foodie controlled threads. It was fun to share. It was fun to talk about things we cooked, things we ate, let's face it. Food is fun.

As the good times rolled on, I started reading with more thought though. I was seriously offended when one of these Foodies (and I was probably one of them for awhile) posted a horrified mini lecture to a new home cook reaming her for "frying" something. "NEVER, EVER FRY! Brown or saute if you must!" Dear God. I felt sorry for the young woman who had shared a recipe for steak. I immediately went to the store, bought some red meat and pan fried it, just in her honor. EVERYONE pan fries for various reasons and at various times. It was an awakening for me. These Foodies didn't give a crap about their food. They gave a crap about showing off.

After pages of the wonders of fresh chervil I saw these people for what they were. And I went back to my own kitchen. I gleefully used frozen corn and canned black beans. Yes, I do sometimes make beans from scratch, they're delicious. Also time consuming, I have a family and a job and there are just times I'd rather take my needlepoint downstairs to the nice lounge chair in the courtyard on a Saturday afternoon than be in my kitchen (much as I enjoy the kitchen) rolling out fresh pasta and roasting tomatoes. Besides, we have an Italian market here in the urban village, their pasta dough is better. And cheaper. As is their freshly made marinara. Their garlic bread is nirvana.

Cash has been a bit short this week and, well, let's just say it was time to clean out the pantry and fridge anyway. The half pack of chicken tenders sauteed with the can of cream of mushroom soup, thinned with the bottom of the carton of yogurt and served over half a pack of pasta with the leftover sliced almonds sprinkled on top wasn't bad. But here's the important thing, at least to me. In spite of the empty wallet, I was able to feed my family. My herbs were dried and there wasn't any chervil or fresh fennel and the last of the eggs came from a carton I got at the super market, not from the local home grown chicken ranch.

Recently one of my sons told a friend of his (while I was standing there) that I "do the most amazing things with food". Oh. My. God. L'escoffier could never received a greater compliment.

1 comment:

  1. It's about generosity of spirit and joie de vivre. You have both in spades, dear friend.