Dump & Stir versus Martha

Now that I’m possessed of my own kitchen again, I find I’m watching a lot of programming on the Food Network. My overall impression is that they need some better shows. In their zest to get away from traditional cooking programs, all they have now is stuff with an angle. Not that this is always bad. Alton Brown for instance is an amazing guy and I adore Good Eats.

But I find that the time slot I end up watching is the 6PM to 7PM one and that means Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals goes head to head with Martha Stewart’s From Martha’s Kitchen. Two more different programs I cannot begin to imagine.

The weird thing about the two women is that they both drive me crazy for some of the same reasons. Martha’s over-enuciation and Rachel’s overly enthusiastic delivery grate on my last nerve. I also can’t stand the jargon use by both of them.

That acknowledged, their approach to cooking is diametrically opposed. With Martha, if you haven’t harvested/raised/distilled every ingredient from scratch and you haven’t been to some overpriced specialty store, it ain’t cooking. With Rachel, if it takes more than 30 minutes, she doesn’t bother talking about it, which can be nearly as annoying as Martha. I mean, quick cooking is a godsend, but there are times when a slow cooked meal is really worth the trouble.

That said, I have to say, I prefer shows that make cooking accessible. We shouldn’t be frightened to try new things. We shouldn’t be scared to try cooking at all.

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