I have to admit that many of the meals I cook are eaten in front of the T.V. I make the effort some times, setting the table and setting some mood lighting, but more often than not dinner is sprawled out over the huge coffee table in the sitting room whilst watching the telly. I’d like to say that it what I’m watching is intellectually stimulating or particularly essential viewing, but I can’t. Basically, it’s utter geekery like Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Spaced repeats and Life on Mars, which I missed the first time around. I’m fending off the advances of Big Brother as hard as I can, but the girlfriend keeps getting sucked in and I follow, like a sheep, either that or she’s getting a fix of Extreme Makeovers: Home Edition and we stare at the screen in fascinated horror for hours until they finally move the fucking bus and you get to see what consumer durables the family get. It’s like the most drawn out porno you ever saw, taking two hours to get to the money shot.
Anyway, cooking for TV viewing is a skill in itself. For preference you have to be able to eat with your hands, which is why I assume there’s always a temptation to go the fast food route, which is a pity since I read that eating in front of the TV is the modern world equivalent of eating round a campfire whilst the shaman tells tales. An activity quite so ancient, even in its modern form demands something a little better than a Dominos, I reckon. I’ll happily roast a chicken and steam a couple of corn on the cobs with a dollop of butter and a sprinkling of cayenne pepper for a double bill of CSI. Tapas style grazing strikes me as near perfect, a couple of warm potato tortillas and some peppers, an olive or two and a racion of jamon. Perfect for shouting at the 10 o'clock news or hiding behind the sofa with when Dr Who’s on. A bottle of wine, a bowl of fettuccine and tomato sauce and an episode of The Sopranos is near perfection.
It’s always soothing and comforting to be in front of the TV with something good to eat. The experience is far too depressing if the food is as shit as most of the programming, somehow it’s ok if you’ve spent the time in the kitchen beforehand, it feels like you’ve paid your dues for the evening and are entitled to watch whatever you like, no matter how brain numbing.