Virginia has a recipe book, which I foolishly recommended to her one fateful day while browsing the B&N sale page. I don't know why I did it. I know she loves to make desserts. I know these desserts are bad for us. I know she takes it over the top. And yet I said, "Hey, there's this dessert book on sale. Do you want me to order it?" And she said, "Sure!"
So I did. She makes something out of it about three times a week, and spends the rest of the week drooling over it.
I admit that someone else who happens to have red hair spends a lot of time drooling over a particular Black Forest Cake on p. 312 (mm, cherry brandy). But that's beside the point.
Really, I don't have a huge problem with the contents of the book. I mean, if Virginia wants to indulge her overpowering passion for sweets, I guess she can have at it. I just don't eat too much of it because I don't need that much sugar.
I do, however, have a problem with the cover.
This is what offends my most delicate sensibilities. What IS this? Why is there a piece of cake on top of this piece of cake?
I read this book for weeks with a niggling feeling that something was terribly wrong. When I finally noticed what it was, I was horrified. I gaped in wonder. I asked myself why someone would think that was a good way to photograph food. I still ask myself that.
No one eats this way. This rankles. This rankles deeply.
For a while I thought I was the only one who felt this way, so I kept quiet (Uncharacteristic of me, you say. Yes, I know.). I kept quiet until one day... one day when I was at the end of my rope, when I was about to let forth all the strength of my indignation... when Virginia said, "You know, this picture drives me crazy. It's bugged me ever since I got it. WHY is there cake on the cake?!"
It was such a relief. We let forth our indignation together, and the strength of it was as of the ocean in its anger, if the ocean did get angry about things like cookbooks and bad photos.
Put a cherry on top, or something. Anything. Drizzle some chocolate syrup over it. Slice a strawberry and stick it up there. Anything but cake. Cake is not a garnish for cake. Cake is not a garnish for anything. The person is not right who thinks his cake is incomplete without more cake on top. And the person who photographs it for the cover of a book is even less okay.
I thought I would never see the thing that surpassed this monstrosity, but I was mistaken. Yes, as horrible and mind-blowing as cake-topped-cake as a cover for a cookbook, there is something even worse.
Readers, brace yourselves, for what comes next is so mind-blowing, so utterly disgusting, so blatantly against all that is good advertising, that you may not believe your eyes.
(To be continued...)