Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 145 - Real Home Cooking By Della Simmons

Day 145.

Della Simmons is a fucking hack. That's right, you heard me, Della. You are the worst cookbook author ever! In fact, I wouldn't even go so far as to call you an author at all, because you can't write cookbooks for shit. You couldn't hold a candle to Julia Child, Simone Beck, or even Louisette Bertholle!

What right do I have to criticize you? Well, I've seen the movie Julie & Julia (more than a few times, actually) and every time I watch the scene when the publishers from Houghton Mifflin reject Julia's manuscript and tell her to rewrite it so it's more like yours, I fucking vomit in my mouth.

The worst book ever written. And yes, even worse than Fallin' Up.

If you haven't seen the film, basically, the publishers at Houghton-Mifflin think Julia's book (which would later become the legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking) is too encyclopedic for their tastes. Instead, one exec claims that "housewives want something quick, with a mix," and offers up Ms. Simmons' book as an example.

I know what housewives want--I am, after all, a huge misogynist.

Do you get it, Della Simmons? Your book is the exact opposite of Julia Child's, which means it's absolute shit. Like, it is the perfect example of how not to write a cookbook. In fact, the following scene at Avis' house is dedicated entirely to having Simca flip though it so she can straight up take a dump on you.

"Yes, I should have worked with this woman--"Baked Alaska in a Flower Pot."
"What is marshmallow fluff?"

See? They are just picking your book apart piece by piece and revealing it for the superficial piece of shit that it is. Where is your integrity, Della Simmons? Using marshmallow fluff in a recipe. Hmmfph. Real chefs scoff at that. And seriously? Real Home Cooking? More like Fake... Home Cooking.*

*Somebody take Della Simmons to the hospital 'cuz she just got burnnneddd!

Oh wait, nevermind--the book is fake...

From Julie & Julia's IMDB Trivia Page:
"The Publishers at Houghton Mifflin show Julia Child a cookbook entitled 'Real Home Cooking' by an author named Della Simmons. Both the book and author are strictly fictional as there was no such book by an author with that name."
Whoops. Well, that's kind of amusing. Nora Ephron must have been too chicken to criticize an actual poorly-written cookbook so I guess she just made up her own. Sure fooled me good! Now I understand why everyone felt so comfortable just ripping it apart. No actual cookbook author's feelings were hurt in the making of this film!

But still--fuck you, fictional author Della Simmons. I hate everything that you and your shitty excuse for a cookbook stand for.


Julie & Julia
Quote of the Day: "I have to make a pear tart."


  1. I could be wrong, but I think that the Della Simmons cookbook was a sly dig at Betty Crocker - the Betty Crocker cookbook was first published in 1950s. Plus, Betty Crocker is pretty much the queen of "somethine quick, with a mix." Incidentally, Betty Crocker wasn't a real person.

  2. Is the woman on the cover a candidate a... random actress per chance? Though the actual person is fictional, somebody had to pose for it.

  3. Della Simmons cookbook may have also been a dig at Peg Bracken's "I Hate to Cook Cookbook" published in 1960. It featured such chapters as: 'The Leftover, or Every Family Needs a Dog'; 'Spuds and Other Starches, or Ballast is a Girl's Best Friend'; 'Potluck Supper, or How to Bring Water For the Lemonade'; 'Luncheon for the Girls, or Wait Until You Taste Maybelle's Peanut Butter Aspic'. In between the pages of these chapters you'll find recipes for such tasties as: 'Skid Road Stroganoff', 'Sub Gum Yuk', 'Oddment', 'Old Faithful', and, appropo for the era, 'Beetniks' (a nifty way of fixing shredded pickled red beets).

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