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Small Talk: Endive Into Discussion


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Garnish a cocktail with a slice of key lime pie?  WTF?  I keep imagining her cramming a slice of pie on the edge of the glass (although with SLop, I guess anything is possible).

 

No no, that was my "embellishment" (as Aunt Sandy would say). She temporarily lost her semi-homemade mind with that russipee and only called for lime wedges, like a normal person.

 

okay, so I am totally prepared to buy the book so long as anyone else does. I don't want to be the only shmuck with that on my credit card bill! grisgris, I think high-falutin' book club questions would be hilarious for this!

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I haven't gotten the book yet because I've been waiting for everybody else to bring it up.  I didn't want to get it for nothing.  i suppose I should go ahead with it.  I can't guarantee I'll be able to read the whole thing, but I'll go ahead with it.

 

Will the librarians think I'm weird if I come in with a paper bag over my head with "I AM NOT A FANDRA" written on it? :P

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I've asked my daughter to find the book at a very cheap price for me online.  I looked at Barnes and Noble today, but The Recipe Box is still full price there and I don't want to pay $9.99 to put it on my Kindle Fire.

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I went to amazon to check and The Recipe Box is $9.99. I'm thinking of buying a used copy, which is available for a few dollars. It looks like there are some for sale from charitable organizations. At least that way, SLop wouldn't benefit directly from me buying her silly book.

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grisgris and I already have it. It's available used on Amazon for as little as $4.

 

RagstoRiches, do not worry about not being able to finish it, you could read the whole thing in a few hours. I think we should do 2 - 3 chapters a week, and people can weigh in with their comments. BTW the chapters are about 10-15 pages each, you could do it easily just while waiting in line or something.

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Silly mod question:

 

Do you want to keep the book club idea among the group that's already here, or publicize it further within the site? I suspect it's the former, but if it's the latter, just let me know and I'll help get the word out. 

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I got the SLop book!

 

And yes, I was embarrassed and checkout seemed to take forever.  The librarian seemed a lot more interested in the DVD I was also checking out (I wanted to check out other things too to maybe "camouflage" SLop, I guess), and hopefully didn't really think much about anything else.  So the book club needs to start in the next four weeks before I have to take it back.  Of course I can renew it if I have to, but I'd rather not.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey fellow shrikes! I actually saw Sandra Lee film episodes of her show back in the day because I live in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where she went to college. She filmed three episodes of her show her and I actually have an autographed copy of her magazine.

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My DH's cousin's SIL was a dinner guest of someone who was on the show - they filmed the dinner - and said that Sandra Lee was indeed really nice and very friendly. She didn't have any "good dirt" on her, or I'd share it.

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Hi! I'm a new poster but need to share my SLop scars.  I was learning to cook back when Food network was about instructional cooking shows.  I had watched a SLop episode and been primarily struck by the absurdity of her body shape, large head and crazy cadence when she spoke. I pictured her as one of those women that are taking their kids ADD medication to stay thin.  BUT then I tuned in for a slow cooker episode.  Does anyone remember this one? She was utterly manic rushing between 4 different slow cookers, inadvertently stuck her hand in the chicken noodle soup- the whole thing was comical. THEN THE DESSERT.  She put chunks of cinnamon raisin bread, canned apple pie filling, sugar, packets of maple brown sugar oatmeal, eggs, cream and rum extract into a slow cooker for bread pudding. The overly-sweet horror of that was beginning to sink in when she made a topping. She used powdered whipped cream (dream whip) and mixed it with ginger ale and poured this over the cooked "bread pudding".  I am still very, very mentally scarred from this recipe. I can't forget it.  I have flashbacks.

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(edited)

I have to see that episode again. *snerk*  I don't even remember her sticking her hand in the soup.  Gross.  I was mentally scarred by the "Sailing" episode myself, although I did enjoy her "ewww, yuck" expression when she tasted the cocktail.

Edited by ragstoriches
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(edited)

BloggerAloud, I have met her, too. It was at a book signing years ago. My mom, sister, and I went just for the snark. We all used to watch the show and complain about everything, and I used to spend half my life on TWOP, breaking it all down. So we were ready for some in-person good times.

