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Christopher Kimball's Halloween Letter


I have to admit, I read these letters every time my copies of Cooks Illustrated come in, and at the end of them, I almost inevitably feel dumber ("What was his point? I feel like he had a point and I've just missed it. Was there a point?") so I laughed a lot at this.

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    1. Hilarious! Both your post and the Letter. He's easy to take down, but hard to take down well. Thanks much.

        1. Love reading KImball's columns. His and Peter Egan (columnist of Side Glances, Road & Track magazine) are my fave magazine writers:


          1. very "welcome to night vale". I love it.

            "I couldn’t help but notice that some of you have been passing off our Hearty Beef Stew (October 2007) as our Best Beef Stew (September 2012). Never mind how I noticed. I noticed. That’s tale-telling, is what that is. Cook’s Illustrated can’t abide a liar." really made my day.

            1. who do i bill for my time taken in reading that?

              it would have been funnier if they had just printed the 1's and 0's.

              1. Laughing. This was *very* well done!

                1. Hilarious! And I was able to finish reading it, which is more than I can say...

                  1. Makes me want to move there more than ever!

                    1. "Churches disappear sometimes. Nothing to be done about it."

                      My stars, that was a delight.

                      1. No way on God's green earth that he wrote that! IMneverHO :) It's really, really good. A small reason I stopped subscribing to CI were his monthly columns. He did NOT write that!!!!!

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: c oliver

                          My first clue that it wasn't actually written by Kimball was that I wasn't fast asleep after the first paragraph.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            No, I do not believe that Chris Kimball wrote that. On rereading the introduction, I think that Mallory Ortberg wrote it. I looked her up on the internet. She's a writer. I think it is supposed to be satire. I think that this is what Sedimental meant when Sedimental wrote about "getting it."

                            It's creepy but folksy, just like the folksiness of Chris Kimball writing about his Vermont home in his monthly column in Cook's Illustrated. My only question is, is it legal to appropriate another writer's name and photograph and attribute the writing to that writer? The set up is much of what makes it funny, but is it legal?

                              1. re: gfr1111

                                The way it reads to me is that site for which she writes got a copy of the column. Not in any way does it look like she wrote it. To me anyway.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  It's 100% satire. Writing satirically in the style of other writers is pretty common on various blogs with vaguely literary pretensions and this is definitely an example of that. I should have been more clear that it was a send-up in the original post, because The Toast is new and not particularly famous. Probably if it was written on McSweeney's or The Onion it would have been clearer what it was.

                                  Also, the September/October issue of Cooks Illustrated has been out for weeks and weeks, so no one would need to sneak an advanced copy of his little sermon, because subscribers all got a copy in August ;) I'm pretty sure my November/December issue is around here somewhere already, too.

                                  1. re: Jacquilynne

                                    raises an interesting question:
                                    is bad satire really satire?

                                    1. re: linus

                                      I obviously disagree with you that the question applies in this instance, but I will nonetheless answer it with "Yes, of course."

                                      Satire enjoys some important legal protections, and attempting to strip them away on the grounds that it's not high quality satire would be a judicial trainwreck.

                                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                                          "mr. jones, this isn't satire, so i'm afraid you're legally vulnerable to liability and slander here."

                                          "sure it's satire. it's just really, really poorly written. thus, i'm protected."

                                      1. re: Jacquilynne

                                        Here's another Kimball satire that's been around for a while, and is also very funny.


                                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                                          Ah, thanks :) Now it's REALLY funny!!!

                                  2. Love it! Funny. I adore subtle, dry humor.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: sedimental

                                      i do, too. wish there had been some in the piece.

                                      1. re: linus

                                        Is it okay if the rest of us enjoy it?

                                        1. re: NonnieMuss

                                          is it o.k. if i don't?
                                          hashem forbid anyone express a different opinion than "the rest of us."

                                      2. Makes me miss my subscription!!! thanks for sharing