Thursday, January 19, 2006

Chickens Will Come Home to Roast

As I continue to add series to the trivialTV database, I'm always awestruck by the sheer number of cooking shows. Cookbooks that developed into skeins. Series that spawned cookware.

So I had a question. I wondered what cooking series was the first one to be videotaped for home viewing instead of being shown on the airwaves.

Terrence O'Flaherty (The San Francisco Chronicle, January 31, 1985) answers my question:
Julia Child is busy right this minute down in Santa Barbara stirring up a new series called ''The Way to Cook.'' But it won't be aired. Instead it will become the first complete videotaped cooking course for use in the home.

The initial two-month project will produce six hour-long videotapes of cooking instructions for the home cassette player. The intrepid kitchen explorer is accompanied in this venture by many of the same people who made her television series the biggest thing to happen to American cooking since the invention of the can opener.

After her association for nearly a quarter of a century with WGBH-TV in Boston, I am astonished to learn that there is no plan to convert those shows to home cassettes. With a pause button on the player, they're ready-made for the kitchen counter.

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