Skip to main content

Why Do I Love Alton Brown?

I have never made one of Alton Brown's recipes. I never intend to make one of his recipes, though I certainly wouldn't bet much money on it. In fact, I don't even like a good number of his recipes. Still, I DVR Good Eats and watch it whenever I want to pass 30 enjoyable minutes. What gives?

Alton Brown is my very favorite sort of TV cook--he makes things seem easy as opposed to difficult. Even when he makes his own coconut extract, he makes me think, "yeah, I can do that--I never will, but I could." Many TV cooks do that, though--Alton's genius, and it is a form of genius, lies in his personality. He is witty, funny, goofy, knowledgeable, and resourceful--Lord, is he resourceful. He has an absolute fetish about kitchen implements being multi-taskers, and quite an admirable obsession it is when people have more things in their kitchen then they know what to do with. Plus, he has a weird fixation with using things from the hardware store for culinary purposes, perhaps most notably using a bandsaw blade for slicing a cake into layers. Along with his recurring guest stars (my favorite is "W," the acid-tongued equipment expert), he treats cooking with just the right amount of seriousness, but also simply and with a touch of whimsy. I mean, what other cooking show uses old sock puppets to illustrate yeast or has an occasional villain--the French Chef? He easily reminds us why cooking is fun and that you don't have to have thousands of dollars of equipment to make a yummy cake. Even if you never use his recipes.

Who fans: the rest of my Doctor by Doctor assessments are coming. So, to all one of you, I urge patience. :-)

Comments

  1. Reading his cookbooks is also great fun--it's like reading an episode of Good Eats. (and to no one's surprise, the illustrations are also quite amusing)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Prague Blog: Preliminary -- Why?

Since I decided to uproot my entire life, move to a country I have never visited, and train in a career I have no experience with, people have often asked me, "Why?" I'm sure that many of them likely were wondering 'WHY?!?!?!" but, if so, they were polite enough to hide that fact. So, here, as the first (unofficial, preliminary) installment of my Prague Blog, I thought I would try to make the case for why this isn't a completely ridiculous thing to do.

The first starting premise for this is probably a key facet of my personality: I don't like things. Not, "there are things I don't like," but rather, on the whole, I don't care about physical things. I am not a thing person.* To a lesser extent, but still worth mentioning, I am not a creature comforts person. It is true that I go a bit stir crazy when I don't have access to walkable shops, etc., and I do have a great fondness for hot and cold running water and HVAC , but my needs in t…

Prague Blog: Preliminary -- What I Leave Behind

This post if pretty melancholy, and more personal than I often get. If you want more like this (or less), one way to ask is to go to https://www.patreon.com/sjcaustenite, become a Patron, and then exercise your right to request something more cheerful in the future.


**********************

When I first made the decision to move to Prague, I focused solely on the opportuity it presented. Once the decision had been made, however, I started to think of practicalities. Like, how good is their internet speed? (About the same as the USA's, if not better.) How much are smokes? (About $4.50 USD--yes, I know I should quit, but I would rather quit because I want to rather than because it's too expensive.) What's the gay scene like? (So thriving the NYT did a piece on it.) Do they have Pizza Hut? (The chain is returning to Prague this year after a 13 year hiatus.)

Generally, the things that make my life not just tolerable but enjoyable will be available in abundance. Oh, to be sure, t…

Prague Blog: Preliminary -- The Things I'm Carrying, in Video Form

In Book II of the Iliad, Homer (let's just call the author that) enumerates the forces that sailed from Greece to lay siege on Troy, and then does a similar, smaller listing of the Trojan force. The "Catalogue of Ships," as it's known, stops the forward momentum of the epic to make sure the reader understands the scene on the plains outside Troy. At the same time, it establishes a great deal about the power dynamics at play, and provides us greater insight into the characters involved. Sometimes, what (or who) you own can speak volumes about who you are. In that spirit, but with none of the grandeur, I'm making a list of all the things I kept when I left my apartment and, more to the point, all the things I am taking to Prague with me.

The first category is things I'm keeping but not taking. This includes about a hundred books, mostly from my time at St. John's; a Johnnie chair, a college graduation present from my mother; various small items of sentiment…