Food and being green on the BBC
I am eternally grateful that the BBC broadcasts free-to-air on satellite, and that I live within reception range. I feel a bit guilty that I don't have to pay anything to view the Beeb as UK residents do, and believe me if they started to bill me something I'd pay it without question. The BBC has the best programming, bar none, of any network I've ever seen in any country. (I'm even a closet East Enders watcher, but don't tell anyone.)
Tonight the Celebrity version of MasterChef Goes Large, the best cooking competition show on TV (yep, much better than Top Chef) started. Usually Celebrity-anything is pretty horrible, but the first show of Celebrity MasterChef was not bad at all - mainly because they kept the format of the original. No pandering to celebrity egos, no having professional chefs teach them hand and foot to mimic their dishes. The celeb contestants had to create their own dishes, just like the people on the regular MasterChef. And even though there were three female celebrities on the first show, there was absolutely no cleavage on display! Amazing. (Correction: a male viewer points out that Sarah Cawood had a bit. Of cleavage that is. But it was discreet.)
Longtime readers of this site will know that I played along with the MasterChef season 2 challenges earlier this year. I'm not going to do so with the Celebrity version, but I'll be watching. Linda Barker from Changing Rooms won the first day - although her presentation was rather messy, the lady can clearly cook. (Uhm, Charlie Dimmock has been eating a lot of her own cooking it looks like.) U.S. viewers shouldn't miss season 1 of MasterChef which will be airing soon as Nicole from Slashfood has noted.
Another great food show on the Beeb started a new season this weekend. Ever Wondered About Food is a program produced by the Open2.net, the TV programming for the Open University, so it's part food science, part cooking. The recipes are few but they are really good, and the science parts are very interesting too. Above all the host, Paul Merrett, is terrific. I'm not sure why he's not higher up on the Celebrity TV Chef scale - he's dynamic, passionate about food, and really cute too (imo). He did have a show some time ago called The Best, with two other adorable chefs, Sylvana Franco and Ben O'Donoghue. Why all three of them haven't become food mega-stars is beyond me. The companion book (UK link) is one of the best of its type - think Jamie Oliver with more variety. Anyway, I hope that Ever Wondered About Food also filters around the world. (I've seen older seasons on BBC Prime, the stripped down poor version of the BBC we get on cable in continental Europe.) In the meantime, check out the Open2.net web site for recipes and more.
Finally, on the local BBC London station they are making a typical London family go through a "greening" experiment. The web site has plenty of information, and it's interesting to see what they recommended the family do and compare it to your own situation. Some areas I'm good (I bring my own bags along to the supermarket instead of relying on their shopping bags), and some not (didn't have the time to grow veggies in the garden this year beyond a few herbs...)