I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Saturday, February 19, 2005

You're blind now. Aren't you?

Like a goddamn train-wreck

I have a guilty pleasure.

Do you want to know what it is?

Rachel Ray.

WHY, OH, WHY am I sucked into watching her giggle and snort her way through three television shows now?!?!

It all started with 30-Minute Meals! She'd spoonula, and garbage bowl, and Yum-O! her way through thirty minutes of television, during which time, I would sit, transfixed, at how everything she did annoyed the hell out of me, because she was just so goddamn perky. Running her knife through herbs, capers, roasted red peppers, her fingers... and then scooping everything up on that large Japanese knife, and throwing it into her pot, where she had already heated up her E.V.O.O. Ugh. All the while she's telling folksy stories about how she always smells like salami, or how she used to get carried around by Luigi the Zeppoli salesman in Niagara Falls New York, or how there's nothing better than to sit down to a homey Italian/Canadian/Irish/Syrian/French/Turkmenistanian meal that her Mother/Father/Uncle Zpravlopsi/Nanny Click-Click-Bloody-Click used to make out of octopus beaks, anchovies (They positively melt and turn delicious and nutty when sauteed in a lil' EVOO!) and pig's hooves. The woman is a human garbage bowl.

And then there is $40-A-Day, where Ray Ray trips around the country, nay the world, wasting perfectly good table service on a .75 cent cuppa joe, and a $1.00 muffin, while her waitress grumbles in the background about her impending .40 cent tip, and having to explain to dear lil' Ray-Ray about how, "Yes, the short stack blueberry pancakes are made with real Mount Quapahasco blueberries," and, "Yes, there's a drugstore down the street where you can buy cream for your annoying vagina." In Italy she went around butchering the Italian language (Funny, no? Considering how she always trumps up the fact that she's half Sicilian. Good to see that she took a real interest in learning one of her native languages, as she bumbles the pronunciation of Straticella.), creaming her Chic Jeans over a Florentine steak and a cup of cheap Italian rot-gut wine and ordering the cheapest thing on the menu at the most expensive restaurant in town.

That brings us to that other show that she has, whose name I don't remember right now. I want to say it's called, "Pissing Off B-List Celebrities in their Kitchens, With Rachel Ray." I've only caught one or two episodes of this abomination, but it's clear to me that my reaction to Rachel Ray is the same as, oh, Mariel Hemmingway's reaction to her, or Penn and Teller's reaction to her cloying sweetness. Mariel Hemingway tried to answer her inane questions, only to be cut off by Rachel's piggish snorting, brassy interruption, and overly ebullient "ooh-ing and aah-ing!" about her pool and gardens. I thought one of the little Hemingway children were going to push Rachel into the pool, praying that the mike pack in the back of her high--waisted, tapered bottomed pants, had enough juice in it to stop Lil' Ray-Ray's heart.

Penn and Teller told her in no uncertain terms that she was an idiot, as she botched one of the easiest gross out tricks in the book - holding a creamer up to your eye, and pretending to poke out your eye with a fork, while squeezing the creamer packet, and screaming. Ray held the creamer a good 4 inches from her eye, poked her fork in, took it out, squeezed the packet, and when it was empty, finally screamed. Don't quit your incredibly cushy three day jobs, Rachel.

And yet, despite my effluvious criticisms, I cannot stop watching her shows. I'm adopting her cooking technique, I'm modifying recipes based on what she's taught me, and I can honestly say that she has grown on me. Ugh. Does that mean I'm one step closer to becoming a white-bread plebian, doomed to live a life of mayonnaise-based salads and Jell-o molds?

I'm very conflicted. On one hand, Rachel Ray annoys the pants off of me. Still, it's not to the same level as Emeril Lagasse and his audience, with a collective I.Q. of 37..."HE SAID GARLIC! LET'S GO CRAZY! AHHHH! HE JUST ADDED BEER TO CHILI! I CAN'T PROCESS THAT MUCH!! I'M GOING NUTS!", so I can still watch her.

And as much as I'm ashamed to admit it... I might be a fan. Seeing her is one of the reasons I might shell out $100 to go to the Miami Food and Wine Festival... Maybe she'd let me lick some cream off her spoonula...