Sunday, May 25, 2008

Alton Brown does Hotel Oatmeal

I don't usually click on YouTube videos that people send to me (in fact, I almost always ignore them entirely), but when somebody that never sends me one sends me one, I figure I'd better look. And it's a good thing I did.

It looks like Alton Brown has been playing with hotel cookery too. Specifically, he's been playing with oatmeal, which was my first foray. His version is somewhat different from mine, but it does have some similarities.

First off, he uses standard oatmeal packets, the very same ones that had become my goal to avoid, largely because of their excessive sweetness. Then he adds a packet of honey, and since it apparently wasn't sweet enough for him, he adds some jam. This is all added directly to the carafe, rather than just using the carafe to heat water like I do. He then adds an herbal tea (he uses orange in the video) to the water reservoir, along with the water.

It's a fine method, but in my ever so humble opinion, it has flaws. The biggest one is having to clean the carafe. I suppose you could leave it for housekeeping, but if you do, you'd better make sure you leave a big enough tip to compensate. There's also the issue of using the reservoir. Mr Brown loves his coffee, but I can't stand it. Unfortunately, many of the coffee makers I've seen in hotel rooms seem to have been used to double-brew coffee, meaning they brew it once with one set of beans, and then use the resulting coffee to brew a new batch with a new set of beans. If Feasting on Asphault is any indication, Alton is apt to do such a thing himself (he apparently likes his coffee extra-strong). He make like a hint of coffee in his oatmeal, but I would rather avoid it altogether.

And geez, AB. Excessively-sweet prepackaged oatmeal plus honey PLUS jam? I'm guessing you're the type of southerner who likes his iced tea extra sweet. Besides, have you ever looked at the ingredients on the side of a honey packet? The last one I looked at was more high fructose corn syrup than honey. I don't know whether Alton or I travels more, but I can tell you I spend a lot of time in airports as well. In fact, I find myself at the Cincinnatti airport a lot, since it's a Delta hub. And since Delta prefers me to fly on their connection partners rather than their own planes, I find myself in Terminal C a lot. One of the stores there sells mini-bottles of "straight kentucky honey", plenty small enough to fit into my quart-size plastic bag for TSA review, but still large enough to last me a couple of trips.

"Jeez, Mr. Brown, for a guy on TV you don't know very much." - Chuck, Chops Ahoy (EA1F07)

Okay, so he knows a few things. But he's really gotta learn to explore his world a little better, even including airport gift shops. That whole honey packet thing, that's just not right. There are better ways to do things. In all fairness though, that herbal tea thing was brilliant. It was so good, it should have been mine.

1 comment:

  1. It looked like he used the 'plain' variety of prepackaged instant oatmeal, which isn't sweetened at all. It's just mini packages of the same stuff that's in the instant oatmeal tubes.


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