A&K’s Email Bag
We've been getting hate mail. Seems our Grocery Bag re-runs are ticking off a few viewers! As we're seeing a few common themes I thought it efficient to address them here. The following are some examples of what we've been receiving along with my responses.
Deb G writes, “Honestly I don’t know if Anna and Kristina are consciously trying to be stupid on this show, or if this is the audience they target. It’s insulting to women that they intentionally try screw up, especially since the introduction says they’ve been cooking since they were children. Basic cooking concepts seem to elude these ladies.
These ladies say they’ve shopped for the ingredients, yet on the show they don’t appear to have pre-read the recipe, which any normal person would do when they host guests. Additionally, they intentionally set unrealistic time limits and always screw up….“
Well Deb, just so you know, we are not intentionally trying to screw up or be stupid, as you say. Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag is a show that puts cookbooks and kitchen products to the test, by two people who aren’t professional chefs. That part is key. Many cooking shows are highly stylized and cookbooks often include recipes that don’t deliver picture perfect results. So we decided to do a show about what really happens in the kitchen, when someone important is coming for dinner. Do you ever screw up at home, when no one’s watching?
I can assure you we always read the recipes in advance. When keeping track of a long list of recipes at once for a celebrated chef and the clock is ticking and you’re in a room full of camera operators, directors, audio personnel, and other production crew, sometimes you screw up. And everyone loves it when we do and our team would always play it up, because that makes for better television.
Because keep in mind, this is in fact entertainment. If we were only making one simple recipe it wouldn’t make much of a TV show. Of course we have to set lofty goals, that’s part of the fun. But I don’t see how any of this is insulting to women. The whole point is to be real! And besides, I would argue that we have had far more successes than failures. (Or at least that’s what I choose to believe.)
Kiwipoodle says: “Can there be an episode or two of vegan instead of butchering fucking animals. you must have more compassion than what you showed on TV….I never get to watch your show but when I do you are talking about dissecting lamb. R u guys on crack seriously? U are gross”
You will be happy to know, dear Kiwipoodle, that we did do several vegetarian episodes on the series, covering classics like The Moosewood Cookbook and Good Housekeeping’s Vegetarian Meals along with numerous dessert cookbooks including my personal favourite, Absolutely Chocolate.
While recipes that include meat are obviously part of the program, we never did get to dissecting a lamb as you write. I did, however, go rabbit hunting as part of a segment about the importance of connecting with and understanding where our food comes from. For those of us who eat meat, I think it’s a worthwhile conversation to have. Please note that the rabbit in question was used in a stew and nothing went to waste. I know rabbits are cute, but they aren’t exactly an endangered species and no one ever complains when we cook chicken. And no, we are not on crack.
And my personal favourite comes from Rjeska, “Are these two actors, spoofs, hosts, or simple comedians? I cannot believe what bumbling goofs these two chicks are…no one can be that ignorant. The mistakes they make have to be prodded by the show. AND FOR CRYING OUT LOUD LEARN TO PRONOUNCE WORDS CORRECTLY. It isn’t processor with a long o sound it’s pronounced with a short o sound…drives me nuts. But I must be the crazy one cause I do like watching them cause they make me laugh if for nothing else…they are a couple of idiots in the kitchen.”
Let me assure you Rjeska, there is nothing simple about being a comedian. Just ask Rick Mercer or Jon Stewart. We aren’t actors or “spoofs” either. We are the creators and producers of this series and several others, which we have sold in over 70 countries around the world. Not so bad for a couple of “bumbling goofs”! Also, I found this Youtube instructional video on the pronunciation of “processor” and it seems the long “o” is in fact correct. Perhaps it’s more a question of accent than right or wrong. But I’m glad you enjoy the show!
Keep the mail coming everyone!