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Woody: Why fight over food ratings

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The other night I flipped on the TV and came across a show called "Hell's Kitchen," the plot of which consisted of a deranged chef raging at some harried cooks over a scorched souffle.

At least I think that's what set him off. It was hard to tell, because every other word was bleeped out.
He didn't need an apron, he needed a strait jacket.I kept flipping channels, but couldn't get away from cooking shows. One featured exotic dishes prepared in exotic lands. The menu on one segment consisted, best I could tell, of pickled monkey brains served on a toasted palm frond.

I kept flipping channels, but couldn't get away from cooking shows. One featured exotic dishes prepared in exotic lands. The menu on one segment consisted, best I could tell, of pickled monkey brains served on a toasted palm frond.The chef/host smacked his lips and said it was yummy. I'll take his word for it. I checked at Kroger's and they were fresh out of pickled monkey brains.

The chef/host smacked his lips and said it was yummy. I'll take his word for it. I checked at Kroger's and they were fresh out of pickled monkey brains.
There's an entire cable channel devoted to food and cooking. It's extremely technical. One entire show was devoted to showing how to dice a grape.
Back in the Good Old Days when the menu consisted mainly of mammoth, humans ate to survive. Now dining has become an "experience." Eating is entertainment. There are clubs of elite diners called "foodies."

Look, I appreciate gourmet dining as well as the next person. I often order a side order of curly-fries when I place my order at the drive-thru. But I think we've gone a bit over-board, gastronomically speaking.

I lean toward the three basic food groups: grease, lard and beer.

Years ago on a fishing trip in the Canadian wilds, my buddies and I debated who should do the camp cooking. We chose Booger Johnson, for one simple reason: Booger was asleep in the cabin at the time. Booger took a straightforward approach to food preparation: he set a giant pot on the stove, opened several tin cans, and dumped everything into to the pot. If you've never tried sardines mixed with peaches and beef jerky you don't know what you've missed.

The key is to make sure everything is cooked thoroughly, especially the pine needles. That improves your odds of surviving supper. The Old Outfitter who operated the remote outpost cabin flew in supplies every few days. One day he showed us how to fry a beaver tail. It was fairly tasty. I'd compare fried beaver tail to a boiled tennis shoe sole, only chewier.

In all seriousness, the camp grub was delicious. Well, compared to Army food. Back in my GI days when I was stomping around in jungles, we dined on C-rations that reportedly were left over from the Korean War. Personally, I didn't think they were that fresh.

Some of the cans contained aptly-named "pound cake." It was so hard you could pound a tent peg with it. There were packets of cheese so gamey it would have made a rat barf, and tins of greasy, gooey lumps of "boned chicken." They should have thrown away the chicken and kept the bones.The only edible C-ration was beanie weenies. I subsisted on them for a year. Today -- decades later -- I can tolerate neither beanies nor weenies.

Other than that, I'm not too picky about what I eat, although I'm not a big fan of sushi. I don't like to eat something while its staring at me. They could at least blind-fold it before serving.

I have only one hard-and-fast rule when it comes to eating out: never dine at an Italian restaurant whose chef is named Sal Monella.

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Larry Woody
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