Monday 23 April 2012

How To

I am posting this with the iPad and I haven't always had a lot of luck. Maybe this time...

I first started to watch “how to” programs years and years ago. One of the first that I liked was “This Old House” with Bob Villa. I really liked Bob; he was like the neighbour that you wished you had. I don’t know how long Bob hosted the show, but somehow he was ousted as the host and I just can’t watch the show in comfort anymore. I can’t help but wonder what Bob is doing now and if his neighbours know how lucky they are.  

I still watch the show, but the projects that they take on are so far removed from anything that you or I could do it is just laughable. They always use the newest and best of everything and will rarely tell you how much the project costs to complete. I find most of the “how to” shows are a little iffey when it comes to disclosing the actual costs of the renovations. Sometimes they will give you the cost of materials (usually with a large contractor’s discount) but never will they mention the cost of labour. Labour is as we both know is more than likely the highest cost in any job.  

The other show that I used to watch but can’t get any more is “The Woodwright Shop” with Roy Underhill. The man is a God! In his half hour show he will take a piece from the trunk of a tree and turn it into some of the most amazing things. He makes furniture, boxes, toys, tools, drawers, chairs and any number of useful items. He uses tools and techniques from the 17th and 18th centuries, with little or no power, aside from the odd water wheel or springpole lathe. In just a half an hour to boot! It isn’t available on our cable station anymore, so I just have to remember what the shows were like.  

Yes, I could buy them on DVD, but the episodes are really expensive. Hey, I was just checking the price for you and I found that I will be able to watch full episodes online. There is a God in heaven, and it seems that there is one in PBS as well. Who says this blog is useless? You should check Roy out; he is funny and just incredible.  

I also watch cooking shows sometimes. I like the Jamie Oliver, Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, Sugar…oh; the list just goes on and on. I should mention Martha Stewart whom I used to watch quite often before she did her stint in prison. It is hard to find her on the tube anymore, but there are some of the recipes I learned on that show that I still use.  

What pisses me off about these cooking shows is that they always show the cook with all of these tiny dishes holding the spices and then pot after pot after pot being used to cook the dish, food spilling on the stove and floor, all sorts of plates and cutlery that is used in the prep and serving of the food. We all know that the kitchen can be a mess after you have prepared that delectable meal. They never, ever, ever will give you a tip on how to clean up easily and quickly. They must know. Most of the TV hosts have worked in restaurants all of their lives and would have to have picked up a tip or two from the dish washers. I can’t believe that the answer to the question “What is the best way to clean a kitchen?” would be “Get your assistants to do it.”  

Maybe it is. Hmmmm…I wonder if I promote Louise to assistant…    

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