Yet Another Reason to Dislike The Cook’s Illustrated Family of Publications

Long time readers of my blog should know by now how much I dislike the magazine Cook’s Illustrated. If you are new here, read one of my last rants on the subject, specifically, about how repugnant I find their tone when they write about Asian recipes, just before they “perfect” them by sucking every last bit of flavor, soul and everything that makes the recipe unique, Asian and interesting from it.

It isn’t just how the Cook’s Illustrated stable of writers and recipe “testers” destroy Asian recipes that annoys me–I cannot abide the way that their recipes are all trumpeted as “the best,” because, frankly, they are not exceptional in any way. They are just bland and often dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. And, I really hate the way in which they do taste tests and equipment ratings, where low price trumps quality every time. Essentially, what I think is that the staff of Cook’s Illustrated, Cook’s Country and America’s Test Kitchen has set themselves up as authorities on food and cooking without actually having much in the way of credentials to back up their claims.

And that is enough for me to have little patience with their overbearing, arrogant “we are always right” writing style, and to actively dislike their publications and television shows.

Unfortunately, that active dislike has, overnight, morphed into utter loathing, because of the actions of one of their public relations minions in the case of a blogger who used a recipe from Cook’s Country as inspiration for a potato salad and then blogged about it.

She was contacted by this misinformed public relations person by email, and was told in a very unprofessional manner that she was violating Cook’s Country’s copyright on that recipe and she was told that she must remove it from her blog.

That was not all–not only was she in violation of their copyright (which she was not–more on that in a moment), if she wanted to use a Cook’s Country recipe on her blog, she had to write to this PR person to ask permission, and then, once granted, she was not allowed to modify the recipe in any way.

Why?

Because the recipe has been rigorously tested and as it is published, it is perfected, and does not need to be modified.

That was what really torqued my gizzard right there. I mean, it was bad enough that the PR flunky had no idea what the laws on copyright covering recipes are in the first place (or if she did know, she was engaging in harassment by emailing this blogger out of the blue in order to misquote copyright law), but to have the gall to say that the publishers of Cook’s Country do not allow their recipes to be modified because they are already perfect is just beyond overbearing. That kind of arrogance and ignorance is something I do not expect to find among those of us who live in the reality based community.

The deal about copyright as it applies to recipes is this–and I know this because I have done some pretty extensive research on the subject so I could write about it at The Paper Palate and here on Tigers & Strawberries-according to US copyright law, you cannot ever copyright a list of ingredients. The only part of a recipe that is protected by copyright is the method, and then only if it is written in a unique and literary fashion. There are only so many ways to express the following sentence, “preheat oven to 350 degrees,” for example, so that phrase or sentence cannot be copyrighted.

If, however, you were to follow up that phrase with something along the lines of, “Then, dust off your grandmother’s cast iron frying pan–your grandmother did pass down a cast iron frying pan to you, didn’t she–well, if she didn’t any cast iron frying pan will do, and grease it up well with bacon drippings…” that series or phrases would fall under copyright.

In other words, if your recipe is written in a unique voice, with a recognizable style, it falls under copyright. If it is “just the facts ma’am,” then it doesn’t fall under copyright. All prose leading up to a recipe, describing the process of creating the recipe, does fall under copyright, as it is most certainly a literary expression.

Most food bloggers deal with the issue of using recipes from other sources by citing the source, and then changing either the ingredients, or the wording of the method enough to make it uniquely their own. However, even if they heavily modify the recipe, most food bloggers cite the source, because it is considered to be ethical to do so.

And most folks, both published cookbook authors and other bloggers, don’t seem to mind.

When I review cookbooks here, I always cook at least a handful of recipes from the book after I review the book and present them here, with pictures and commentaries. I have never had a cookbook author complain about this–quite the contrary, several authors have not only gone out of their way to thank me for presenting reviews for their books on my blog, but have often linked to this blog on their own sites, or have thanked me in print in subsequent editions of their cookbooks.

That is because these authors understand the power of word-of-mouth, or word-of-blog advertising. They understand that I am giving them free publicity by featuring their books and recipes in my blog and they understand what blogger and researcher Leena Trivedi-Grenier discovered in the course of her US Food Blog Survey–that people who read about a magazine or cookbook on a blog and see successful recipes presented from them tend to go out and BUY those publications. Duh.