And then she was nice. REALLY nice. Very sweet and personable. The crowd loved her. I don't know if it mattered that we were near her home turf near Seattle, but she was just normal and comfy and not all dolled up. After she spoke, she told everyone to stay seated and she would come around to everyone and sign their books. She took her time, chatted with everyone. She kissed my elderly mom, after nearly giving her a stroke via the TV by desecrating Greek food. I had her sign my book "to tabby" and then felt bad, like maybe she would connect the dots to my tabby girl TWOP bitchiness.

The thing is, I still hate Semi-homemade. But I never could barf out the snark again after experiencing her as a lovely, warm, friendly woman.

And I won't elaborate, but I am pretty sure those are her god-given boobs - or were at that time, anyway.

I will also confess I enjoy reading all the old TWOP snark. So I am an utter hypocrite.

Edited by Tabbygirl521
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As a librarian, I heartily encourage you to check out the books from your local library.  Don't be scared or embarrassed--we need the work!  I'm always interested in what people are checking out, but I don't judge (you should see some of the stuff I check out!).  I do work in a university library, so what our patrons check out isn't always as interesting as the public library choices, but that's okay.  I did check my local PL catalogs, and there are about 12-15 of Lee's books available (I didn't realize that there were that many around), but I didn't see the two that have been mentioned here.  I'll check one of my other haunts, used book stores.  I'm definitely in for any book club discussion.

 

By the way, it looks like some, if not all, of the TWoP 'Semi-Homemade' forum threads were saved to the internet archive's Wayback Machine, including the 'Holiday Show', which was the one that featured the infamous Kakes of Kultural Insensitivity.

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Does anyone remember this one? She was utterly manic rushing between 4 different slow cookers, inadvertently stuck her hand in the chicken noodle soup- the whole thing was comical.

If this is the one where she made chicken soup in the slow cooker from a can of chicken soup, reconstituted with a can of chicken broth (Holy sodium content, Batman!), then I know it as the one where SLop wears my sweater. In the episode I am thinking of, she is wearing a cream colored fisherman's sweater exactly like one I own (although I am pretty sure I gave mine to Goodwill years ago). Of course, I always wore a supportive bra underneath mine, so Aunt Sandy and I did not look very much alike in our matching sweaters.

 

In other news, I am now the proud owner of a copy of Made From Scratch (1.99 on amazon) and The Recipe Box (99 cents from Goodwill). Finding that book in the Goodwill store, when I was only there to make a drop-off, not to shop, was like some kind of kharmic "what goes around, comes around" moment. Whoot!!!

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Yes, the fisherman's sweater with no bra!  I believe that is the subtitle of the episode "Slow Cookin' (with free range boobs in a wide knit sweater!)

This episode hooked me and this show taught me what TV snark is and brought so much laughter into my life!

 

Did anyone see one where she reads letters from viewers (which are weird) and then straight to the camera apologizes to her college roommates parents for being drunk and inappropriate at their house? Maybe is was a holiday episode?   What episode was that, I wonder if it is on You tube?

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(edited)

Aunt Sandy may have to apologize to a LOT of people about being drunk and inappropriate. :P  Although at this point she can probably handle more booze than all of us combined.

 

I just finished with SLop's "Recipe Box" book the other day, and I have to admit it wasn't as horrible or boring as I had expected.  Of course I did stumble on some SLoppy "trademarks" from time to time, like the white cockatoo (who liked to say one of Sandy's favorite phrases, "God Bless America!) and of course "Gramma" Lorraine (but no Dicey).  I only glanced at the recipes, but from what I could tell, they didn't look like SLop russipees; i.e., they all appeared to be from scratch.  How good they actually were, I can't really say.

 

Now her "Made from Scratch" autobiography, on the other hand, will probably be a different story.  I have little interest in Aunt Sandy's life story, and much of what she says are probably lies anyway.

 

ETA:  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention.  It's best not to read the book dedication without a barf bag handy.

