Welcome to the Food Network Liveblog/Running Diary, Part 3. (Part 1 over here, Part 2 here.) There are 9-1/2 hours down, with 9-1/2 to go. Just a fun reminder: I’m checking comments constantly, and will highlight favorites as we go along. So chime in! Can’t wait to read.
RSS subscribers, a quick note: these posts are being updated every few minutes, and subsequently, won't appear on the feed in full. They are on the homesite, though, if you'd like to peruse.
P.S. As with the BL Liveblog, this will go backwards, with the most recent commentary appearing up top.
End of Part 3! On to the 4th and final part!
End of show.
3/4-SLEEVE SWEATERS: nope
FRUGALITY QUOTIENT: nope
HEALTH QUOTIENT: nope
VERDICT: 2/10, for infuriating me with ... factory line footage.
Now profiling snackmakers Pirate's Booty. It's the same damn conveyor belt with different food on it. You won't fool me, Summers!
Unwrapped is profiling organic grocery store Whole Foods, a.k.a. Whole Paycheck, a.k.a. That Place Where I Can't Afford Apples. They're trying to "dispel the myth that organic has to cost more." Unmentioned: "sell $40 chicken legs."
It's a quarter to midnight and I'm drinking iced coffee. The hallucinations should start soon. My Christmas tree is already starting to look like a Tim Burton movie.
Alternate names for Unwrapped: The Conveyor Belt Show, People in Hairnets, White Owners/ Non-White Employees, and Drippy Chocolate.
The Husband-Elect and I have a private joke about this show in that sometimes, we have entire conversations using Marc Summers vocal inflections:
Me: "Hon, can you get me ... a cup of coffee?"
Him: "Would you like ... a little milk?"
Me: "Maybe also ... a paper napkin?"
Him: "Of course, I'll ... be right back."
THE SHOW: Oh god ... Unwrapped.
THE HOST: Marc Summers
THE CONCEPT: How boring mass produced food is boringly made.
End of show.
3/4-SLEEVE SWEATERS: zero - Weird Al Yankovic shirts is Alton's preferred look
FRUGALITY QUOTIENT: sky high
HEALTH QUOTIENT: medium
VERDICT: 12/10, for being my TV boyfriend (with apologies to Tim Riggins).
Alton now preparing a Dutch Pancake, or, as it's more commonly known, a Pancake That Pays for its Half of a Date.
How much I wanted to see "It's Complicated" at the beginning of the day: 54%
Number of commercials for "It's Complicated" seen today: approximately 30
How much I want to see "It's Complicated" now: -4%
Holy ... the recipe for Yorkshire pudding is almost exactly the same as the recipe for popovers! This show makes everyone smarter. Is there any doubt it's the best on Food Network?
We have suddenly jumped to Yorkshire pudding, as defined in the 1500s. We have gone Back to the Future, and Doc Alton Brown is our guide, Marty.
The popovers are being filled with all kinds of disturbing things - fruit, ice cream, broth, etc. Where's the butter? Where's the jam? They are afraid and alone. Unfrozen Caveman Popovers.
Have those popover signs been popping up throughout they whole show? They have, haven't they? I'm not a genius, then. I'm merely brilliant.
Oh! He's buying a popover pan. He's making popovers. I'm a genius. All hail me.
This is brilliant. Alton's given us the show recipe's ingredients, but hasn't revealed the name of the recipe itself yet. We have to figure it out ourselves. He is the Will Shortz of TV chefs.
Alton is explaining flour, and he's uncomfortably close to the camera. He has 257 eyebrow hairs.
THE SHOW: Good Eats! Finally!
THE HOST: Alton Brown!
THE CONCEPT: Cooking nerd schools us, is generally pretty great.
End of show.
3/4-SLEEVE SWEATERS: 0
FRUGALITY QUOTIENT: pretty high - they're volunteers
HEALTH QUOTIENT: they've been working out, so it's okay
VERDICT: 6/10, for the lack of yelling.
Miss Brenda just got a look at her new home, and she's stunned. The dining room almost knocked her over. What a sweet lady.
Fill in the blank! There is a disturbing amount of food _____:
A) stitting outside without refrigeration
B) in close proximity to the ground
C) being prepared by men whose primary talent is sweating
Irvine is hilariously reluctant to yell at his fellow volunteers. It's like watching a pit bull with a Barbie jump rope tied around its muzzle.
In regard to Bobby Flay's repeated Throwdown drubbings, reader Kat writes: "Challenging anyone and everyone to a Throwdown is getting slightly embarrassing, especially when you lose every dang time. I'm only trying to protect you, man."
The manufactured drama in this show is freakin' killing me. Have they ever not finished in time?
Our brown rug is now a brown rug with red spots. Merry Christmas!
Sweet and sour sauce spill. Back in a minute.
Ooo - I lied. This is an hour-long show. Irvine is safe ... FOR NOW.
This show ends in 13 minutes and no one's started cooking yet. They're about to have some very angry Habitat for Humanitarians on their hands. And they have hammers.
