Ok. So I've finished the travelblog that ate our blog. There are a few things I wanted to talk about.
1. Gourmet Next Door. Ok who the hell let that atrocity that is the Gourmet Next Door on the air? Poor Amy Finley who was genuinely likeable on the Next Food Network Star. She was light years better on THAT show than she is on her own show. The recipes kind of blow - the choux paste recipe looked horrible and I live and die by the Julia Child one which is significantly different from Amy's. She almost never looks at the camera. The sequence of cooking is disjointed. Is the food network just throwing Amy away? At least they gave Dan and Steve two seasons.
2. Top Chef. Poor Casey. She had that in the bag if she could have dealt with the altitude. It was so sad because Casey must have been watching the final show and knew form the footage she was not going to be Top Chef. While I think it made sense for Hung to win, I still think Dale is adorable.
3. Eggplant Balls. Speaking of recipes that blow. The recipe for Mario Batali's eggplant balls is probably one of the crappiest I've come across in my entire life. The texture never comes together to actually roll it out into a ball, even with the additional of a ton of breadcrumbs. Even after cooking they are the consistency of mush. And the flavor is just bland bland bland. We had a windfall of eggplant from our CSA and was hoping this would be a good use for the five pounds of eggplant but sadly, no. You know what is a good use of five pounds of eggplant? The Wyatt's cafeteria eggplant casserole my MIL made when she was visiting. She went on and on about it being a Proustian moment for her and how much the eggplant casserole was a part of her childhood. One bite and it became a Proustian moment for me. It was that good. I am trying to get that recipe from her. I know it involved cornbread stuffing mix.
4. That two caterers show on FoodNetwork. Dear god does that blow chunks. It's like someone told the Food Network, let's replicate Ace of Cakes but with a bunch of really annoying surfer dudes. The thing about Ace of Cakes that's entertaining isn't the frat boy antics, it's the wry, dry, witty observations and the obvious care that Duff and the gang put into the cakes. Also you really get a sense of the timing and process for making the cakes. For the caterers show, it's like "heh, let's go to the fish market. heh."
5. Finally, last weekend a bunch of us went winery hopping in Virginia. I highly recommend going to Linden winery before the end of the year. Their wines are truly exceptional, especially their Riesling for those of us who like sweeter wines. Even better, the tastings are FREE! But go before the end of the year because Linden will be a member's only wine club in 2008. I would only recommend going to Three Foxes winery if you want to see the world's prettiest port-o-potties. Seriously, their port-o-potties are clean and decorated in seasonal swag. The wine, not so much.