November 21st, 2010

compass rose

Goin' places

Our Venturers had a fine cool-weather campout this weekend. We drove down to Lynnville Park and set up for the night, then attended a meeting of the Evansville Astronomical Society at their observatory. Got to look through their big telescope, too.

Next day it was off to Angel Mounds to walk the archaeological site and ogle a couple of museum displays. We had extra time, so we drove over to Wesselmann Woods and hiked the trails for a bit. Then it was off to Shyler's Barbecue for supper. We got home last night about 8:30.

Tons o' fun.

The White Rock fairy is looking kinda seedy The White Rock fairy is looking kinda seedy
Kaleb and Connor at Lynnville Park
A bear to hibernate with A bear to hibernate with
Makayla brought a friend to help her keep warm
Cheaper to build up, they say Cheaper to build up, they say
Venturers in front of Mound A, site of the chief's complex, at Angel Mounds
I can row, canoe? I can row, canoe?
Kaila, Brooke, and Makayla try out the seating in a dugout canoe at the museum

(For those too young to remember the White Rock fairy, check this out:
cook with fire

Finally backed a winner

My track record of rooting for Next Iron Chef contestants hasn't been very good. In the first such contest, I backed John Besh over Mike Symon. I have since found Symon to be probably my favorite Iron Chef to watch, but at the time I thought Besh cooked more interesting food and was a nicer guy. Which sets up the whole question about food vs. personality that I find intrudes itself in these foodie reality shows. Do you back the food or back the cook?

Anyway, last year I was rooting for Jehangir Mehta. I thought he was the most versatile in his cooking, the most engaging in his personality, the one who brought something really different to Kitchen Stadium. I did not like -- and still do not like -- Jose Garces. In the last couple of Next Iron Chef episodes, Garces ran down Mehta time and again, and I got tired of it. If you can't talk up your own food, at least don't talk down somebody else's. I don't enjoy watching Garces even now.

A few weeks ago, I was already tired of Marco Canora. He whined and weaseled and tried to game the contests too much. He was obviously the most consistent chef in what he cooked, but also the most predictably off-putting as an on-air personality. So I was rooting for Marc Forgione tonight. He would have to put together an error-free meal and Canora would have to stumble a bit in order to win, I thought.

And both chefs did just that. I look forward to seeing Forgione finding his sea legs on the good ship Iron Chef America.