Edited by ragstoriches
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  • 5 weeks later...

Hey Everyone. I was a poster many many moons ago when Sandy got her own thread at TWOP. I read a lot of the original posts when I heard TWOP was closing and I was crying I was laughing so hard. Brutal Bitches we were. Sandy sure knows how to bring people together in an entertaining fashion, just not in the manner she thinks. Hey Tabby, ubi and any other displaced shrikes. Reading our conversations brought back fun memories. Of you guys and the idiot we loved to hate. Hope life finds you all in happy tablescapes.

 

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Sabi! You have no idea how happy I am to see you pop in here! Right before TWOP closed, I sent you a panicky IM after realizing that I had, years ago, overlooked a message from you and was sure that all this time you thought I was a jackass for not replying. I had little hope you would run across it, but crossed my fingers that you'd show up here. HOW ARE YOU????

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tabby, hello! This is truly like hearing from an old friend. Not to worry about messages because I swear the older I get the worse I have become at social media. I have people pissed off at me all the time because of Facebook faux pas and missed texts and god know what else. I butt call people. I have thought of getting off the grid entirely but not really. I am down to 2 cats which is often 2 too many. Hah. Sandra was involved with the Governor of New York somehow, his social planner or mistress or something. I always think of the TwoP Boards and how much fun we had. Before the site closed I reread most of the early threads. I really was crying reading"My Buddha, she's Faux."  I still watch Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and saw Guy at our State Fair 2 years ago. I am still appalled by the terrible Celebrity Chefs that Food Network still trots out. I am still working because the economy sucks. My niece and nephew have both recently had a child and I can't believe how much it changed our family dynamics and how much fun it is.  Do you watch any shows and post? I tend to binge watch. i just finished a Justified marathon and a Mad Men marathon. I am too impatient to wait and watch week to week. Are you still in Washington? Is this legal to chat on these boards? i guess we will find out. 


Tabby, me again. I forgot my pass word at TwoP so I couldn't post. They weren't issuing new ones at the end. I never did see the e-mail

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  • 2 weeks later...
I just finished with SLop's "Recipe Box" book the other day, and I have to admit it wasn't as horrible or boring as I had expected.  Of course I did stumble on some SLoppy "trademarks" from time to time, like the white cockatoo (who liked to say one of Sandy's favorite phrases, "God Bless America!) and of course "Gramma" Lorraine (but no Dicey).  I only glanced at the recipes, but from what I could tell, they didn't look like SLop russipees; i.e., they all appeared to be from scratch.  How good they actually were, I can't really say.

 

 

I think you should get a medal for bravery! I did buy that book (used) but only now have time to read it. Anyone up for a book club discussion? I'm particularly interested in your thoughts about Aunt Sandy's use of flight imagery, and also her keen ear for dialogue.

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IT SQUAWKS FOR THEE
Recipe Box Act 1: Madness and Mortality

As soon as she heard the ring, Grace knew there would be no answer. Thus begins Sandra Lee’s landmark novel, a macabre rendering of humanity’s greatest struggle – the knowledge of and resistance against our own mortality.

 

At first glance, the story is deceptively facile – the simple tale of a simple woman who enjoys simple conversation with her simple friends.  There are fall festivals and cute apartments and flower gardens and Midwestern homilies. But as one is drawn into the narrative of the novel’s first act it is evident that there is more, much more, going on. As the narrative quickly spirals into the surreal, we realize that Lee has constructed her tome so that the reader’s progress through these pages – dread building upon dread - mirrors the characters’ long march toward eternal expiration and the madness that journey wreaks upon them. The experience is visceral, and haunting.

