Recaps14x20: Roll Call recap
: Alton opens the episode speaking of the “maelstrom of mediocrity” that currently envelops our culture – a misfortune he says originated at the epicenter of our culture, the dinner table. The scene enlarges to reveal Alton sitting at just such a table, surrounded by plastic representations of a traditional nuclear family: mother, father, son and daughter... read more.14x17: Use Your Noodle IV: Lasagna recap
: The watchword of 21st century marketing may just be comfort. To prove his point Alton surfs through several commercials (all narrated by a suspiciously familiar voice). Each of them extols the virtues of its product's comfort, from shoes to car air conditioning to a giant sack-like cocoon suited for home lounging. The concept extends to food: comfort food, eaten to produce an improved emotional state. Several more commercials, extol the comforts of mashed potatoes and meatloaf and macaroni, suggesting these products are just like Mom used to make or perhaps even better. If comfort is king, shouldn't a cook want to prepare the most comforting food there is?.. read more.14x15: Devil of a Cake recap
: Alton's cake story opens long, long ago in a midwest far, far away. Presented newsreel style, complete with a tinny tack piano and the whirring of an old-style film projector, viewers see the final judging of a cake-baking contest. The winner, for the fifth straight year, is Miss Ellie Elson, whose angel food cake the judges pronounce truly fit for angels. A reporter whisks Ellie outside for pictures, leaving behind the bitter Miss Prudence Binderbrass... read more.14x14: Pantry Raid XIII: Destination Chickpea recap
: A woman studies a laptop computer, learning about something called “The Odyssey”, a comprehensive trip to the Middle East with a $2500 price tag. Her husband is on the phone with the airline, discussing what trips he can get for the three hundred seven thousand and change points he has accumulated. They're good for a week in Jerusalem... Ohio. That convinces her to buy the Odyssey, and they'll just skip birthdays for the next ten years. Just before she completes the transaction a pantry door bursts open and Alton bursts in. He's here to save them from a dubious overseas adventure... read more.14x13: Egg Files VII: Meringue recap
: At a table suggesting a swanky restaurant, Alton has just finished a fine meal. American cuisine, he says, has come a long way in the last twenty years, but those who want dessert subtlety had better have a time machine handy, because they've missed that boat. Back in the twenties and thirties... just then the dessert cart rolls up, laden with treats. On it Alton sees Baked Alaska, Oeufs a la Neige (literally: eggs on snow) and Pavlova. There's also chocolate mousse cake... at this point Alton reaches beyond the fourth wall to call for a program pause while he considers the first three dessert choices. Each is a meringue based treat that is all but gone from the culinary landscape. That's a shame, since meringue, a “magical” mixture of egg whites, sugar and air also goes by another name... Good Eats!
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