Like Porn, But With More Chocolate

OK, I’m still sick. Tomorrow will be two weeks with this cold/sinus/chest crap — whatever you’re punishing me for, God, I think I’ve got the point by now.

When you feel lousy and you’re popping one cold pill after another all day long, you end up with two options for how you spend your time: 1. sleep, and 2. watch TV. Believe me, I’ve slept, with a little help from the kind folks who make cough syrup, and I’ve also sat wrapped in a throw in front of the TV, flipping back and forth between Animal Planet and the Food Network.

Aahhh, the Food Network…

See, I can’t cook. Or I don’t cook. You can make a good argument for either statement, but for now I’ll stick with the first, because not only is there not very much I know how to make without setting the entire block on fire, the stove is where I’ve located Spike’s big ol’ bag of Science Diet and his dental chew treats, each on a back burner. I can’t very well make fried chicken and pan gravy in the microwave, so there we are: I can’t cook.

But man, do I like to watch.

Early on in my fascination with Food Network, John pointed out that it’s almost like watching pornography for someone like me. Just because I can’t cook doesn’t mean I don’t love to eat. The only thing that saves me from looking like Rickie Lake in the original “Hairspray” is my metabolism, which must be something like a greyhound’s. I could eat all day, if the food looks good enough. I can go to a restaurant and finish three courses, sometimes including soup. So the Food Network has pretty much found its target audience with me.

So what do I do while I watch the Food Network?, you might reasonably ask.

I write down recipes for John.

OK, not always. Sometimes I just email him and say “Go to Paula Deen’s page and find the show with the baked oysters,” or “It’s under ‘Good Eats’ and it’s a chili recipe with beer and chips in it.” But that doesn’t always work. Some shows, like my favorite, “Iron Chef America,” won’t list the recipes those guys use on the fly. I have to just write down what I’ve observed: “Bobby Flay took this big green pepper — not a bell pepper — no, he said it’s very mild, not spicy at all — and stuffed it with goat cheese, buffalo strips, and potatoes…”

God. I’m drooling on the laptop.

John’s always been a good sport about this, and in fact sometimes he’ll take it upon himself to search the ‘net for a recipe for something he’s seen or heard of. He’s made the “Good Eats” chili, by the way, and some chicken pinwheel thingies wrapped around goat cheese that Paula Deen taught him. We haven’t tried the stuffed pepper yet, but one of these days I’ll see that pepper again — probably in Whole Foods, on my way through the produce section back to the meat counter — and we’ll wing it. Or, I mean he’ll wing it. I usually just watch (surprise), offering the occasional bit of hopefully-useful information I remember from the show.

So I guess the best comparison here for me watching the Food Network is to a virgin watching porn. I don’t know how to do any of that stuff myself, or anyway I haven’t tried to yet, but it’ll all be useful one day when I get actively involved. I’ll already know to let the custard keep cooking in its water bath after I take it out of the stove, or to add cornstarch to some other liquid before dumping it into a pot of stew. You know. Stuff the rest of you have probably known for years.

Also, it could serve me really well if I ever try out for “Jeopardy.” You never know.

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15 Responses to “Like Porn, But With More Chocolate”

  1. Hee. You should watch Nigella Lawson sometime. Food porn, indeed. Sometimes it actually embarrasses me to watch and I have to flip over to HGTV until she’s done tongue-kissing whatever piece of food she’s just made. Seriously. No, seriously.

  2. My son and I watch Iron Chef together. It makes me happy when we do that.

    I’ve had a non-sexual crush on Tyler Florence for a long time. I love the way he breaks down recipes for stuff you should know how to cook already. His meatloaf changed my life.

  3. Food Network has convinced her she can monkey with recipes to “improve” them.

  4. Food Network is the only reason I miss our satellite. Monkeying with the recipes is one of the joys of cooking. 😉

  5. I miss the food network. Alton Brown is a sexy man that has made me reconsider my heterosexuality.

  6. Somehow I cannot watch any cooking shows. They rarely have anything I would even consider fixing, let alone eating.

    So guys, I can’t help it. I have to say it: “I don’t get it.”

    🙂

  7. jojovtx1800 Says:

    Nigella, and Rachel Ray, really do make it like porn for me.

  8. K, I forgot Nigella! She did something with chocolate last week that made me want to melt a package of Hershey’s Kisses in a bowl and dip my head in it as if it was a feed bag.

  9. I say go for Jeopardy. You and I both have cooking men. Let them go for it.

    I’m afraid of ruining a good thing.

  10. Yes — YOU can COOK. Anyone who can follow directions can cook. Now… go do it!!

    =Dad

  11. You have to be careful with the Food Network. My pal Russ watches all the time, and he announced to me, a couple of weeks ago,that he had been “inspired” by a FN cooking show to make a Thanksgiving dessert that involved crumbled layers of cake donuts interspersed with layers of pumpkin pie filling and cranberry sauce. This abomination was to be topped with Cool Whip.

    He got this idea after watching some program about making different kinds of English trifle.

    Trifling is one thing, but some ideas are just plain wrong .

    I hope you feel better soon, BTW. If you have any Vicks Vaporub or similar mentholated stuff in the house, try putting a dab of it on the floor of your shower … the hot mentholated steam is wonderful for loosening things up.

  12. pandemonic Says:

    When you are a food snob, like me, watching the Food Network is like injecting with heroin.

    As for the porn aspect, when my husband has a really good meal, he will moan in ecstasy, so yes, I guess it’s just like porn. Only better.

  13. Pan, you are absolutely right, and I’ve always suspected that I would love heroin…

    Dad, you sound like my dad! Is that you? Where’d you get the computer?

    David, thanks — fortunately John vetoes the really elaborate stuff, and since we (he) use(s) his kitchen, I have no recourse but to choose something simpler. Or at least something that doesn’t require an electric nutmeg grater.

  14. jojovtx1800 Says:

    I always liked the fat ladies from the U.K. , wonder why that one’s arteries turned to cement right before she died?
    Couldn’t have been from the foods they cooked.

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