 

As the story opens upon that unanswered ring, Grace, who does something for a living, and her friends Ken (who also does something for a living) and Leeza (who sits around the house all day) are grappling with the certainty of Leeza’s breast cancer. Grace has a mother, with whom she is estranged after an unfortunate incident with a recipe box, and a daughter, with whom she is estranged after an unfortunate incident with a divorce. Or does Grace have a daughter? By page 6 we have  descended into a bizarre tangle of hallucinatory images and conversational grotesqueries.  Grace and Leeza discuss sweaters on scarecrows, Leeza’s husband  has a psychotic break and thinks he is the comic strip character Snoopy, there are vampires in someone’s kitchen (whose kitchen?) and someone freakishly named Farty Artie. Grace believes her tackle box contains total consciousness (is tackle box a euphemism?) and cruelly taunts her cancer-ridden friend with a rendition of California Girls by the Beach Boys. Odd missives appear at seemingly random points in the text, like excerpts from an alchemist’s diary written in code – sour cherries, chopped bacon, 10 minutes at 350 degrees…

 

What is going on? Is this the crazed distortion of an unreliable (albeit omniscient) narrator? Or is this one person’s hellish descent into madness? Or possibly two persons, or three?


(continued)

 

Slowly, slowly through the mad miasma of Lee’s prose, a theme emerges.  The characters are at once bound to their fates, and in a near-constant state of attempted escape. Whereas their lives are a prescribed march to the inevitable, they try to thwart it through flight. Grace keeps getting on planes but they always land in the same places – wherever you go, there you are! Emma flees her dismal existence by hitching a ride with a surfer only to have her escape blocked by an inconsiderate motorist. Leeza would like to trick fate by procuring immortality through procreation, but her plan is dashed by disease and, no doubt, her husband’s aforementioned psychotic break. Ken lives on a houseboat in which he could sail to brighter shores, but it is lashed permanently to its mooring, a potent symbol that there is no getting away from one’s lot, or also possibly someone tied the knots super tight.

 

Moreover, Lee enables her characters with a different, existential type of flight in the form of mental delusion. The greatest delusion of all may be Emma, who may or may not exist outside of Grace’s fragile psyche. For what is Emma but Grace’s youth reflected back to her, a psychological ruse by which Grace scrabbles backward away from her aging reality?

 

The answer key to Lee’s narrative maze is a cockatoo (not a euphemism) named Halo. Halo appears to Grace at key points. She understands him to be a pet who lives in her apartment and eats rawhide. This makes sense to Grace, who is irreversibly addled. But to the careful reader Halo is revealed to be none other than the recording angel in feathery costume, death’s harbinger watching over these mortals as they fight against life’s slipstream.  Halo is at all times lucid and grounded in the moment, in stark contrast to the other characters’ fragmented intellects. While the others engage in nonsense dialogue, Halo speaks clearly and logically. Compare Halo’s refrain of “God bless America!” and “your point?” to the sort of babble we hear from Grace (“watch out Wisconsin State Fair cake competition”), or Ken (“I only need one sparkler”).

 

Toward the end of the first act we learn that Grace’s horror traces back to a traumatic incident in her youth, wherein she encountered what she now refers to as a “recipe box”. It is clear from the description that this box is in fact a plain wood coffin, and the scraps of family memories she perceived herself to flip through are simply the ghosts of her dead ancestors, the dust to which Grace will also be reduced. Is it this that set Grace on the lunatic path which has led to her current state? Lee offers this clue when introducing the “recipe box” scene: [Grace had] been almost the same age Emma was now when she lost her way.  Lost, indeed, and forever so.

 

And what of this story’s beginning? Whom shall answer that hollow ring? As the first act mercifully comes to a close (for how much more mayhem can a reader endure?) the first knell is heard: Leeza succumbs to the cancer.  Grace, Ken and Emma are frozen in their existential flight, while Halo calmly, steadily watches all through the eternity of his beady black eyes. Ask not for whom the bird squawks, it squawks for thee.

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Seriously, though... I concur with ragstoriches, the book really wasn't as bad as you'd expect. i realize it likely involved a ghostwriter (or two) but still...

 

Viking by Fabio is one of the worst things ever published and it is the standard of crapitude by which I judge celebrity fiction. I am happy to state, without reservation, that Sandra Lee is a better writer than Fabio. :)

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Howdy, you all!

