I think that we can all agree that this week has been, to put it as mildly as possible, absolutely fucking rough. To top it all off, instead of watching Charlie’s Angels last night, my friends decided we should watch The Talented Mr. Ripley during our digital watch party, and I still haven’t recovered. Sure, shame on me for never having seen it, but I don’t think it was unreasonable to assume a movie starring Jude Law, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, and Gwyneth Paltrow was going to be a romantic comedy. Needless to say, it was not! This is part of the reason I couldn’t be more glad to be diving back into the warm, soothing waters of the Appétit YouTube channel.
The other reason is that I literally cried tears of joy watching one of the videos this week. Carla plus Trixie Mattel in a video about making dessert!? It’s like the universe knew I was on the verge of a breakdown and they sent this to me in order to pull me back, even if it was just ever so slightly, from the edge. The other offerings this week were pretty great too, and although we didn’t actually learn how to cook anything explicitly, which usually annoys the hell out of me, we did get a lot of great content, which filled me up just the same.
“Test Kitchen Talks”—Pro chefs make their favorite cocktails: 4/5 Would Bon
They’ve done it! It’s happened! For the first time (since I’ve started this review), a Test Kitchen Talks video has actually taught us something and appears to exist as something other than just a content placeholder.
In the immortal words of Karen Walker, I love to drink. As such, this video about cocktail making is right up my alley and is filled with drinks I honestly cannot wait to make. Also, aside from Priya and Molly’s drinks, they’re all singles, which means if you’re practicing social distancing and you can get your hands on the ingredients, they might be just what you need.
There are some familiar favorites, like the Old Fashioned and the Piña Colada, and some newer offerings like the Gabby Feel Better Drink (which is, as she says, just a penicillin cocktail) and a Spiked Shikanji, both of which I plan to try at some point.
Favoritism aside, Alex Delaney’s Lil’ Ripper and Carla’s Americano are the winners for me, but that’s primarily because a Cinzano and soda is already my go-to drink at the bar, and these seemed just like that but with olives. Anytime I get to get a drink plus a snack, it’s a win in my book.
Once, at a bachelorette party, a woman told me I should start ordering vodka sodas with olives because it’s kind of like a sparkling martini. I scoffed at first, but upon listening to the sage advice of a former sorority girl, I have never looked back.
“Gourmet Makes”—Claire attempts to make gourmet Girl Scout Cookies: 5/5 Would Bon
Is it just me, or does it feel like somehow, almost impossibly, the Gourmet Makes videos just keep getting better and better? I mean really, there was nothing that could have gone wrong with this video, and as such nothing did.
My only nervousness was that they were going to pick the wrong Girl Scout Cookies to recreate, but of course, I should have had more faith. It’s a basically unanimous and indisputably true decision that Tagalongs, Thin Mints, and Samoas (or Caramel deLites, depending on where you get your cookies), are the Big Three when it comes to GSC, and so that is what Claire sets out to make.
As a surprise to no one, we learn that Rhoda was a Girl Scout, and as a surprise to me, I learned that basically all Girl Scout Cookies are the same kind of cookie, but with different stuff on top. I mean, I guess that makes sense, they just all seemed so different. Who knew!
The two thoughts I had while watching this are, I hope Claire is getting paid exactly one billion dollars to do this because I don’t know anyone who shows this much dedication and passion doing anything, and two, I wouldn’t survive a day in the Test Kitchen without getting fired. At one point Claire said, “The bottoms look good,” and out loud on my couch I said, “Well, bottoms always do.”
“Reverse Engineering” —Chris Morocco attempts to recreate Bobby Flay’s Macaroni & Cheese Carbonara: 3/5 Would Bon
If you’ve been here before you know this, but if you’re new I’ll just go ahead and come out and say it upfront, I don’t love these reverse engineering videos. Chris Morocco is lovely but he! is! intense! And watching him trying to parse out whether the meat in Bobby Flay’s mac and cheese is guanciale or pancetta is honestly just a layer of stress that I don’t need in my life right now.
Also, for what it’s worth, I feel like at this point in the series Chris should really know that whatever the ingredients are going to be in the dishes he’s asked to recreate, they’re always going to be the more accessible ingredient.
It’s obviously wildly impressive that Chris can even come close to replicating recipes based on taste alone, but rather than watch him frustratedly attempt to decide between what myriad cheese combinations might be present in the dish, I’d rather just watch him teach me how to make the perfect mac and cheese.
I do love the amount of cursing that takes place in a Chris Morocco video though, because no BA video is bleeped nearly as much as one that stars Chris. Somebody’s got to keep those editors busy in between episodes of Molly Tries!
“Back-to-Back Chef” —Carla teaches Trixie Mattel how to make strawberry shortcake: 5/5 Would Bon
This video put my mental health on its back and carried it through the end of the week, and that’s pretty much my only feeling about it. I will say more, but truly I could just stop right there.
In my daily life, I use the expression, “___ goes absolutely all the way off” probably more than most people I interact with would prefer I do, but this video does go absolutely all the way off. Aside from the fact that Trixie is one of my favorite drag queens, she’s also the perfect Back-to-Back guest because, not only does she interact with Carla, she also interacts with the camera. She’s one of the few people who does equal lifting on this series when it comes to being entertaining.
At one point Carla says to kneed the dough, and Trixie proceeds to lift up the bowl of dough and whisper “I need you,” into it. Honey, talk about playing to the camera! Later, someone comes in with a mirror for Trixie to check her makeup in, and I literally cried two tears because it made me so happy to be watching something so entirely ridiculous and wonderful. Two tears!
Previously, I’d believed that my greatest wish in life was to publish a book, but I now know my greatest wish in life is actually to eat strawberry shortcake with Carla and Trixie Mattel. I’m not sure which wish is more attainable at this point, but at least I have this video to sustain me for now.