The one with Ross’s Sandwich… Recipe

friends cookbookPlease forgive the kind of meta nature of the below piece. It feels essential to do it this way…

Every so often when I request a review copy of something, the response I get is positive, but it comes with a request to write a piece covering the press release, essentially announcing that the item is going to be released in the future.

Readers of this site will be aware that such articles are few and far between. I won’t say that they’ve never appeared, but it’s not something that I regularly do. There are enough entertainment “news” websites out there. I don’t feel a need to add to the noise. Looking back at articles I’ve written for other websites, the ones of which I am least proud are the ones which take some “huge reveal” from a tweet (or similar) and turn it into an article. You don’t need me to do that. No one needs me to do that.

Depending on the exact nature of the piece I’m asked to write, it can also get into something of a weird realm. If I breathlessly report on every trailer for a film, I’m in some way acting as a part of the publicity machine for the film. Then, if I review the film and hate it, I have to say as much. I have both heightened and then diminished your expectations. As I say, it can be something of a weird realm.

Then again, I don’t mind doing “hands on” coverage. That is, if I get early access to a demo version of a video game or go to a press event with early iterations of several different games, I’ll cover that. I attend New York Comic-Con annually—it’s one of my favorite weeks of the year—and a lot of what comes out of that is on the breathless side of things. There are lines, as I see them, but they’re not necessarily sharp ones.

That brings us to this…

This past winter, my family and I sat down to watch the three “Lord of the Rings” movies in a single day. To accompany this movie marathon, my daughter prepared a series of themed foods. We had lembas bread and stew (with taters, naturally) and blackberry tarts and lemon poppyseed cakes and the like. We had breakfast and second breakfast and elevenses. It was great fun and hugely successful.

This is, then, a thing we do in my house and we’re looking at another round of it with Harry Potter soon, but I don’t think that’s accomplishable in a single day. It actually probably requires a three day weekend.

Marry to this brief tale the fact that sitting here in my house we have a great cookbook published by Insight Editions which is focused on the Disneyland/World Galaxy’s Edge area of the parks (actually, it was purchased at New York Comic-Con last year). It’s got food that is “inspired” by the land (I can’t swear to how close any of it actually might be to anything that’s there) and it’s just plain fun.

So, an email came in the other day from Insight Editions stating that, this September 22nd they’re going to be releasing “Friends: The Official Cookbook.” That is absolutely right up my alley, not just with the concept of a marathon of “Friends” episodes themed to food, which is something we would absolutely do in my house, but with the company releasing the book as well.

Friends Cookbook _ Meatball Sub
In other words, could I be any more excited by such a thing? Okay, probably, yes, but that doesn’t really diminish the merriment around this idea. Plus, when I read that Rachel’s English Trifle was going to be included I had to know more.

Well, I can’t tell you anything about the trifle yet (and yes, I did ask). I do, however, know a little about two of the recipes as they are a part of the press kit and, consequently, on this page. The recipes are, clearly, grounded in the series which we all know and love and appear very, very cookable.

Importantly, not all such cookbooks hit this last criteria. I have a Dr. Seuss cookbook which is completely brilliant and utterly impossible. I love the thing and it frustrates me to no end. It is, I decided years ago, a cookbook for looking at, not a cookbook to use to make things to eat.

So, here’s the deal: I’m telling you right now that I have no idea how those meatball sandwiches taste but that there is no doubt that I’m using that recipe to make meatball subs (I don’t usually deep fry foods so the odds of my making the french fry dish are lower). I have no idea how they’re going to work in sweet and savory into Rachel’s English Trifle, but I want to find out. I can’t imagine the foods that are going to appear in here beyond vague descriptions of some that are mentioned in the press release (Monica’s Friendsgiving Feast, Chandler’s Milk That You Chew plate, Phoebe’s favorite faceless foods, and Ross’s Moist Maker), but I definitely want to know.

And if that’s all a little breathless, how’s this: I don’t really put up these sorts of articles unless it’s something that hits me as truly fun and interesting and this does. I’m hugely curious about the book as a whole and think it would be tremendously fun to sit there and watch a bunch of “Friends” episodes while eating a take on the food from them. With luck, my cable provider is going to include HBO Max with my HBO subscription and, come this September, I’ll be having… I don’t know, surely food from one of Ross’s weddings made it into the book. Or lobster.

She’s my lobster.

photo credit:  Insight Editions

Categories: Random Thoughts

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