Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dear Rachel Ray

I receive your Everyday with Rachel Ray magazine each month.  I'm signed up to receive it until November 2011 due to the amazing deal I got from the middle school fundraiser.  It's an okay magazine, though some of the recipes are completely beyond me.  Don't feel bad though - I find this to be true with many recipes.

In the middle of each magazine is a little tear-out set of sheets filled with seven recipes for the week as well as a grocery shopping list to make life easy.  I've only ever tried one or two of these recipes, thinking my family wouldn't eat most of them.  This week I threw caution to the wind and shopped for all seven nights.  Even with the list you provided I managed to forget a couple items but again - my fault, not yours.

I am going to have to take issue with one of the recipe's instructions though.  It advised to cook my six pieces of bacon in the microwave until crispy done - "about four minutes".  I took out my 14 year old, Pfaltzgraff plate that is microwave safe and placed the bacon on it, being sure to cover it with a paper towel to prevent splattering.

I did check the bacon after four minutes.  Nothing much had happened.  I took the plate down and rearranged the just-starting-to-simmer bacon and put everything back in.  I started the cooking contraption up for another five minutes or so.

There's some things you should note: 

1.  14 year old cookware does not hold up well to cooking bacon in the microwave for 10 minutes.
2.  It is hard to get crispy bacon in  four minutes.  10 minutes didn't even result in fully crisp bacon, but we managed.

Not to worry - no one was harmed.  In fact, it barely registered with me when I heard a small, low "pop" sound coming from the microwave. But, it is one less plate we now own to feed our family.

On the bright side of things - it was one less mess to clean up after cooking - and it was a big mess.

Please know, I certainly don't hold you fully responsible for this - the dishes are 14+ years old.  In fact, I've told my husband for the last number of years that our 15th year of marriage was going to result in new dishes.  Now we are one plate closer to having that be reality.  Though it is a shame that we can no longer entertain a full party of eight people.

And of course I don't expect you to offer me a replacement dish.  This Pfaltzgraff set is retired.  I mean - if you really felt an urge to do something, I wouldn't be opposed to a new set of dishes (possibly fiesta ware? Or white dishes?  I'm still trying to decide...) being delivered to our home.  I know "Rachel Ray" cookware generally is orange, but I may have to politely decline an offer of an all-orange-all-the-time dinnerware set.

I just thought your readers would be interested to know that four minutes is a bit of an understatement.  And they should be warned to not use their best (or only) dishes in cooking their bacon.

The chicken "taco" was an interesting concoction, though I think we will ommit the apple in future variations.

Kerry Murphy
(who can be reached via email regarding any guilt-gifts of new dishes)

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