Does everyone in Mississippi play banjo or blues guitar? Is that a prerequisite to live in the state? On Long Island, you have to know the lyrics to every Bill Joel song.
Robert is squaring off/doing a dance of love with the local soul food restaurant owner. If they're not making out by the end of this, I will eat my own socks.
At the end of the show, they're giving Brenda keys to her renovated home, which was ruined in Katrina in 2005. Y'know, we've been looking at pictures from the hurricane for three years now, and it's still infuriating and sad.
THE SHOW: Dinner Impossible
THE HOST: Robert Irvine
THE CONCEPT: The Chef has to feed 1000 volunteers in Biloxi, Mississippi. He has nine hours.
End of show. Father Leo won, duh.
3/4-SLEEVE SWEATERS: none
FRUGALITY QUOTIENT: pretty high
HEALTH QUOTIENT: fairly high, I guess. I'm flustered
VERDICT: 9/10, for avoiding the obvious holy cow jokes
The bed music sounds like it's excerpted from Rocky 16: Rocky Goes to Crate & Barrel.
Dear Pope Benedict,
Hi there! How are you? So glad you seem to be doing well. I was just wondering - is there a way to incorporate more fajitas into the average mass? I promise I would go more often.
P.S. I understand if you don't want to dignify this with a response.
Father Leo's secret marinade ingredient: "holy water." And he was taught to chop by Mother Theresa. What a cool life, Batman.
Father Leo is a ham of the highest order. Can I say that? Will I still get into heaven?
We have entered Hour 12 of the blogathon. There is a butt-shaped jello mold where my actual butt used to be.
A haiku about Father Leo:
Awesome ninja priest
preaches peace but will nunchuk
you if provoked, dude.
Leo's a breakdancing Catholic priest who loves cooking and has a third-degree black belt. He also has many, many religious cooking puns in his back pocket. Bobby is a dead man. And his soul isn't too safe, either.
THE SHOW: Throwdown
THE HOST: Bobby Flay
THE CONCEPT: Bobby's challenging a priest for the Best Fajita crown. Expect a lot of holy plays on words.
End of show.
3/4-SLEEVE SWEATERS: none - will the mustache suffice?
FRUGALITY QUOTIENT: surprisingly relevant - there was a budgetary aspect to the challenge
HEALTH QUOTIENT: uh - okay, I guess
VERDICT: 7/10, for the mustache
The fire chief/referee has an incredible handlebar mustache not unlike this Emperor Tamarin.
Bobby's adding honey to his tomato sauce. I've never seen that before. Italian grandmamas that read this blog: does this happen?
If my ears doth not deceive me, Keith just called his poultry "chicken bosom." I'm using that from now on and claiming it as my own. No one will ever know. MUAHAHAHAHA.
But seriously, Keith ate him.
Oh, how I jest. Both men are still alive. Their fight will be fought in an arena of food.
Bobby walked into the firehouse to propose the challenge and Keith ate him. It was awful.
Big difference between Bobby and Keith's cacciatore: Flay uses red wine, while the firefighter opts for white, figuring it goes better with chicken. I think I have to go with the Iron Chef here, folks. Red wine + tomatoes = party in my mouth, and everyone's invited.
Chicken cacciatore literally translates into "hunter's chicken," or "chicken that you caught with a big gun and then soaked in tomatoes until it's bloody-looking."
Do you have a distinctive accent? Does it get worse when you're around your family? Mine does, and Bobby's is too, the longer he hangs out with these New York firefighters.
New York City firehouse chef Keith Young is 6-foot-6, and has a Long Island accent that's almost as big. He loves "protectin' prah-petty" and "caw-melized onions." I love his bald head.
THE SHOW: Throwdown
THE HOST: Bobby Flay
THE CONCEPT: The Chef of note challenges a renowned Chicken Cacciatore cook to discover whose version is best.
End of show.
3/4-SLEEVE SWEATERS: none - but the bird of paradise blouse made up for it
FRUGALITY QUOTIENT: n/a
HEALTH QUOTIENT: below absolute zero
VERDICT: 10/10 - insanely entertaining, y'all
Michael's here! He's dressed in a Santa suit to enhance his natural Santa-ness, and even in the jacket, it's apparent he's lost significant weight. Paula has too, come to think of it. Anyone know what they're doing?
Paula is calling her decorator out for bringing store-bought cookies to the swap. The decorator looks mortified, like you just told her she has toilet paper stuck in her teeth.
Reader Robyn has an excellent question: "What happened to the lady who won the last Food Network Star?"
Y'all, we're not done yet! Paula's decking the halls in a tasty way. Or something. It's late, and I just ate two pounds of sesame noodles.
Crossover alert! Paula's brought in Bobby from HGTV. He's teaching her how to wrap cookies all pretty-like, with ribbon and such. History Channel wishes it was this riveting.
If our first child is a boy, we're naming him Paul Dean. He will be Southern, super gay, and totally delightful.
