JACQUES, JULIA AND JAMIE

Saturday afternoon my Mrs. Greenbean and the girls were out shopping for dresses and stuff and I had some free time.  I had worked most of the morning and, honestly, was just thinking about kicking back in the recliner and napping.  I know that as a card carrying man I should be watching college football, because it was Saturday.  However, I was flipping through the television and spotted something that caught my eye.

That’s right, it was Julia Child and Jacques Pepin on PBS!  This demanded my attention.  Julia Child of course is a great cooking hero but Jacques Pepin—what a stud!  I mean, seriously, he is like the coolest chef guy ever.

Julia and Jacques were baking soufflés and they looked so yummy.  One was a desert soufflés and the other was a scallop soufflés.  I could almost smell the kitchen flavor as they whisked, beat, and baked.

Jacques Pepin used to have a regular weekly show on PBS that I watched all the time when I was in college.  I learned a lot about simple cooking techniques from watching him.  He always uses fresh ingredients and he encourages me to never over cook the meat!  To my knowledge Pepin had three shows–one with Julia, one by himself, and a third with his daughter.  I didn’t care for that so much because I found her lack of cooking skills annoying.  She seemed to be in the way.  I’m sure she is nice and all, but she didn’t have that cook’s instinct—and those of you who cook know what I mean.

Before I found Pepin on tv as a young man, the only people I’d ever seen cook were women—mostly my mother, grandmother, aunt, and my friend’s mothers.  My father can cook very well, but he never did it unless we were camping, and then it was always fried fish, potatoes and breakfast foods like sausage and eggs.  The idea of my father baking a soufflés, for example, is just impossible for me to imagine.  But Pepin, somehow, in a smooth, confident and definitely French way made cooking come alive for me as a guy thing to do.

Of course, Pepin doesn’t do much anymore in terms of tv, although I think he still puts out cookbooks.  What I find fascinating is that most of the major cooking personalities on television today are masculine—Alton Brown, Anthony Bourdain, and a host of other people who do tv shows about food.  Yeah, I know there are plenty of women out there on television who cook great food, like Paula Dean but it fills me with a certain amount of joy that food can be a man’s game.

And, after all, when a man cooks he can eat his labor.  Eating footballs is never much fun.  It was a delightful half-hour of nostalgia and testosterone fueled indulgence.  Of course, when the show was over I took my nap and dreamed of making soufflés in a gadget filled kitchen of my dreams.

GREENBEAN CRUSH

Man-crush is a funny phrase.  I understand it to be descriptive of the way a man can feel about another man in an admiring way that is totally non-sexual.  To have a man-crush is to want to hang out, have a coffee, or go fishing with another guy, but is in no way a sexual attraction.  So, here are some of my man-crushes.  Note, this list is not exhaustive, and do not be surprised to find future updates.

  • Bill Hybels—I’ve always admired Hybels as a great leader of American evangelicalism.  His church, Willow Creek, was the trend setter for reaching unchurched people in an effective way.  So, I admire him as a leader.  But that is not why I have a man-crush.  I am sure he is not perfect, but he has built his church and crafted his life as a Christ-follower being who he is.  He is true to himself and pastors his church that way—and he has a sailing boat and a great tan. 
  • Alton Brown—Alton Brown cooks the way I want to cook.  His program, Good Eats, is one of my favorites.  Alton approaches food the way any real man would—we cook because we want to eat!  What do we want to eat—preferably food that is deep fried and if we can use stuff we bought at the hardware store to do it, even better.
  • Sean Connery—he is, and forever will be, 007.  Pierce Brosnan is an acceptable second, but there is no one like Connery.  But the reason I man-crush on him is because of how he does it.  Connery started going bald in his late 30’s and he has enormous ears.  Yet, somehow, he overcame these physical problems to be the smoothest, coolest, most dangerous man you’d want to share a vodka martini with ever.  Yeah, given my own physical limitations (not the least of which is a whiney voice), he is a true hero.
  • Rand Paul—I do not mean this in a political way.  Pastor Greenbean only observes politics, and generally believes all politicians are dishonest.  But there is something about Rand Paul that I like.  I think it is that there is something attractive about someone who truly believes his or her message and says it over and over again and does not deviate based upon polls or opinion.  I don’t think he’ll make much difference, really, in the corruption of the senate.  But he does have nice curly hair, which might help.  By the way, his voice is kind of high-pitched and whiney too, so, even more hope for me!
  • The Beard Coach (Adam)—I do not know what his full name is, but he has one of the coolest websites.  As a bearded man who loves his beard, the Beard Coach is an inspiration and a digital follicle mentor.  I someday hope to sport the full, strong, masculine beard he has.  Way to go, Beard Coach. 

I would love to hear some of your ‘man-crushes’ and definitely some input from the ladies.