Apparently, the publishers of Cook’s Illustrated, Cook’s Country and America’s Test Kitchen don’t grok that. They are so worried that they might lose money because someone presented one of their recipes for free, that they will risk the ire of a large number of potential readers by being utterly obnoxious to a blogger by telling her incorrectly that not only is she in violation of their copyright, but she isn’t allowed to change the recipe in the first place.

This is so hypocritical of these guys, since the woman who decided to adapt Sichuan Green Beans in their February 2007 tried to use dill pickles as a substitute for Sichuan preserved vegetables, because, I don’t know, a pickle is a pickle. Right? (Um, no. Dill pickles are made in brine from cucumbers, and Sichuan preserved vegetable is made from a type of mustard plant and is salted and rubbed with chilies and is allowed to ferment.) I mean–they change recipes all the time, including perfectly good traditional Asian ones, often in heinous ways, but they are so godlike and perfect that they can do that, while we mere mortals dare not? Puleez! They have a lot of nerve.

That is the last straw for me. I haven’t even looked at one of their publications in over a year, but now I never will again. Nor will I ever suggest any of their publications to any or my readers, friends or family. Nor will I ever purchase one of their books as a gift for new cooks, nor will I ever watch their television show.

I will say that I am tempted to take one of their lame-assed Asian recipes, and present it on my blog, deliberately changing what I need to in order to make it edible, then email their PR department, not to ask permission, but to inform them that I had done so on the chance that they would like to send me an obnoxious and ignorant email like the one sent to the blogger at Alosha’s Kitchen. If they did that, it would give me the excuse to open up a can of ugly legal whupass in a barrage of verbiage that is just this side of Lewis Black. (Here is a clue–stupid people merely annoy me, but condescending and supercilious stupid people will make me lose my cool. Most of the time, I can keep myself civil, but not always. In the case of these Culinary Inquisitors, there is no way I could maintain my usual poised and gracious online communication style.)

I probably won’t though, for several reasons. One, I would want to illustrate the post with my middle finger displayed prominently over the results of the recipe, and that is really, really juvenile. (I think I have been watching and reading a little too much Anthony Bourdain recently.) Two, I have other stuff to do, like present my own recipes, which are often original and which I don’t care if people change up when they cook them, because, dammit, that is what cooks do–they put their own individual fillip on their food, and I will be damned if I stop anyone from engaging in culinary creativity. And I have a restaurant to help run and a baby to raise and a girl getting ready for college, on top of it all.

And three, because, well, I just don’t like being that angry, and a post like that would necessitate a state of focused rage in order to present it with the proper satiric style. And while it would be fun to write the post as a complete send-up of the usual way they write their articles, with all of their bombast and bluster intact, I don’t think I have the energy to sit down and do that right now. I can either go to the gym and get back into physical shape or I can sharpen my wits on these addled morons, but I can’t do both. And right now, being more physically in shape is more important.

So there we have it–the final straw in the saga of the publishers of Cook’s Illustrated, Cook’s Country, and America’s Test Kitchen and my relationship with their magazines. It is over, done, finished.

Oh, well, except for this one thing–I am finally going to say something I have thought for years, but not said in a public forum–I cannot stand Christopher Kimball, his arrogant attitude which I believe has polluted every one of his publications, his faux-folksy, sexist-assed, uptight Yankee editorials, and his god-damned dweeb haircut and bow tie. He’s a self-important git who sucks the joy and life out of cooking every time he picks up his pen.

There.

I said it.

And the devil in me feels just a little bit better for it.

And yeah, I -have- been watching a little too much Lewis Black and Anthony Bourdain these days.

Maybe I should take up Zen meditation again.

It might help.

35 Comments

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  1. Do you know of any other collections of round-up style reviews of kitchen tools? While I often disagree with their opinions, I find the descriptions to be valuable when I’m shopping. Google returns nothing similar to their roundup in a search for “vegetable peeler review”.

    Comment by Michael Leuchtenburg — July 26, 2008 #

  2. Well, I’d been thinking of picking up Cook’s Illustrated, but I guess not now! One customer lost!

    On the other hand, Veganomicon has (so far) been rockin’ my socks. The Cashew Cucumber Dip? Yes please!

    Comment by Amy — July 26, 2008 #

  3. All I will say (‘cos my dinner is nearly ready) is that I read the post you linked to re Cooks Illustrated and Asian cooking and the word exotic needs to be banned unless it’s being used in biology with reference to non-human species. Seriously, being called exotic is so not a compliment.

    I will read more of your CI posts after dinner:-)) Right now, the bottle of wine is calling.