How do the Deens have so many family recipes? It seems like every dish has been in their family since the beginning of time. We have one family recipe, and it's for wallpaper paste.
Jamie and Bobby sighting! They're making ... sand tarts? What the hell are they saying?
Seen today: Ina, Giada, Bobby, Tyler, Rachael, lots of Paula
Unseen today: Mario, Ace, Sara, Anne Burrell, Santa Claus, James Bond
The further we get into this show, the more apparent it's become that Paula might be partaking in some Christmas spirits. I wish I could join her, but there are EIGHT HOURS OF BLOGGING LEFT. Eat your heart out, Jerry Lewis.
Also, they're toasting nuts. Hee. Toasted nuts.
Hee. The lady cooking with Paula now is named Mrs. Susie Butts. In college, I worked making cold calls to hundreds of people with (really real) names like Warren Peace, Homer Simpson, John F. Kennedy, and Mrs. Shitrit.
Paula 2009 is the kind of grandma you'd introduce to all your friends, and then take to a champagne bar/drag club to hang out with ladies with names like Barbara Ghanoush and Honey Crisp. The next day, she'd disappear back to Georgia and you'd be sad for like, 100 years.
Time for another multiple choice question! Paula is wearing:
A) a brightly-colored shirt
B) Jimmy Buffet
C) several pomegranates
D) a Polynesian barbecue
Paula 2009 is SO MUCH MORE GLAM than Paula 2006. Whereas Paula 2006 probably enjoyed bridge and 60 Minutes, Paula 2009 would wear leather pants and tour with the Scissor Sisters.
THE SHOW: Paula's Cookie Swap
THE HOST: Paula Deen
THE CONCEPT: Friends and family of the Deenster are dropping by with their favorite cookie recipes. Jamie and Bobby are here! Finally, y'all!
End of show.
3/4-SLEEVE SWEATERS: zip
FRUGALITY QUOTIENT: n/a
HEALTH QUOTIENT: n/a, unless you're into eating trees
VERDICT: 5/10, for lack of terrifying Carrie juge and bizarre four-level pineapple tree topper that will never leave my nightmares
Edible Film Baker is getting reamed by the judges. (A pun! It's a pun!)
L.A. guy just told his mom to clean up his mess! It's a shocking parent/child role reversal and it's making me uncomfortable. The familial hierarchy exists for a reason, people!
How I know the Husband-Elect is the right guy: he saw me after ten hours of blogging and didn't scream "CRONE!" and run away to Timbuktu.
Staten Island baker is using an edible film paper, which I had no idea existed. I will be licking a lot more random paper now. Y'know, to test it out.
Question for readers: would you want to eat ornaments that have been shoved in a sap-filled Christmas tree? Where squirrels and birds might have lived? I suck on tinsel every now and then, so no judgment.
The Long Island baker's brother is hilariously inept.
Interviewer: What do you like, David?
Brother: Sports and ... uh, sports.
Brother (holding up ornament): Where should I put these?
Baker: It's a Christmas tree, David.
Food Network Drinking Game, Rule #2893752: If something can go wrong with a Food Challenge ingredient, it will. And it won't be something you'd ever expect. "Oh no, my tortilla is too flaky!" "Oh no, my edible silver beads are too roll-ey!" "Oh no, my cream puffs are becoming too moist, which will disconnect them from the adhesive chocolate!"
Another baker basically took some lasagna ingredients, spray painted them, and threw them up wherever they'd fit. I'm not sayin' I could do that, but I'm very good at sticking lasagna in trees.
One baker is making garland out of metal tubing and cream puffs. Another is doing it with amber sugar-covered chestnuts. These may end up tasting like roofing material, but they sure look good.
In New York, there's a children's behavioral adjustment program commercial that promises to fix your kid's bad habits. One part claims it will even "turn your child's attitude around in one minute or less." Imagine the possibilities there. I imagine it will involve threats to send kids to China.
Food Network brought in the contestants' parents and siblings in as special assistants, and there is immediate friction between the Staten Island mother/daughter pair. I hope this doesn't devolve into Jersey Shore-style shenanigans. There's not enough spray tan in the world.
Lisa Simpson is trying to find her way north, and Bart has a faucet stuck to his ... damn, this isn't the right channel.
There is a shocking lack of Carrie Whats-her-face, the terrifying British judge that usually reduces the contestants to weeping piles of mushy goo. It's going to be up to the guy with the glasses and spiky hair who isn't Guy Fieri (TGWTGASHWIGF), and I don't think he has the cojones.
Today's competitors are three New Yorkers and a dude from L.A. whose "mother would cry if [the tree] wasn't pretty enough." Has mom trained him well enough? Will the New Yorkers bring their crowbars? Can everyone make nice flowers? FEEL THE EXCITEMENT.
THE SHOW: Food Network Challenge - Edible Ornaments
THE HOST: The guy with the glasses and spiky hair who isn't Guy Fieri
THE CONCEPT: Cakemakers are taking real trees and covering them with edible ornaments