Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Raining on Someone's Recipe Parade

Have you ever visited Allrecipes?

It's one of my favorite sites.

Oh yeah, the recipes are good.

But what I really like to do is read the recipe reviews left by people.

No matter what the recipe, it seems there is always someone who gives it five stars. It could be some god-awful thing like bacon-wrapped cupcakes and somebody's gonna love it.

Then, there are the people who give the recipe four or five stars, but add that they only rated it that high because they themselves strayed from the recipe and added garlic powder, peppercorns and maple syrup. And of course, these might have been a fine addition to the recipe, but they rarely list the quantity, thus making their comment absolutely useless. Unless of course, you have time to muck around with peppercorns, and if so, my hat is off to you.

Sometimes you will get a fairly incomprehensible commenter who is channeling James Joyce's Ulysses, because it will be a stream-of-consciousness essay on what kind of night it was and who they were cooking for and my, why did it take so much longer for their oven to bake the cake there must be something wrong with their oven perhaps they should call a repairman but their husband said it would be too expensive to fix and he said dammnit, just leave it in there a little longer and everything will be fine.

You get the picture.

And last but not least, there are those who simply revel in bucking the norm. There are some recipes where over 300 people awarded five stars. But there is always some schmo who snarkily said the recipe was one of the worst they had ever tasted and they had high hopes, but nothing could save it for them. At that point, I wonder how many of them think that possibly they did something wrong, since the vast majority had no problems. Because there really are people who can mess up a good recipe, no matter what.

Why, why are some people never happy unless bringing someone else down? Here this person put their Grandma Sophie's reputation on the line for her famous butter cookies, and here is this other person who takes a certain amount of joy in giving Sophie one star.

Luckily for us, there are more postive reviewers than not, and I should be thankful for the mean ones, because then all that unchecked niceness and positive vibes would just drive me nuts.

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