I spent a couple weeks in July driving to and from a family reunion in Texas. That was quite an experience! I shared a room with Dad and his sister in Bryan, adjacent to College Station and had some Texas BBQ weiner snitchzel. I sure miss the old days on TwoP!

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  • 2 weeks later...

It depends, RtoR, are you located near Los Angeles CA, Sumner WA, La Crosse WI or Westchester NY?

 

Ha!  Not even close.  So I guess that would make it less likely that it would be named after her, but even weirder if it WERE.

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  • 1 month later...

I had about 80 episodes saved on my DVR, but a few months ago it went kaput and I lost all of them, I'm still upset about that.

 

I hold out hope that we'll get a new special but I guess those days are over. I guess we'll just have to wait for the annual rerun of a Bjorn the Nutcracker Christmas.

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I had about 80 episodes saved on my DVR, but a few months ago it went kaput and I lost all of them, I'm still upset about that.

 

I worry about that too. I have lots of the older episodes from when the GAC channel was re-running them. Lately, Comcast/Xfinity has been advertising that you can store your DVR stuff in their "cloud". I'll  have to look into that. Or look into a way to hack that machine so you can copy them off to another device.

 

Sorry for the loss of the classic snark.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks like FN will be treating us to a Sandy Halloween repeat tomorrow (Friday, 17-Oct-2014, 1pm ET).

 

Get your DVRs ready, it's Halloween Queens. I think that's the one where she is Anne Boylen, Guinevere and Elizabeth I, and maybe Marie Antionnette too?

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What HAS become of Aunt Sandy, anyway? Did she just completely give up TV and cookbooks? Is the magazine still around?

 

She doesn't seem the type to just drop out of the public spotlight like she has.

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Maybe Andrew Cuomo's handlers have convinced her to keep a low profile in case he runs for Pres in 2016, or if Hillary Clinton wants him as VP or for a cabinet post.  SLop could easily be seen as a political liability, particularly if they're not married, but even if they were.

 

On the other hand, SLop's background seems fairly respectable compared to that of Cylvia Hayes, whom the press refers to as Oregon's "First Lady" even though she & the Gov. aren't married.  

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Did anyone see one where she reads letters from viewers (which are weird) and then straight to the camera apologizes to her college roommates parents for being drunk and inappropriate at their house? Maybe is was a holiday episode?   What episode was that, I wonder if it is on You tube?

That I do! She was in Jamaica or somewhere in the Caribbean for Spring Break and passed out, face first, in her plate at her friend's parent's place because apparently the rum is stronger down there. I think I saw the clip on YouTube once.

 

Speaking of which, I was reading my recap of "Klassy Kooking" and at some point, it mentions her dropping rose petals coated with egg whites and white sugar onto a cake but missing the cake because she was dropping them from a couple feet over the cake. Does anyone remember what she said to describe it... something like "falling airplanes from the sky"?

Edited by Ubiquitous
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This weeks Halloween fare includes the infamous Renaissance episode on  Friday, which includes a Cher fortune teller (and what Renaissance-themed ANYTHING would be complete without Cher?).   Thursday's episode I think is more generic and probably doesn't stand out as much, because I forgot which one it was.  It's another Halloween episode, however.

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SLop was on Rewrapped this weekend--the candy corn episode! My TiVo caught it this weekend. Dare we hope she is poking her head out for a potential return to insanity?

 

I should qualify that: for a potential return to insanity on TV?!

Edited by jcbrown
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  • 2 weeks later...

FN is re-running one of the best (meaning worst) SLop episodes ever, tomorrow (Thursday Nov. 6, 1 pm EST).

 

The extremely disgusting slow cooker meatloaf.

 

Between that and her soup made from cans of soup. She uses something like 11 cans of sodium laden glop.

 

DVRs at the ready!

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My TV on-screen guide says that this episode is called "Easy Elegance" & describes it thusly:  "Sandra prepares Cheddar Cheese Baked Potato Soup, Smothered Meatloaf and Sauteed Zucchini with Garlic Herbs, Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding and a Maple Shake".  Sounds neither easy nor elegant -- & what are "garlic herbs"?  

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