Blog Archives

Here Are Some TV Shows I Either Hate or Don’t Get

I don’t watch a ton of TV. I do have a bunch of shows I DVR and watch religiously like Archer, Tosh.0, Top Shot (I love Colby, and I love his teeth), some cooking shows (farewell, Good Eats, and thank you for really teaching me how to cook like a badass), Doctor Who, Top Gear, some BBC comedies… well, actually, that adds up to a shitload of TV. But hey, when repeats are factored in, it comes to just an hour or two a day at most. Some weeks we watch none at all.

Sometimes, though, I don’t have anything on tap, or I’m just trying to relax for a bit after work, and we’ll surf around and find something to watch. A lot of times it turns out to be odd shit like Mythbusters or What Not To Wear (don’t judge me) or – hey, I said don’t judge me – something like – you know what? Fine. Judge me all you want. I FIND THE SARCASTIC BANTER OF STACY AND CLINTON BOTH WITTY AND URBANE. So there. – or something equally random. It’s during these times that I am forced to see commercials, a vile life form I hate so vociferously that they can literally make me shake with rage. I have a friend who finds it endlessly amusing the gymnastics I’ll go through when diving 16 feet over a table, 2 dogs, a laptop, and couch to snag the remote so I can mute the first non-show sounds I hear. I really hate commercials.

Every now and again, though, I see them with or without sound. Or I’ll be flipping through the guide and notice the titles, and think to myself – what the fuck? Who watches this? Why? Is this country doomed? What follows is a list of some of those shows that make me wonder about or completely lose faith with humanity.

Oh, and if you’re easily offended, skip the “Toddlers & Tiaras” section below. Actually, you’re better off heading off somewhere else in general, but especially with that section.

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Adventures in Cooking

I am not a foodie in the food snob sense, but I do love food, no question.  I’ll try anything at least once – and this after a childhood so picky that my name might as well have been “No Potatoes and No Beans”, my response whenever I was asked what I wanted for dinner – and I’ve experimented a lot more in last 6 months, making hummus and homemade mayo and stuff like that.  This past week, though, I did some pretty cool stuff that I ended up really happy with. Read the rest of this entry

Foodies, and Why I Hate Them

Yes.  I am aware of the fact that I just spent a week discussing my trip to a small farm to learn how to make raw milk cheese.  I am also aware that I went to that farm because I saw it on a foodie show.  You might think it makes me a hypocrite.  I contend that it does not.  I am not a foodie.  I love food.  But I am not a foodie.  Foodies are those pretentious guttersnots moaning about how wonderful offal is and discuss how they are going to get their Parisian cheese flown in.  I hate those people.

I just read this article in the Atlantic about foodies.  Go ahead and read it.  You will understand the people I mean.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait. Read the rest of this entry

Tracing My Bongo Burgers: A Day on the Farm, Part 5

This series of posts describes my recent trip to Bobolink Dairy Farm.  I decided to break it into chunks because I apparently have a lot to say about it.  Today’s entry finishes up the cheese-making process.

As the milk starts curdling, Jonathan draws on his engineering background and draws the exponential growth rate over time on a makeshift graph, illustrating the point of the curve that we are going to add our final ingredient, which will stop the milk from turning into yogurt and instead make it draw together to form cheese.  It’s a special enzyme, we learn, one that comes from the stomachs of calves (and all mammals): rennet.  This enzyme will cause the proteins to coagulate and separate into curds and whey.

It’s all well and good to draw graphs and whatnot, but there is no way to know exactly when the right time to add the rennet really is, according to a clock.  Instead, we have to once again rely on our senses.  We smell the milk, looking for sour notes, and taste it, looking for the same thing.  After twenty or so minutes, we can all smell it, and the flavor is different, acidic, and we’re ready.  In goes the rennet. Read the rest of this entry

Tracing My Bongo Burgers: A Day on the Farm, Part 3

This series of posts describes my recent trip to Bobolink Dairy Farm.  I decided to break it into chunks because I apparently have a lot to say about it.  Today’s entry chronicles the early part of the day.