    Comment by Mamlambo — July 26, 2008 #

  4. I really am waiting for the day that one of these PR douches makes some kind of vague threat and a food blogger tells them “Screw you. Sue me, and see how far you don’t get- remember, the embarrassment factor when you’re laughed out of court causes damage *forever*.”

    Comment by bronxelf — July 26, 2008 #

  5. I recently sent multiple emails to that horrid company after my husband watched an “Indian” cooking show. It was not only laughable what they consider flavorful but it was downright offensive the way *they* think they are making something perfect by ripping out every ounce of flavor.

    Strangely, they didn’t respond to my suggesting and sticking to American food.

    Comment by Moderndayhermit — July 26, 2008 #

  6. I agree with you, Barbara, that the way in which CI presents its idea of “cooking” is laughable. Isn’t the whole point of cooking to experiment, test, and improve? If the best way to cook was to follow a recipe to the letter each and every time, cooking wouldn’t really be that exciting, now would it? Although surely some people need to learn the basics of cooking, and need simpler recipes to get started in the kitchen, there is no excuse for propagating the idea that recipes are fixed and objective, and that there is one correct way to make something delicious. I have so many people tell me that they love CI and ATK, and I can’t believe it! It is so boring, and the recipes are insanely over-analyzed, dull, and stereotypically “American.” Ugh!

    Comment by Mia — July 27, 2008 #

  7. Every Cooks Illustrated recipe starts with someone else’s recipe, which they adapt and modify (and sanitize, all in the name of “perfection”). So to refuse permission to publish a blogger’s adapation of a CI recipe is ludicrous. Without adaptation, there would be no CI or ATK. Recipes are living organisms, meant to be passed along, shared, mutated, and loved. I won’t be loving any of CI’s recipes, ever again.

    Comment by Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) — July 27, 2008 #

  8. Whooo… I love me a good rant! :) And this was worth a really good rant. Those people are so incredibly arrogant and nasty!

    Comment by shammi — July 27, 2008 #

  9. well said. :D

    I used to get CI, a friend gave me a gift subscription for a year. He loves it, which is fine. But I started going through it, and I just found it… dull. Sure they do lots of equipment tests and things (and I think that’s what my friend likes about it, more than the recipes themselves), but there was no life to it.

    The following year I got a subscription to Taunton’s Fine Cooking from my partner’s brother-in-law, and it’s excellent! I like the recipes, they have all turned out well, and the people writing for it seem to enjoy food more than the folks at CI. It really works for me and he’s renewed it for me for Christmas every year.

    That said, I’m curious to know how you feel about TFC. :)

    Comment by alia — July 27, 2008 #

  10. losers. they invented cooking, didntcha know?

    Comment by bee — July 27, 2008 #

  11. I got to meet Lewis Black and get my book signed in June. I told him I would have his angry baby. He is my personal Lord and Savior. I miss your rants B. Reading them is one thing…but in the flesh- girl you could make Lewis Black cry like a little bitch. You go!

    Comment by artcargirl — July 27, 2008 #

  12. Ouch! But my it was fun. I am soooo glad that you do not sanitize your site or words, Barbara. Thank you for speaking your mind. I love this country because you can do that. I’ve never spent much time with those publications, so I haven’t experienced that to which you refer, but they do sound dull. Thanks for the made-me-laugh-out-loud rant:)

    Comment by Jane — July 27, 2008 #

  13. I bought an issue of Cooks Illustrated once, tried a recipe, and never thought twice about buying that crap ever again.

    I cannot STAND america test kitchen.

    Comment by Erica — July 27, 2008 #

  14. I’m dismayed to hear that CI’s publicist is being suck a dick.

    I like their content and their methodology. Their niche is methodically reverse engineering American staples and mainstream restaurant trends.

    I don’t look to them for culinary inspiration or innovation. I look to them for techniques, which more often than not, work exactly as advertised.

    Comment by Lindsay Beyerstein — July 27, 2008 #

  15. Personally, I thought the blogger overreacted somewhat. The PR lady was much more civil and patient in her correspondence, and she never said anything about their recipes being perfect (at least from what was blogged). It only makes sense that the company should want to protect their recipes – that’s what they’ve built their careers on. But certainly this was not a case where protection was required. The blogger only credited the initial recipe for inspiration and then posted her own, right? I don’t think that would take any business away from the company, but obviously the company itself felt differently.

