Thursday, September 09, 2004

I LIKE PBS's "America's Test Kitchen" for the same reason I like the Food Network's "Good Eats": It shows just how much improvisation, how much trial-and-error, there is to cooking.

But Christopher Kimball really needs to think of another way to open the show. Every episode starts something like this:

"When spaghetti with meatballs is good, it's a wonderful comfort-food treat. But when it's bad, it's a greasy mess of worms studded with hockey pucks."

Something like that. What's especially entertaining is when that formula is applied to some dish that nobody's ever heard of. The program is in its fourth season, and it's running out of culinary standards. Chocolate mousse cake? Summer berry pie? OK, I can picture such things, but I'm supposed to have a clear idea of "good" ones and "bad" ones?

When french fries topped with sunny-side-up eggs and Tabasco sauce are good . . .

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