My kids and I love watching Good Eats on TV.
If you haven’t seen Good Eats, you don’t know what you are missing. It is like watching a good comedy mixed with science, history, geography, common sense and food. I love watching the host, Alton Brown, work his comedy style into learning where food comes from and how to prepare it.
Watching Good Eats is like going back in time to the best science show on TV called Beakman’s World, and putting his laboratory in today’s kitchen. Alton is a wacky science teacher who is also a great chef! Or he is a great chef who is also a wacky science teacher….anyway, he gets my kids, and myself, absolutely happy about cooking and food science.
How can you laugh while learning about lamb, chocolate, tea, cupcakes, etc? Give Alton 30 minutes of your time and I am sure you will laugh and learn something new.
Yes, we often learn about cooking and food sitting right in our living room, instead of the kitchen. Later, in the kitchen, we talk about the things we learned through cooking programs and especially the fun learning we did with Good Eats.
Here my nine year old, and three year old, get ready for the Good Eats program to start.
Just before the episodes start, I serve the kids a yummy snack. Then I call everyone to the living room to take a seat and get quiet.
Here is my 11 year old, holding his baby brother, and sipping on a homemade glass of Mocha Frappe as he enjoys today’s episode of Good Eats. He plugs away at his school work all morning to get it done in time to watch the show. He really “gets” the comedy and science that Alton Brown teaches in his programs.
Today we learned about lamb, its history, how it is raised, different cuts of lamb, and how to prepare the rack of ribs into the shape of a crown. Alton took us to the farm, to the butcher, to the supermarket, and to his kitchen.
Alton is very funny. In the next picture I’ve posted he is impersonating the food police. He often disregards the USDA suggestions on cooking temps, eating things raw, culturing, etc. I think that is one reason I like him so much. He uses experience and common sense to guide him and doesn’t rely on everything the government says is right or wrong in preparing food; much like the Weston A Price foundation in many of his suggestions. Though he does not totally live by the suggestions of Weston A Price either; and thats another reason I like him. Though I love much of what the WAPF teaches, I don’t agree with everything, nor do I implement everything or live by a strict set of cooking rules as they do. Many times when I owned my healthy food store, folks who were devout followers in the WAPF movement would ask my opinion on things, and I would tell them that they needed to remain flexible and do what worked for their family and not get stressed out about eating everything 100%. It can take an incredible amount of time to soak all the grain and nuts you use, or ferment, or only use organic, etc. This is not always feasible. Alton is flexible and he goes with what works, what is healthy in moderation, and makes life fun and interesting. He is my kitchen hero!
In each episode, Alton takes us various places to learn amazing facts about food. Sometimes we are in a foreign country, a super market, in his oven, microwave, cabinets, the sink, the freezer, and other obscure places, or we might even find ourself in a petri dish with other molecules. He places the camera from different vantage points and you really feel as if you are right there in the refrigerator with him. Some parts of his episodes are like being at a theater or in a play. Characters dress up and take you on an adventure. I love his style of communicating and teaching.
Today’s lesson on selecting, preparing, and cooking a Rack of Lamb, which is a very expensive dish at restaurants, became a simple process that you can easily make at home, and Alton showed us how.
Here are some short video clips of Good Eats that I found on YouTube. These episodes will give you just a taste of what Alton’s “comedic science in the kitchen” is all about and how he takes something that seems complicated and makes it simple to understand and recreate in your own kitchen.
Learn History and Science About Brunch and Eggs Benedict.
Part 1 Learn how to make English Muffins.
Learn History and Science About Brunch and Eggs Benedict
Part 2 Learn about eggs.
Learn Science While Making A Pound Cake
Science of Fish and Eating Sustainably
Learn the Science and Method of making Banana Pudding
I am using this Good Eats program as part of our life skills training in our homeschool. The program is only 30 minutes long and comes on TV Mon-Fri. on the Food Network at 11 am in our area. We try to watch the program two or three times a week.
But if you don’t have this channel, or don’t have TV, check out the huge variety of FREE Good Eats videos on YouTube or on the Food Network online. You can also find Alton Brown’s cookbooks in stores.
Homeschooling in our living room with Good Eats is great! Thank you Alton Brown for making food science entertaining and memorable.