    Comment by laurie — July 27, 2008 #

  16. Fabulous rant, Barbara. I agree very much. I wrote a similar entry about two years ago (http://polyhymnia.livejournal.com/111261.html), though I wasn’t as hard on Kimball, in part because at the time he wasn’t harassing anyone, just being an ass.

    The money quote from my entry:
    “But don’t feel like you have to let Christopher Kimball, or anyone else, tyrannize you in your own kitchen, telling you that you can’t change it up if that’s what makes life fun for you.”

    Comment by Alexis — July 27, 2008 #

  17. This is why I love Alton Brown. I don’t watch that show for the recipes so much as the background info on the recipes so that I can understand how everything actually works. Makes modifying recipes so much easier. :-)

    I have to admit I modify recipes more than not. Even yours, Barbara. I hope you’re not offended or something. ;-) It’s mostly when I can’t find a certain ingredient or just happen to have a different one on hand that I think can work instead.

    What really angered me about that CI correspondence was the part about how their recipes don’t NEED to be modified because they’re tested 100 times or whatever. Oh please, there is NO SUCH THING as a perfect recipe! Everyone has their own tastes and situations and I don’t think I’ve even made the exact same meal twice. Recipes are just a starting point, in my opinion.

    And I agree with you about Christopher Kimball. What a bore!

    Comment by Neohippie — July 27, 2008 #

  18. I like Cook’s Illustrated (the website) and find their recipes generally useful and their explanations (such as the one for rescuing a curdled Bernaise) well-written.

    What’s made me loathe the company itself is its telemarketing arm, which calls you on the phone and tries to hook you into buying a lot of expensive books. Let them send you one “free,” and suddenly they’re sending a bunch of them, with a huge bill. High -pressure telemarketing leaves a really bad taste in my mouth, and has made me very wary of the company.

    Comment by Karen Anderson — July 27, 2008 #

  19. If I could leave a whistle in the comments, I would. Fab rant. I totally concur . . .

    It seems to me that the company confuses making recipe directions idiot proof with making dishes perfect. Idiot proof doesn’t mean perfect, it just means that any moron with a pan and a hot plate can cook these things . . . And that doesn’t equal flavor in any way.

    They’ve been crossed off my perhaps someday I will order list with a giant red pen . . . Fools.

    Comment by sarah — July 28, 2008 #

  20. Piling on the rant.

    If you buy one of their books online (hey my father likes the show) and give them an e-mail address, they’ll spam you till the end of time. Even after you unsubscribe, in a few months, the e-mails will start again, this time from another of their e-marketing arms. It took a blistering e-mail to Mr. Kimball himself before the spam stopped. Never again.

    Comment by Mark — July 28, 2008 #

  21. Hey I should have known I wasn’t the only one eternally peeved at their perfecting of Asian recipes.

    Comment by Laura — July 28, 2008 #

  22. Michael, Fine Cooking did a whole magazine of equipment reviews, and I thought that it was pretty good, overall. I think that they are planning on making it an annual thing, so we’ll see if they actually do that.

    Amy, I love the Veganomicon–and not just because the title rules, and I am a big Lovecraft fan. It is a great cookbook, and I really should review it here, and I will someday.

    Mamlambo–yes. I remember when I was a journalism student freaking my shit all over another student reporter because he wrote a restaurant review for a local Chinese place and he talked about how exotic the decor was, how exotic the food was, and here is what cause me to lose my cool–the Asian waitresses were both beautiful and exotic.

    I believe I tossed a thesaurus at him. He caught it, but I was aiming at his head. That caught the attention of our professor, who then got involved and then the entire newsroom leaped into the fray, and it was the verbal equivalent of a barroom brawl in a Western movie.

    The upshot was this–it was decided that while the decor could remain exotic, or the food could be exotic, they both could not be exotic. The word could be used only once, but most certainly not to describe the waitresses who were not objects which could be called exotic.

    The male reporter and I did finally laugh about it later, but things were tense around the newsroom for a while, since my desk was behind his and he was worried for a while that I would pull some practical joke on him while his back was turned. (I was really bad in my younger days for pulling pranks on people, especially in the newsroom. The fact was that most folks found my jokes to be funny, but still, he was especially worried, because I did have a particularly dark sense of humor at the time. I never did anything mean to him.)

    Moderndayhermit–I have only seen one Indian recipe done by that crew–it was really sad. They really should stick with American recipes.

    Mia–most of my own cooking gaffes have happened when I followed recipes to the letter, even against my own better judgment. That is not likely to happen again, mind you. If I can just tell that a recipe will not work as written, I won’t cook it as written.

