Thursday, September 07, 2006

5,001 Nights at the Remote.

* I just finished reading BBC Good Food cover to cover. It's an interesting magazine; I can't quite figure out where it falls in the socio-economic/periodical/foodie hierarchy on the newsstand. It's definitely not as posh as Gourmet, but doesn't seem Woman's Day either. Maybe more like Bon Appetit? (The cover to the left is not the one I just read but very similar--crowded, not elegant and spare.) I guess the point is that there isn't a definite US comparison, since it's nicely subsidized and there aren't as many ads as in other magazines. Much nicer.

I drew a few conclusions from reading it: 1) British food photography has not reached the same feverishly glossy spritzed fluffed quality as American. This is probably not quite true--I'm probably comparing it to the wrong things--but it still seems different somehow. They let things look simpler (plain white noodles?) and just kinda lie there, not so spectacularly lit or lacquered or whatever, compared to an American magazine. Maybe. 2) I really want to try salt marsh lamb. 3) There wasn't one chocolate-based desert in the whole thing, I think--everything was seasonal, down to the bizillions of berry-based desserts. It felt a little more genuinely tied to nature's ebbs and flows and unprocessed food. 4) I saw very little fear of carbs--whether covert or manifest in the recipe design, however: 5) They seem just as concerned with healtheee-Eeeeeting, but in different ways than us. For instance, there was one raspberry tart for which you crumbled up shortbread WITH butter (shortbread already being 99-44/100% butter) to make the crust. Go Old Blighty! (It looked fantastic--their soft summer fruit there really is epic.) 6) Delia Smith is really England's Food Queen. There was a contest for what basically an Audience with her at her Food Centre. Hilarious. She has to be popular/powerful to bend other people's interests to hers (football, the Catholic church)--I mean, I wonder how many of these folks care about football to begin with?

* This weekend on Food Network they're airing a special about Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken called "The Chef and the Architect," in the promos for which they are heavily leaning on the whole "I Married My Partner's Ex!!!" True Hollywood Story angle. Wha? I didn't know for sure that MS had married S's ex until I read Juliette Rossant's Super Chefs, and even then I would argue it was fairly softpetaled. In general I don't think it was ever a secret, but it doesn't seem like they advertised it either. Either way, the point being that it's Old News, yo. But now...hmm! Salacious! The show, according to FN website, is about Mary Sue and Josh building their dream kitchen...wonder what happened to their old LA home? That was such a cool building, the one that was in AD or whatever. Goss goss. Pardon while too much curious goss spills out the edges.

* Junk food roundup. Um, well, news isn't the right word, but I'm excited.

1) I can't find grape Laffy Taffy anywhere, so I finally just bought a box of individually wrapped from a candy wholesaler. Cool! The web rocks! I adore grape Laffy Taffy. What IS it, you say. Well, it's, um...squishy. Loud, really. Tangy. Chewy! Artificially all of the above, really. But good.

2) Totino's makes these cheap pizzas called Party Pizzas that I love. They used to be $.99 ea, but now they're more, although you can still usually get them on sale for a dollar. They are really good in a really bad/good way. To make the circle fit in your (rectangular) toaster oven, you crack the pizza in half and fit the sliding halves off-set together inside, crank the heat up to 400something and in 12 minutes--blam. Very crispily-crusted, not too cheesy pizza. Don't get me wrong--it's not artisinally thin Neapolitan pizza or something, but in its fakeness it's closer to good pizza than those enormous Tombstone cheese weights.

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