Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Victim of Television

My name is Cindy, and I am a victim of television.

This is another one of my father's expressions, and he would use it to describe my mother when she would buy some food product that was being hawked on a television advertisement.  Back then, it was something innocuous like a new flavor of Rice a Roni, or a squeeze bottle of liquid margarine.  These days my father would no doubt apply the same to me, for my undying devotion to cooking shows and my determination to recreate a particularly delicious dish or to try an interesting new technique. 

And, as it would seem, this is all about eggplant and Mario Batali.

Mario Batali

Mario is unfortunately not a big presence over at Food Network anymore, but the Cooking Channel is currently showing reruns of his 2004 series, "Ciao America", as well as "Molto Mario", a Food Network classic.  I happened to be watching an episode of "Ciao America" in which he was visiting Providence, Rhode Island, extolling the virtues of cheese and whipping up some toothsome recipes.

I have also been feeling just a tad guilty, because almost all of my recipes involve some sort of meat or poultry, and I have at least one vegetarian friend who is being left out in the cold.  So I am going to try this recipe for eggplant rollatini, except I may substitute chopped broccoli for part of the spinach.  When I saw this on TV, I really liked the different way the eggplant was prepared for rolling, and wanted to try it.  Badly.  Like when I was watching Giada deLaurentiis while I was walking on the treadmill, and she was preparing a recipe for shrimp scampi on couscous that grabbed my attention so much, I had to get off the treadmill, run downstairs to print out the recipe, and then out the door to get the ingredients.  Now that is what my father would call a victim of television. although I managed to control myself enough to wait until this weekend to pick up the eggplant and prepare the dish.

And then, because I couldn't find any cabbage to go with the corned beef, and I didn't really want potatoes without cabbage, I decided to make Toasted Lobster Ravioli with a Sherry Garlic Alfredo Sauce.  That substitution makes perfect sense to me.

Veering away from the kitchen, I am feeling better than I have for the last few days.  Most importantly, I think, is the shift in weather from miserable to marvelous.  The other is the vacation anticipation - we are at the point of planning our post-tax season trips, including Rob's birthday cruise, and I am looking forward to all of it.  Hopefully, later today (assuming today is Sunday) we will go over to AAA and book our cruise to the Western Caribbean.  I already asked for the time off, and praise the Lord, the week does not correspond with any in-service training, because that would be bad.  If everything works out, this will be our first time leaving from Port Canaveral, and just the thought of not having to drive four hours to the Port of Miami is exhilarating.  Since I drove to and from Orlando to Brevard County five times a week for almost four years, the trip to Port Canaveral will be easy.  And we could use easy right about now.

The other two trips are taekwando related.  One is our annual trip to Little Rock, Arkansas for the American Taekwando Association World Championship, held during the end of June.  Besides enjoying everything that goes with this event - the opening ceremony, the competitions, the sights around town, the traditional dinner with friends before heading back home - there are the extra "vacation days" planned around non-ATA places.  Last year we stopped on our way up in Memphis, ate some awesome food at Interstate Barbecue (you have not lived until you have eaten Bar-B-Q Nachos and Bar-B-Q Spaghetti) and went to pay our respects to The King at Graceland.

Memphis is Barbecue

This year we are hoping to swing east into Tennessee towards Knoxville and up into the Great Smokies and to visit some very special friends who moved from Florida a few years ago.  Great scenery and with all the driving, primo knitting time.  Hey, gotta plan ahead.

Finally, there is a local level tournament in one of our favorite cities, Savannah, and that's the end of April, and you can bet we are going.  Beside the tournament, and the fact that it is our 33rd anniversary, we never tire of this beautiful and unique city.

Scenes from City Market in Savannah

And we always look forward to the food.  Besides our usual stops, I would like to check out a tea room that my boss found on a recent trip there. And walk along the waterfront, eat a praline, take a trolley tour ...

Cook like there's nobody watching, and eat like it's heaven on earth.


  1. oh dear lord i love your writing bear and the pictures that go along with it. your narrative makes the entree even more mouthwatering.

    and i had to choose Marimoto as he has a restaurant in philly - expect to spend at least $200 for 4 i believe but the food is magnificent! and thats coming from a friend of mine who ate there. the food was utterly magnificent!!

  2. Thanks, Jenny. I would love to try Morimoto's restaurant, but I can't imagine traveling to Philly in the near future. Definitely a special occasion place at those prices!