    Lydia–well said. I concur!

    Thank you, Shammi! I hadn’t had a good rant in a while.

    Alia–I love me some Fine Cooking–it is the only cooking magazine to which I subscribe, and it is the one I gave a gift subscription to my Mom a few years ago and she has renewed ever since. The recipes are great, they work every time, the techniques are valuable and workable in many different contexts and THEY DON’T WATER DOWN ETHNIC FOOD!!!!!

    I love the magazine, and highly suggest it to everyone. It has stuff in it for beginners and experts–everyone can learn from it.

    Bee–I didn’t realize that-you learn something new every day!

    Artcargirl–now, am I to understand that even though Jon Stewart is your boyfriend, you are wanting to have Lewis Black’s angry baby? But what would Jon say? LOL! I have to know–what was Black’s response to your declaration?

    I was lecturing Morganna one night–she had told me that I was too evenhanded and logical, and that I should recognize my own and other people’s emotions when we had arguments, so I found myself channeling Lewis Black, complete with finger-wagging and head shaking.

    She stared at me for a second, in utter shock as the tirade continued, getting more and more ridiculous, and then she busted out laughing, as did Zak. It worked. I got my point across, and recognized my frustration and anger and expressed it, but I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings–on the contrary, I released tension with laughter.

    Jane–artcargirl is right–in person I am much more–uh–outspoken.

    I might have to tell a story on myself where I channeled both Anthony Bourdain and Lewis Black while wearing my black chef’s jacket. The one that gets me called Chef Vader…..it is a case where I just finally was pushed to the limit by someone else in the restaurant business, and I just, well, let my opinions flow forth freely.

    Lindsey–I used to like the reverse-engineering technique, but I think it has gotten pretty old and they are repeating themselves, and some writers just go to very messed up lengths to try and simplify ethnic recipes. The dill pickles in the Sichuan green beans, for example was ludicrous and anyone with a palate could have told her that would be icky.

    Laurie–my issue is that the PR person was legally in the wrong–they do not own copyright on their recipes in the way in which she was stating it. And she did say that they did not allow their recipes to be modified because they had been tested 100 times and perfected. That implies that they are perfect and need no modification.

    But you are right–she was polite, in a barely civil kind of way while she out and out lied to the blogger about copyright violation.

    Alexis–that is a great quote.

    Yeah, I was harsh on Kimball, but I have been thinking those things for years without saying them. I just finally lost my patience

    Neohippie–Alton Brown rocks. He is my culinary blood-brother–we have a lot of the same philosophies on food.

    And no, I am not offended that you modify my recipes–that is what cooks do, and I am not about to tell someone not to get creative in the kitchen and try new things. ;-)

    Karen–their marketing is really awful. Lots of people on Alosha’s Kitchen have horror stories about their marketing tactics–including trying to get the estate of a deceased person (the commentor’s mother) to renew her subscription to Cook’s Illustrated. That is just–low.

    Sarah–that is a good point. Bomb-proof recipes do not necessarily taste more than adequate. Idiot proof just means that they will work for anyone.

    Comment by Barbara — July 28, 2008 #

  23. I agree with almost everything you say yet come out differently about the magazine. I like Cook’s Illustrated. I consider it the geeky cook’s ideal magazine. I like how they tell you exactly what results they’re looking for. I like how the articles include the underlying science (thank you, Harold McGee!). I like the detail and the examples of what didn’t work.

    I find I can ignore their “we’re perfect, you’re not” attitude. I don’t have to follow their recipes. I don’t have to agree that their goal is the “perfect” version. I do learn from what they do and I apply the science and experimentation to achieve *my* goals.

    ATK doesn’t do any of this so I find it boring. Kimball is boring, both in print and in person. And somehow, CI totally misses the boat when it comes to Asian cooking – I rarely even bother to read those articles. How do they get it so wrong? It just amazes me.

    And legally, as you say, they don’t have a leg to stand on.

    Comment by Harry — July 28, 2008 #

  24. Oh…what a great entertaining read. Love it when you go on a rant Barbara. I find myself sitting here saying out loud “you go girl” then looking around to see if anyone is listening to me talk to the computer. Keep it up!

    Comment by Maureen — July 28, 2008 #

  25. Couldn’t agree more – (OK – actually I could).

    For those looking for alternatives to their crapazines I suggest my perennial faves – the UK and Australian cooking magazines – they have a different attitude and approach and the UK ones DO test equipment (and wines and all kinds of stuff). And their recipes are different so I tend to get inspired rather than bored.

