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Hi. This may not be the best place on the board to put this. [Don, feel free to relocate it if necessary. :lol: ] There are these TV executives at this network that I think is based in New York. I've spent a good bit of time in their pasture over the past number of years, and I've come to the conclusion that I think they'd probably be better off if they were slaughtered (humanely, of course) and actually served to their audience....or perhaps their "talent." I keep thinking red wine sauce and the whole braising thing, but I'm really a bit unsure on that. I guess I just wanted to throw this one out to the group to consider how best to deal with these executives and make them palatable. I'm just thinking it's probably "harvest" time and I'd hate to see them continue to age and risk spoiling a network that has such freshness.

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What the mob wants, the mob gets. Now if you'll excuse me, American Idol is waiting on my TiFaux...
I watched Emeril Live last night, and it was pretty entertaining. He had on a pastry chef and they did some nice work together. I know it's fashionable to trash him, but his show is breezy, informative, and without pretension. The show is not about Emeril, but really about entertaining the audience while showing, step by step, how to cook. I think that's why he's so successful.
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...I've come to the conclusion that I think they'd probably be better off if they were slaughtered (humanely, of course) and actually served to their audience....or perhaps their "talent." I keep thinking red wine sauce and the whole braising thing, but I'm really a bit unsure on that. I guess I just wanted to throw this one out to the group to consider how best to deal with these executives and make them palatable...

Gut 'em, truss 'em, drape bacon over their chests, and roast 'em with a beer can up their hienies...oh, don't forget to slather them with BBQ sauce, and take all the credit for it when your friends ask...it's Semi-Choad-Made!

Rob

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I pretty much stopped watching FN a couple of years ago. Except for the occasional Iron Chef. Like many I know, I was Emeril'd to death (No offense to Emeril, he can cook but his plate presentation blows!). Rachael used to be nice to look at with the volume off. Since I don't cook out of cans or from bags of chopped anything FN holds no interest for me. But I do love Bourdain's tell it like it is, in your face kinda journalism. :lol:

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This may be posted elsewhere but god bless Anthony Bourdain and his take on the Food Network. He has summed it up as succinctly as possible. Especially his reasons to hate Rachael Ray and Sandra Lee (the latter is truly the worst thing FN has stuffed down our throats). Truly f**king brilliant.

I used to watch FN religiously, but now watch it less and less mostly for the reasons Bourdain mentions.

He does hit every nail squarely on the head, including his praise (if backhanded) of Emeril, whom I've grown to appreciate a bit more after reading the trenchant analysis of the whole Food Network operation toward the end of "The United States of Arugula".

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I've been holding off from weighing in on this little flap, but a very slight hangover and a general old-school "back in my day" crankiness compel me to set my slightly shaky hands to keyboard this morning. Dan, you're a nice kid but you're way off base here. I am not some boot licking acolyte of St. Bourdain (his worship of Batali makes me want to puke and I share Waitman's opinion of his fiction) but he does not champion only "utterly inaccessible dishes," but anything that is made with care and attention to flavor and tradition. He evangelizes about Vietnamese street food and Fergus Henderson's rustic lips and a**holes cuisine with the nearly the same fervor that he bring to his rhapsodizing about Thomas Keller's precious little joint in Napa. If his hyperbolic enthusiasm gets one more person to get off their Stouffers-gobbling ass and head down to their local Pho parlor then I will cheerfully pitch in to build him a bigger soapbox.

He sussed out Rachael Ray's message pretty accurately in my opinion:To quote someone who I don't quote often :lol: , Rachael is the EVOO splashin' Food Network Beacon of the soft bigotry of low expectations. Basic kitchen skills and knowledge have eroded to the point that even the combining of prefabricated ingredients in thirty minutes is celebrated as inspiring people to "cook." It's remarkable that fifty years ago, Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking was written with the average American housewife in mind. Her message that fresh, seasonal food is important, and her reassurance that YES, you can do this, was revolutionary. Now, cooking from Mastering gets immortalized for Gen X hipsters by Julie Powell as the kitchen equivalent of the labors of Hercules. You cannot convince me that the marketing of Ms. Ray and her dumbed down cuisine is, as Martha would say, a Good Thing. :unsure:

Yum. Oh.

Wow, I was going to chime in yesterday, but this post sums up my feelings exactly. (Except, I bet my hangover is worse.) I would only add:

Yum No.

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He sussed out Rachael Ray's message pretty accurately in my opinion:To quote someone who I don't quote often :lol: , Rachael is the EVOO splashin' Food Network Beacon of the soft bigotry of low expectations. Basic kitchen skills and knowledge have eroded to the point that even the combining of prefabricated ingredients in thirty minutes is celebrated as inspiring people to "cook." ......... You cannot convince me that the marketing of Ms. Ray and her dumbed down cuisine is, as Martha would say, a Good Thing. :unsure:

Yum. Oh.

Oh golly. Why did I pick up that Ruhlman book? This is all my fault. I'm sorry.

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I will never surrender! My metaphorical pot-stirring machine runs on AAs, and I just got back from the hardware store with a Bourdain's ego-sized bag of batteries!

Nothing against Julia Child (Bacchus rest her soul), but the methods that worked for apron wearing, meatloaf making, separate bed sleeping, honey I'm home hearing, Mrs. Cleaver type housewives fifty years ago just doesn't cut it for the career-minded women (AND MEN!) of the Oughts.

