Thursday, September 13, 2007
Rachael Ray - The Philosopher Cook
Oh my, I do have to wonder what's happening to me. When I see Rachael Ray in non-food settings, I don't loathe her. Perhaps it was in contrast to Larry King last night, but she came off as extremely down-to-earth AND THOUGHTFUL. Wow! More about that in a moment.
Larry asked some really inane questions. The top one was, as he was touring her television talk show kitchen, "Do you always cook something new everyday?" "No, Larry, of course not, I just use the same 3 recipes and hope that people won't notice." What a moron. She was actually so held aghast by that question that she said, "Oh my gravy, yes." Naturally, he had never heard THAT expression before.
But in retrospect, maybe it wasn't such a dumb question after all. What I hate most about RR's cooking is that it's all much of a muchness - with burgers in many different horrible guises, topping the list. But Larry didn't know that about her, so from him it was a really stupid question.
She went on to talk about what a great life she has, and how she can do her 3 favorite things: chat, cook and travel.
As they go to a break, Larry puts up a question for his audience. Get a load of this - "What is EVOO?" I'm sure he's the only one that doesn't know the answer.
What WAS slightly shocking however, was Rachael's answer. When asked, "What is EXTRA virgin olive oil?", she said - really quickly, as if trying to brush right by it - "It hasn't been filtered."
Now here is the person who is responsible for adding EVOO to the dictionary, for Pete's sake, and she doesn't actually know what it is. EXTRA virgin olive oil comes from the first cold pressing of the olives and, as an aside, is less than 1% acid. The lower the acidity, the higher quality the olive oil. The acidity of olive oil is labelled everywhere but the United States. Look at your U.S purchased olive oil, there's no acidity number anywhere on the label. The next time you're in Spain, Italy or Greece, you will see the acidity level prominently displayed on the jar or can.
AND, notwithstanding RR's explanation, extra virgin olive oil CAN be filtered OR unfiltered. This is very disheartening to me...that she inspires legions of fans to "cook", but that she doesn't know the basic facts about "EVOO". I'm not saying Larry would have understood the answer, but still...
Despite that idiotic question AND answer, here's where the philosophy part comes in. Larry asked how RR felt about all the tabloid reports of her marriage falling apart. She claims she's not at all bothered by them. Here's why:
"My grandfather had a great rule. You have two choices in life. You can either laugh or you can cry. You gotta really choose what you cry about. To waste your time (worrying about the tabloids) is just silly."
I hate to say it, but that really resonated with me. So many people bellyache about their lot in life. They complain about EVERYTHING. I think RR is right when she says you have to pick your battles. You have to choose what to get upset about, because, otherwise, you're dissipating all your energy for stuff that just isn't important.
I guess it's kinda hard to disagree with her about that. From many reports, she does live her life like that. She IS an awful cook, but I don't think that makes her an awful person. Am I actually softening on Rachael Ray? Does that make ME an awful person? But I do think she should read up on her cooking facts, especially on a product that actually has her name on it.