Channeling Rachel Ray Just Isn't the Same In the Desert

5 years ago

I’m a lot like Rachel Ray. In fact, people get us confused all the time. Sometimes, I’ll be out walking and I’ll hear someone yell “OMG, it’s Rachel Ray!” When that happens I just blow a kiss and keep on going. I enjoy having fans, even if they’re mistaken.

…OK, I lied. I don’t really have fans, and no one ever mistakes me for Rachel Ray. We are a little bit alike though, in that we’re both slightly chubby brunettes from the Adirondacks. Also, we’re almost the same age (though I’ll always be younger), and we both cook a lot.

“Rache” and I have only minor differences in the kitchen: she cooks for adoring millions, while I cook for 6 people who would unanimously prefer to order pizza. She has teams of minions to wash her dishes. I only have a handful of disgruntled teenagers. Also, when RR cooks she gets paid squillions of dollars per dish. I make considerably less.

But those things notwithstanding, when the cutting boards come out, and the EVOO is sizzling in the pan, when the glass of merlot is poured, and the aromas of fresh herbs and garlic fill the kitchen, Rachel and I are one in spirit.

At least that’s how it used to be. Then I moved to Kuwait and it ruined everything.

It’s hard to channel Rachel Ray here. It’s hard to make instant oatmeal here. For one thing, my stovetop has two settings: Glacial and Scorch. Also, once the stove comes on all the lights in the apartment start flickering in a manner suggestive of disco balls and death metal concerts.

My kitchen knives, too, leave a lot to be desired. My kitchen knives came with the apartment. Remember the Ginsu knives from the Home Shopping Network? They could cut through a steel can and still slice a tomato so thin you could read a newspaper through it. Well, my knives are like that… only different. My knives can cut through warm butter, and they’re superb for prying old nails out of the walls. Sometimes I use them to successfully remove hair from the shower drain. My knives, though, could not chop garlic if I was being set upon by vampires and my life depended on it.

Then there’s the counter space issue. There is none (that’s the issue), so I prep all my food on top of the washer and dryer. Which is more sanitary than it sounds. I mean, I have a cutting board; I’m not a total heathen.

Kuwait, as you may have heard me lament, is a dry nation. Not just in the lack of rainfall, either. I mean there’s no booze allowed in the country at all. None. Nada. There’s not a drop of alcohol to be had by legal means here and that, woe is me, means no wine for the kitchen.

Part of channeling my inner “Rache” has always been pouring a glass of wine (some for me… some for the sauce. And some for me again) while I cook. That, alas, is not possible now.

I did buy some alcohol-free wine recently. What a joke THAT was. It tasted like Dimetapp, and anyway, I had to drink it from a coffee cup.

It’s hard to access your inner foodie when you’re standing in the flickering semi-darkness hacking away at vegetables on the dryer-top, and knocking back grape-flavored swill from a ceramic mug.

Save me, Rachel.

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