The cider press rules

I am taking a day off work today – not because I have to, or because I had any special plans, but just because it’s the holidays and I’ve always envied people who get a lot of days off between Christmas and New Year’s.

I was delighted to see an episode of “Food Jammers” on Cooking Channel this morning. I didn’t realize they were still airing it at all. When Scripps Networks (which also owns Food Network) decided to convert Fine Living Network into Cooking Channel, the channel’s schedule made heavy use of programming imported from Canada (and, to a lesser extent, the U.K.). “Food Jammers” was one of its original shows; Cooking Channel aired the first season, even though by that point the show was on its third season in Canada.

“Food Jammers” is sort of hard to describe, which may be one reason it wasn’t a runaway hit for the network. If you like both “Mythbusters” and some of the culinary contraptions Alton Brown used to build on “Good Eats,” you’d probably like “Food Jammers.” It’s a show about three young men — Micah Donovan, Chris Martin, and Nobu Adilman – who build various food-related contraptions. In the season that Cooking Channel originally ran, some of the projects included:

  • A taco vending machine – totally impractical, but fun, it actually assembled tacos to order;
  • A giant stainless steel hot-dog roller, big brother to the ones you see in convenience stores and concession stands, to warm a homemade, 10-foot-long sausage for a party. The same episode featured a sort of gyroscopic rotisserie which revolved a chicken in every possible direction as it roasted;
  • A sofa-side living room soda dispenser, connected by tubes to a spare refrigerator in the kitchen which housed a CO2 tank and various homemade syrups;
  • A homemade deep-fryer, with a vent hood made from an actual car hood.

You get the idea. The three hosts have an almost stoner-like demeanor, although they are a bit more productive and competent than one might expect stoners to be.

Anyway, the episode that I saw this morning was from the show’s second season in Canada. Maybe Cooking Channel is giving the show a second chance by sticking it in the daytime hours, when the stakes are a little lower. In this morning’s episode, the boys built a homemade cider press so that they could produce their own naturally-fermented hard apple cider.

I’ll have to set the DVR to look for this again.