Perhaps the writer's strike will make us realize how valuable our free time is.  The Pair of Gourmands share their views in 'And the loser is'.  (Photo: Contributed)
Perhaps the writer's strike will make us realize how valuable our free time is. The Pair of Gourmands share their views in 'And the loser is'. (Photo: Contributed)

And the loser is...

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She says:

Those of you that read our column regularly know that we are home bodies. In the winter we do watch a selection of TV shows with quite a bit of loyalty. One of our favourites is “24”. This past Sunday was to be the big launch of another catastrophic day in the life of Jack Bauer, and I was really looking forward to coming home after a hard day at work knowing that someone had it way worse than me, and they still managed to make some good out of the day at the end of it all. Unfortunately, so far this year I am out of luck. (I know there are other people out there who are worse off than I, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it is just nice to get that reminder, you know?)

Of course the reason that Jack and all our other small screen friends are MIA is that the writers are still on strike and so productions are shut down. I don’t mean to take sides as I cannot profess to have more than a cursory knowledge of the issues at hand. However, I can say that I think the drivel we are left with is cruel and unusual punishment and I am here to remind my fellow couch potatoes that we can take action. You may remember a certain film a few years back (maybe more than that) in which a disgruntled TV anchor started a revolution with the cry, “I’m mad as and I’m not going to take it anymore!” The crucial part, he claimed, was that you have to get mad to want to bother even getting out of your seat. As Martin sat with the remote the other night, flipping from one insipid reality show to the next, I decided I was mad enough to get up and start typing.

So, in an effort to take action I am using this week’s column to make you ponder just how valuable your free time is. Do you really want to use it watching people humiliate themselves by performing stupid stunts or acting like prima donnas for their fifteen minutes of fame? Let me ask you this: if someone at the dinner table has something between their teeth, do you try to tell them or do you laugh at them when they look the other way? Just like Howard Beale’s character in “Network”, I think that human decency is an important part of our character and I would like to preserve it. If you don’t like a show, just changing the channel will have an effect. Lower ratings really do kill shows. Higher ratings for things we like will preserve them. Just like I enjoy a balanced meal, I enjoy a balanced show with good writing and good acting and good directing and good lighting, (good catering goes without saying of course.) If we don’t take action to have a balanced life, it is us who loses out the most.

I guess the good news is, there may be more people eating at the dinner table these days, and fewer folks crouched around the couch to catch up on the latest installment of their favourite sitcom. Maybe people will read more. I know I have had a chance to read my cooking magazines cover to cover. But I do hope that the Writer’s Guild and the studios will come to an agreement quickly. I don’t know what we will do for our annual Oscar party if things aren’t fixed soon.

So what is my moral this week? Quality time is important even if it is somebody else’s – respecting someone’s art is as important as enjoying the fruits of your own labour. Thank an artist you know this week, so they know you appreciate their efforts. Maybe that way we can help avoid more strikes. It’s more fun to be happy than mad.

Thanks Chef, for all those beautiful meals.

He says:

I am with the Writers on this one, there is so much bad TV, that we need the Writers to get what they want and return to work. The network makes so much money, the least they can do is share a good portion of it with the people writing the words for their profit machine.

I say in support of the Writers Guild and to show our solidarity we should all start eating ice cream everyday until they return to work. It is not right to screw around with Jack Bauer’s schedule.

I want to leave you with my thoughts on the summer coming up. I know you are thinking it is way too early to start thinking about BBQ and pools, but if every business is like mine, it’s never too early to book your holidays. So if you are planning a holiday in the Okanagan think ahead and reserve. Last year we went camping and I roasted a leg of lamb on the fire, and this year I am planning the same process with rabbit. Look below for one last winter stew recipe for that pesky rabbit in your area!

  • One rabbit cut into pieces
  • One cup of flour
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 pieces of celery
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 2 tbsp thyme
  • Some fresh parsley
  • Chicken stock
  • 1 cup of 33% cream
  • 3 tbsp of grainy mustard
  • Salt & pepper

    In a large enough stew pot cook the onion, celery and the garlic.

    Dust rabbit pieces in flour and shake off excess. Brown in olive oil on all sides in a large cast iron pan. Remove the rabbit pieces and place in your large pot with the onions.

    Pour on your white wine and reduce half. Add chicken broth, parsley, thyme, 1 cup of water and your mustard while cooking until rabbit turns tender which will take about an hour. Add the cream and season with salt and pepper.

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    About the Author

    Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

    Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

    Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

    Kristin says:

    "Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


    E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

    Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


    The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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