Confession: I can't get enough of the Canadian Food Network shows.
Don't get me wrong: I could watch pretty nearly anything on that network, although I change the channel to avoid hearing Rachael Ray's voice, and I'm both happy and sad that the Canadian network refuses to air the trainwreck that Sandra Lee. I do watch a lot of the American shows (Good Eats; Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and Iron Chef America are on constant rotation in this house), and I don't watch all the Canadian shows (I've given up on Restaurant Makeover). But those "Oh hi there, I'm a professional chef who happens to be cooking something in my home kitchen" shows with their bright, over-processed colours? I can't get enough of them. I'm particularly crazy about Michael Smith's Chef at Home, Anna Olson's Fresh, and especially Laura Calder's French Food at Home. They're the source of a lot of my meal ideas and techniques, and they get me off the couch on those cloudy days (right after they're over).
But they're also pure, relaxing escapism. For a few minutes, you can pretend to have a giant house on the seaside in PEI with the best pantry I've seen in my entire life. And French Food at Home is all about the escapism: on today's episode, Laura's having a swing installed on her porch, because she always wanted one when she was a kid. While gliding about the kitchen in an adorable dress, she makes a lemon syrup so that she can have lemonade every day. Roasted artichoke hearts, boiled new potatoes, and everything gets a little bit of fleur de sel. One minute you're sitting on the couch in sweatpants, and the next you're thinking about what you can braise for supper (and resisting the notion of cooking while wearing dress clothes). And they all speak in these calm, relaxing tones.
It's all like hanging out with my friend Terra. We drink tea (even over the phone) and talk in dreamy tones about Italian cooking and cake decorating.
Mmm. Maybe I should make risotto for supper. Just after I write a few hundred more words.