As some TD readers know, I am in the final week of writing my master’s thesis. My “drop dead date”- unpleasant terminology for sure- is the day after Thanksgiving. I’m not working for the time being, just sitting at home getting a great monitor tan and trying not to get too depressed or go insane.
Tuesday I was having a tough time concentrating and in an effort to snap myself out of it, took my lunch break and decided to watch some TV. I got sucked into a cooking show where this absolutely horrible, rancid woman named Rachael Ray (perhaps you have heard of her) was making Thanksgiving dinner in 60 minutes. The concept itself I found really offensive and rather worthless- because, what?- suddenly on Thanksgiving people start showing up at your house and you forgot to cook anything but happen to have all these crazy ingredients around? Oh right, because you are just coming out of a 3 day blackout. Yeah, so anyway.
I turned on the show as she was putting the finishing touches on things and reviewing what she had done in the previous 56 minutes. The camera focused on the stuffing. Now, I love stuffing and can get pretty excited about it (sad, I know)- magical poultry seasoning, onions, celery and stale bread, baked in a buttered dish- it can be vegetarian, it can have fruit and nuts, it can be made entirely of meat… anyway, there are a lot of ways to make stuffing but what Ms. Ray produced I would hardly call worthy of stuffing anything except the garbage can. So, she starts reviewing her recipe for viewers and do you know what she has used for the base? The stale bread replacement? Store bought pumpkin muffins. Can you imagine? That means she is basically making stuffing out of cake. CAKE. Do you know what else she puts in this …stuff? Zucchini, apples and chipotle peppers.
I am still horrified.
Now, I’m not sure I know anyone who actually takes Ms. Ray seriously, or finds her work to be of high quality, and I understand that “Thanksgiving in 60 minutes” is a gimmick to get people to tune in to one of her shows. I just, I dunno. Needed to talk about it. That she took something simple- stale bread with onions- and made it complicated and gross. That her success is based on...what? That advertising and consumerism and market saturation make me depressed. Will someone actually try this at home? That worries me. Admittedly, I am on the edge- mentally pushing myself to meet a deadline that sometimes feels 60 minutes away. The only advantage I have is that I prepared. I knew this was coming…just like anyone who is watching a show about making Thanksgiving dinner in 60 minutes, a week before Thanksgiving- I know what is coming.