Lately, I’ve become bored with food. My old recipe standby (salt + pepper + olive oil + heat) can work on practically any food, meat or vegetable, and I think that because it has been such a reliable combination, I’ve used it too much. That has become boring. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a lifetime food addict, it’s that when the good healthy food you make is boring, you start looking for other, unhealthy substitutes. It’s the nature of the beast.

So in trying to cook with more varied spices, I’ve been watching a lot of Food Network. It’s about to drive me crazy. Every American chef now uses the Rachel Ray “give it a” phrase. Instead of saying “stir the soup”, they’ll say “give the soup a stir.” Instead of  “tie the pork tenderloin”, they’ll say “give the tenderloin a tie.” It’s stupid. Give it a stop!

They all do it. Why? It’s unnecessary and it’s annoying. The one exception has been Nigella Lawson. Maybe she doesn’t speak thus because she’s British. Maybe it’s because she’s not an idiot. Whatever the reason, thank Gawd for Nigella. She’s been a 30 minute block of sanity in the midst of hours of crazy. (Though to be perfectly honest, I don’t understand her fascination with frozen peas.)

PEACHES AND MINT JULEP? MERCY: I’m a true Georgia Girl; I love peaches. And mint julep is my favorite mixed drink. Nigella mixed the two. You know I’m trying that recipe as soon as I replace that empty bottle of bourbon and find some fresh peaches.