This is the part where I go backwards a little bit before going forward, because I like to ramble, and because there was some stuff I forgot to say.  First, I want to answer the question: Why Bobolink?

When Lady Aravan and I were on our journey to better health, we by chance started watching Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations.  It’s not a cooking show, but it is a show about food and travel, and we liked Tony’s acerbic sense of humor and presentation.  One show he did was set in New Jersey, and in that show he traveled to a small cheese-and-bread-making farm called Bobolink.  There he met a raw-milk enthusiast, baked bread, and had what sounded like the world’s best pizza.  Read the rest of this entry

Tracing My Bongo Burgers: A Day on the Farm, Part 2

This series of posts describes my recent trip to Bobolink Dairy Farm.  I decided to break it into chunks because I apparently have a lot to say about it.  Today’s entry chronicles the journey itself.

Dawn broke on the big day as we woke up to head to the dairy.  Actually, dawn didn’t break until well after we’d woken up, bu that just made it feel all the more farmier.  A quick breakfast (cereal and a protein shake for me; leftover homemade pizza and cottage cheese for the Lady.  Seriously.) followed soon after, and then we got bundled up.  We knew it’d be in the 30s and we’d be tramping in snow, thanks to an email from Jonathan White, the cheesemaker and half the head of Bobolink Dairy Farm, the other half being Nina, his wife, who bears the lovely description of Dancemaker on the website since she is a ballet dancer as well, and who teaches breadmaking classes. Read the rest of this entry

Tracing My Bongo Burgers: A Day on the Farm Part 1

This series of posts describes my recent trip to Bobolink Dairy Farm.  I decided to break it into chunks because I apparently have a lot to say about it.  Today’s entry is sort of an introduction and background.

For Valentine’s Day this year, Lady Aravan got me the coolest present ever: a trip to a farm to take a cheesemaking class.

Now, to a lot of people, that might sound like hell on earth, or at least dull and pointless.  I mean, Wal-Mart has all the cheese you’ll ever need, right?  Perfectly yellow, helpfully shrink-wrapped, every single one of each variety tasting exactly the same as all the others.  Such perfect uniformity is yummy! Read the rest of this entry

Alton Brown, My Spiritual Father

Before Lady Aravan and I decided to get healthy, I was an Alton Brown fan.  For a long time, though, I wasn’t.  I didn’t get his show at all.  I was used to recipe-style cooking shows like the Rachel Ray show (more on her later) or travelogue-style shows like No Reservations.  Good Eats was very different, with its long explanations and quirky humor.  Finally, though, the show clicked for me and I started to get it.  Alton doesn’t try to teach you a recipe (which would feed you for a meal), but rather he tries to teach you how to cook (which will feed you for a lifetime).  Some friends bought me the first Good Eats compendium, and that took it all even further. Read the rest of this entry

A Trip to the Butcher

For the first time in my life, I went to an honest-to-god butcher.  I was driven to do so by reading Alton Brown’s Good Eats: The Early Years, where he lobbies hard for people to find local butchers, and an article Lady Aravan posted about growth hormones in meat.  Afterwards, I decided I would find one near me.  I did, and Lady Aravan and I took a trip up there.  I was intimidated, I have to admit.  After a lifetime of just grabbing whatever I wanted from little individually-wrapped packages, here was someone waiting for me to tell them what kind of cut of meat I was looking for.  I choked, and the man kindly suggested that he had a really nice piece of sirlion.  I said that would be great, and got a steak that he said would feed four people (I assumed that might be enough for Lady Aravan and I).  He cut it, weighed it and wrapped it, then I talked about pulled pork and he suggested something else (a pork butt that he deboned).  They sell Boar’s Head products, which Lady Aravan and I both love, so we ended up getting a pound of bacon – cut from a slab – along with Boar’s Head mustard, hot dogs, pepperoni, and bleu cheese.

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Five Things for Tuesday, Feb 2nd

1.  Man, was yesterday a serious Monday, as in an epic “Case of the Mun-days.”  I was dreaded Monday as soon as it got dark on Sunday, as was Lady Aravan, and boy howdy were our premonitions of impending suck correct.  The best thing about today is that it isn’t yesterday.

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