Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Calm Cooking

If I were to hang out with someone from the Food Network, it would be Ina Garten. 

Pretty much hands down. 

Sure, Giada is darling (and could be a stand-in for Liesl in the Sound of Music) and Alton is quirky, but Ina? Ina lowers my blood pressure and makes me happy. 

I could write a sample script for an episode of the Barefoot Contessa, and it would go a little something like this: 

Ina: "This afternoon my friend Ralph is coming over, so I'm making some zucchini slices, just lightly drizzled in oil and honey...

...I think we'll add a light spinach salad, with some roma tomatoes just tossed on the top there, because I just love roma tomatoes. They're just wonderful...

...Ralph just called, he's on his way over, so I'm going to check on the zucchini slices...Oh, they just look delightful...

I think we'll pair this with a nice Pinot Grigio. My friend Sally picked this up for me when she was on vacation in the Grecian Isles... 


And then Ina and Ralph sit outside and eat the light meal and clink their glasses before they commence their day drinking in a peaceful garden setting. 

Love. Doesn't even make me jealous. I mean, jealous of the people who get to hang out with Ina, yes, but not jealous of Ina. And so often when I see someone who is so calm and peaceful and delightful, I get jealous of that calm and peace and delight. But not with Ina. I just want to be Ina's friend. 

And I love that her show is all about friendship and just sharing a meal. So many hosts, at the end of an episode, sample the delicacy themselves and say "Mmmm" to the camera. Ina shares (so does Giada, I know, but we're overlooking that right now). And that is how I like to host people. I love to have people over, and serve them rice and beans in my mismatched set of bowls. Put pistachios and fruit snacks on the coffee table for parties. Offer guests one of 12 drinks that I often have on hand (I'm a beverage person--currently my fridge has iced coffee, V8, beer, Coke Zero, milk, and OJ in it, plus there's always the classic water). 

Anyway, point being: if someone put laboratory-type probes on me while watching Ina, I bet you my heart rate would show a decrease. Statistically significant.

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