    In particular I like BBC Good Food, Sainsbury’s magazine (very hard to get hold of) from the UK and delicious from Oz. Both the BBC and delicious ones are in Borders usually. Sainsbury’s I have to rely on once a year mailing from relatives, so I only actually see one copy a year.

    They DO have their failings. THe BBC one is very pushy about the TV shows and very commercial. But if you read it there is still a LOT of quality there.

    Comment by Owen — July 28, 2008 #

  26. WOW! They certainly put their foot in it this time, didn’t they? I had no idea they were so self-righteous about their recipes or so idiotic about forcing people to take recipes down by claiming authorship. I flip through the magazine because I like some of the illustrations but I read it at the library and never spend a dime on it and now, I never will. Besides, I like my vinegar, chilis, tumeric, cumin, spices, etc. I like my food hot and spicy – like here – and not their version of bland.

    Comment by Nancy — July 29, 2008 #

  27. Interesting… I just sent in a postcard to subscribe, but maybe I should rethink that. I find that many of CI’s recipes are great as base recipes – a springboard from which to individualize. I’ve never looked at their Asian recipes, but wow, I’m completely stunned by what you’ve said about them. I love Fine Cooking magazine, it’s my favorite, but CI is sort of nice to have around. Now that I know more about them, however, I think I will be cancelling my brand-new subscription.

    Comment by Kristen — August 1, 2008 #

  28. Interestingly, I haven’t had the same experiences you’ve had with the Cook’s Illustrated people. I’ve been happy with the recipes they come up with. That said, I don’t use their Cook’s Illustrated recipes, preferring the ones in their cookbooks, which seem longer and more detailed than the ones in the magazine.

    If you get a chance in the bookstore some day, I’d take a look at their recently published _The Best International Recipe_. The asian and south-asian dishes I’ve made out of that cookbook are full of authentic ingredients, and although they do present possible substitutions, the original recipes are pretty heavy with the less common ingredients. For example, the Pad Thai requires Tamarind paste (of course), and strongly recommends both Thai dried shrimp and Thai salted preserved radish, with only brief notes that those are optional, if your palate does not tend to them. Now, I’m sure you could suggest some excellent additional ingredients that would improve it, but as is it doesn’t have the problems you mention above, at least as I see it.

    Perhaps the Cook’s Illustrated recipes are targeted at a more general audience than the _Best Recipe_ series?

    Comment by Ted — August 1, 2008 #

  29. Thanks for this post; I always feel I have to defend my hatred for CI to everyone. It’s like the entire country is walking around under the spell of that dipstick in the bowtie. May I quote you from now on??? :)

    Comment by Sarah — August 2, 2008 #

  30. Wow,
    I’ve been lurking on your website for over a year now and I believe i’ve bought 660 curries by raghavan iyer solely because you loved it and recommended it on your blog. I must say though, i looked for it very far and very wide as i live in south india and no bookstore stocked it.. i finally had to order it online. So Cook’s illustrated is definitely going to be avoided like the plague because i trust your judgment. And also because anyone who zaps the flavor out of any asian recipe and ‘perfects’ it .. hah! I love my native cuisine! Blandifying it will not make it ‘perfect’, thank you very much!

    Comment by Huda — August 3, 2008 #

  31. This was great! Man, they didn’t realize how much clout food bloggers have online! I for one will never be purchasing any of their products either.

    Comment by JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen — August 7, 2008 #

  32. Barbara,

    Thanks so much for the clarification on how to credit recipes. It makes so much sense. Now I can sleep better.

    -Mama JJ

    Comment by Mama JJ — August 16, 2008 #

  33. I must admit that I stopped reading Cook’s Illustrated for a less intellectual reason: It seemed like they wrote about some version of roasted chicken in every edition! Yes? No? Is that my imagination? I saw their mag at Balducci’s check out this past week, first thing on the cover “Herb Roasted Chicken.” Oh! Stop already, I own Roasting by Barbara Kafta – move on!

    Comment by Blushing Hostess — September 10, 2008 #

  34. Hey Barbara,

    Joining this conversation a bit too late, but just wanted to give you a shout out for such a great post. It is clear you are passionate about what you do and believe in, and I love that in a food writer.

    And thank god SOMEONE finally made fun of Kimball’s hair and bow tie. It was a long time coming!

    Comment by Leena! — October 28, 2008 #

  35. Cry babies.

    Comment by Chris — February 18, 2012 #

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