Autumn has come, and now our thoughts turn towards cocooning up and settling in for the long, dark winter. Words like warmth and comfort top the list of Needful Things. The October edition of Everyday With Rachel Ray is out in all its autumnal glory — there are Halloweeny pumpkins and spiders galore and pages are glowing with jewel shades of orange, orange, and more orange. In this issue, she reminds us that sexism remains rampant in the kitchen, you can never go wrong with lowest-common-denominator flavors (although you really can go wrong with candied tomatoes), and all Italian food contains pasta.
The cheerfulness! It burns.
I’m just gonna go down the glaring list of wrongnesses:
Page 16: Schools are suffering huge budget cuts. The cost of putting yakitori chicken in Chinese take-out boxes to make it “more fun” for schoolchildren is probably enough to ensure a few books won’t make it onto library shelves. Is this really our priority?
Also, regarding the Mexi Mac – herbs change the flavor of a dish? Huh? You don't say.
Page 23: It’s not a Panini, it’s a grilled cheese sandwich with apples. Panini are made with ciabatta or other crusty, loafed breads and warmed in a heated press. Your sandwiches are made with sliced white bread and cooked on a skillet. The ingredients all look pretty tasty, but I’ll stand on the opinion that misnomers don’t taste very good.
Page 35: It's not a PB&J if you use cashew butter. The P stands for peanut.
Page 37: Beer that incorporates the flavors of food? It’s called “infused.” Look it up.
Page 40: Black food is nothing new. I mean, it’s great for Halloween recipes and all, and it does create a nifty visual wallop, but I remember getting squid ink-dyed pasta in Fargo, ND in the 1980s. Fargo. North Dakota. 1980s.
Page 58: Considering a lot of the recipes and ideas in this magazine are cost-conscious, it seems odd to suggest shelling out $10+ for a can of chalkboard paint to paint a pumpkin that will just rot in a few weeks anyway. If the decoration was mandatory and cost was really an issue, just paint the damn thing black with acrylic paint and draw on it with a paint pen. Half the price. Or spray chalkboard paint on a plastic pumpkin and keep it forever. You are welcome.
Page 67: I read your so-called rules for touch football at least six times. Still don’t understand.
Page 84: If you are spending 56 cents on a tablespoon of thyme, you clearly have no idea how the bulk spice aisle works.
Page 100: "A big trend in food is big flavor and bold, hearty meals" – yeah, it's called winter eating. Ray goes on to talk about how it’s called “guy food” but girls can eat it too, especially her, because she runs four miles a day. In the magazine's introduction, Ray even says "I already eat like a man." I. Can’t. Even. Wrap. My. Head. Around. The. Wrongness. Sexism aside, it makes me wonder; since when is cooking food that tastes good a trendy and novel idea? I thought that was the whole point.
Page 138: Don’t get me wrong, I like lasagna. I love lasagna. I love lasagna so much I want to marry it. But I won’t … not because it’s an intimate object, but because it’s a beautiful, creamy, expensive whore. Lasagna is warm and comforting, an occasion to forget yourself and totally and completely sink into. However, lasagna, also like whores, should never ever, ever be photographed in an extreme close-up. You want to appreciate the larger picture, here, to anticipate what lies within. Food photographers take note.
Also, who puts candy corn in Chex Mix? Honestly.