“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” ~Groucho Marx
Yesterday evening I found myself in my bedroom reading a book. The boys had been engaged in some sort of card game on their bedroom floor and it was nice to have the house quiet without the sounds of the television or a stereo. In fact, I must have been rather engrossed in my reading as it took me a little bit to notice that the little people (my children) had removed themselves from their card game and migrated into the living room where the television was on and they were both very, very quiet. You have to understand that my boys are never quiet – even when staring at the tube.
I stopped reading and attempted to tune my ears into the television noise to see if I could determine what they were watching. Even in the cartoon world, there are shows of which I do not approve and I wanted to insure that my crazy guys were not watching one of those shows. I listened. I listened harder. Cartoon? No, they were not watching a cartoon. Disney Channel? Nope! The sounds of pre-teen shows like ‘Hannah Montana’ or ‘Drake & Josh’ are incredibly distinct (rather irritating actually) and they definitely were not engrossed in one of those programs.
At this point I began to be slightly concerned. Normally they keep the television at such a volume that even the neighbors know what they are watching, so the fact that I couldn’t hear clearly enough was an indication to me that they may have tuned into something that was not appropriate for their ages. Big K is twelve. Little K is seven. How wrong I was!
As curiosity got the best of me and my hearing continued to fail me in distinguishing the program, I finally called out with the obvious question: “Guys! What are you watching?” Pause. Longer pause … but I haven’t heard the channels change. Eventually Big K responds. ‘Good Eats,’ he says.
What? I find myself propelled of my bed and abandoning my book to go and see for myself. Indeed, they are! Not only are my children tuned into the Food Network and there is no bickering which means they AGREED (miracle unto itself) on what to watch. One on the floor … one on the couch … they sit staring as Alton Brown takes them through the finer points of spices with an episode of his show ‘Good Eats’ called “Spice Capades.” Now, I do watch Food Network on a pretty regular basis and every weekend the boys and I enjoy watching ‘Iron Chef America’ (one of their favorite shows which, incidentally, is hosted by Alton Brown), but to find them watching a cooking show, in fact – the most EDUCATIONAL show on Food Network left me with a pretty cool feeling. My kids … are awesome! Of course, then the questions began:
“Mom! Do we use kosher salt?”
Yes, yes we do.
“Are any of our ground spices more than 6 months old?”
I suddenly find myself ashamed that some of my spices are older than that and in being truthful to my children I also receive a reprimand on how “Alton says” we can’t keep them that long because they lose the essence of their flavoring power.
“Wow! Mom, you didn’t tell me curry was a mix of a bunch of other stuff!”
Boys, it’s called a blend. It hadn’t crossed my mind to give my children that much information regarding the items in the spice cabinet. Apparently, I need to rethink that logic.
It is time for me to let the little one start helping more in the kitchen and I might just let Big K cook dinner from time to time (supervised, of course) just to see what he concocts.
I wonder if Alton Brown needs an apprentice … or two. They already have the lingo down. Little K asks me if I am making something “golden brown and delicious” every time I step into the kitchen.
“I kept thinking, ‘Somebody has to make a food show that is actually educational and entertaining at the same time … a show that got down to the ‘why things happen.’ Plus, I hated my job – I didn’t think it was very worthwhile.” ~Alton Brown