You guys picked Diana Henry’s Simple as the favorite to win the entire Piglet, and you were wrong. Writer and editor Silvia Killingsworth decided otherwise. Let’s just point out the word "killing" is in her name, and she’s here to murder your dreams.
First we’re led to believe that My Two Souths will lose in spite of its gorgeous recipes: Indian food has a lot of components, Killingsworth has a tiny apartment with no appliances—she needs to go buy a mortar and pestle—and there are a lot of hard-to-find ingredients. But wait! It turns out that it’s easy for her to find items like asafoetida and curry leaves because she lives in NYC, and we’re in for a shocking twist. This year’s Piglet really does have everything, doesn't it?
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Turns out, Diana Henry’s Simple is (GASP!) not simple! According to Killingsworth, the very first recipe is fussy, and as the book progresses it is revealed we are dealing with nothing more than a house of lies that are covered with cream sauce and expensive eggs! Who needs to be buying eggs from chickens that you’re on a first name basis with when you could be buying more mortars and pestles for your collection?
But the drama doesn’t end there, as evidenced by the—at the time that I wrote this—118 COMMENTS left by irate Piglet fans, including everyone's favorite commenter Diana Henry herself. I warned you people in last week's recap that we authors are all lurking around watching you, absorbing your insults and crying into our coffee.
You hate the judgment. You hate Asha Gomez for pulling an upset. You hate Diana Henry for being an upper-middle class snit. Then the woman herself shows up and you love Diana Henry! Then you hate the people who love Diana Henry. But what we all have to remember is that we’re a family here, and though we have our differences we all have one big same, and that is the fact that we all hate Silvia Killingsworth for momentarily killing the worth of our darling Diana Henry.
Now we come to my pick to take it all, Ronni Lundy’s Victuals. If I had been a Piglet judge you would be treated to 1,500 words on how perfect it is, but I’m not, and because I’m not it lost. That diabolical Dorie Greenspan manages to win yet again, and even worse, she read my recap last week where I called her out. Not only does she fully admit to being a Bond villain, but now she’s sent her henchmen to take out Ronni Lundy because she knows I had money on this. Now Ina Garten is parked outside my house in a minivan, waiting to cut off my thumbs.
This review comes from the CEO of one of my favorite sites, Atlas Obscura. There’s some stuff about books, then we get to the good part where some ancient dude cements his enemies into a wall while they’re still alive, then builds towers out of the skulls of 100,000 people he’s brutally murdered. At the end he imposes very heavy taxes on goods sold in Tehran, and then something else about a cookbook.
I’ve been telling the Food52 editors that we needed to incorporate more murder for years. Glad to see they’re finally taking my suggestions. Samarkand wins. Let’s see who’s up next. Why, it’s none other than Freddie Prinze Jr.!
You may remember Freddie Prinze Jr. as the guy from “She’s All That” who thought a girl was a heinous beast because she wore glasses. When he’s not on set, he’s cooking dinner for his two children and beautiful wife, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Prinze approaches this review as if it were a boxing match—a step down from skull pyramids, which disappoints me.
I wade into the comments praying for gore, but it’s nothing but a lot of “this is great!” and “Oh wow, Diana Henry is commenting again isn’t she just the greatest?”
Next up: My Two Souths takes on Dorie’s Cookies, Taste & Technique takes on Samarkand, and Diana Henry takes on everyone in the comments like John McClane. Let’s hear your predictions for next week down below!
The Piglet—inspired by The Morning News' Tournament of Books—is where the 16 most notable cookbooks of the year face off in a NCAA-style bracketed tournament. Watch the action and weigh in on the results!
Allison Robicelli is a cookbook author, humorist, host of the Robicelli Argument Clinic Podcast, occasional TV personality, restauranteur (Oaxaca Taqueria & Rip's Malt Shop in NYC), wife, mother, and all around good time.