What people fail to understand is that people around the country aren't watching Rachael Ray, looking up from their roasted kabocha squash puree and fennel slaw with meyer lemon vinaigrette* and going "Holy shit! I've been working on this for hours. You mean there's a way I can dumb down my cooking?" What we've got happening instead is people coming home with their McDonald's, their microwave dinners, their Dominoes and going "Holy shit! I probably COULD cook at home instead of eating this swill."

We're not a nation of gourmet chefs being weeded out by this programming. Despite what the talent evidenced on this board suggests about our country, if you look OUTSIDE the culinary bubble, you'll see that we ARE a nation of take-out, microwaves, Ramen, and kitchen-fearing foodtards.

If the Food Network makes one career man or woman cook their family a home-cooked meal, regardless of whether they "lower" themselves to using "prefabricated chicken broth" instead of slaving for hours to make their own stock, INSTEAD of bringing home a bucket of KFC, well, I think they're doing a damn good job. Your average American doesn't respond to Julia's method's anymore. I think Julia would wholeheartedly approve of the Food Network's methods because they're getting people to actually COOK who would never have done so before.

Saying that the Food Network is corrupting American's culinary landscape is like saying that using "e-mail" instead of "corriel" is corrupting the French language.

And Heather, I'm not trying to convince you, any more than you could convince me. We'll just have to agree to disagree, and I hope that my wordplay has entertained rather than offended. :unsure:

PS - Alton Brown rocks. Giada DOES has a great rack and amazing eyes (just like my wife on both counts). For me, Rachael's all about the boo-tay. And Iron Chef (the original) was the best show to ever appear on television.

*Apologies to zoramargolis. I needed some complex-sounding dish with obscure ingredients, and as evidenced by your Dinner posts, you're the most talented, knowledgeable, and esoteric cook around these part. :lol:

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Nothing against Julia Child (Bacchus rest her soul), but the methods that worked for apron wearing, meatloaf making, separate bed sleeping, honey I'm home hearing, Mrs. Cleaver type housewives fifty years ago just doesn't cut it for the career-minded women (AND MEN!) of the Oughts.
I disagree wholeheartedly. I believe that I would qualify as a career-minded woman, and I have recently been learning tons about quick, good cooking through Julia Child videos. There is nothing dated about her cooking, and there is no one else that I have seen that teaches so much in such a short period of time. Check it out sometime.
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PS - Alton Brown rocks. Giada DOES has a great rack and amazing eyes (just like my wife on both counts). For me, Rachael's all about the boo-tay. And Iron Chef (the original) was the best show to ever appear on television.

So, you could care less what Rachel cooks so long as she flaunts that ass. Well at least we know why you like her versus St. Julia. :lol:

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I disagree wholeheartedly. I believe that I would qualify as a career-minded woman, and I have recently been learning tons about quick, good cooking through Julia Child videos. There is nothing dated about her cooking, and there is no one else that I have seen that teaches so much in such a short period of time. Check it out sometime.
You also happen to post, regularly, on a food message board. Food and cooking are a part of your life. Most of America doesn't qualify.
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You also happen to post, regularly, on a food message board. Food and cooking are a part of your life. Most of America doesn't qualify.
Despite my interest in food, I am certain that I cook far less than most Americans. But when I do, speed and quality are a high priority for me. Julia's recipes are easier to learn, take less time to cook, and taste much better than Rachel Ray's, and thus I do not waste my very limited opportunities to cook with RR.
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Nothing against Julia Child (Bacchus rest her soul), but the methods that worked for apron wearing, meatloaf making, separate bed sleeping, honey I'm home hearing, Mrs. Cleaver type housewives fifty years ago just doesn't cut it for the career-minded women (AND MEN!) of the Oughts.
This is laughable. And as condescending as anything in the Bourdain piece.
We're not a nation of gourmet chefs being weeded out by this programming. Despite what the talent evidenced on this board suggests about our country, if you look OUTSIDE the culinary bubble, you'll see that we ARE a nation of take-out, microwaves, Ramen, and kitchen-fearing foodtards.
And to the extent this is true, we deserve the scorn heaped upon us.

As for AB, it's clear that his staus as a Manhattenite contributes to his disdain of the web-fibgered meth chefs among us, but some the most vicious shit he's ever written or I've ever heard him say has been about Chef-God Charlie Trotter and upper-middle class vegetarians ("and their Hezbollah-like faction, the vegans"), so he's at least an equal-opportunity hater.

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It's remarkable that fifty years ago, Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking was written with the average American housewife in mind. Her message that fresh, seasonal food is important, and her reassurance that YES, you can do this, was revolutionary.
Nothing against Julia Child (Bacchus rest her soul), but the methods that worked for apron wearing, meatloaf making, separate bed sleeping, honey I'm home hearing, Mrs. Cleaver type housewives fifty years ago just doesn't cut it for the career-minded women (AND MEN!) of the Oughts.

It seems I was projecting my own predjudices here. I reread the introduction; it mentions the American cook, not housewife. I have the 1961 edition, so this is not a modern gender-neutral rewrite. So I think we can put this condescending little canard to rest. Maybe we could follow Julia's example and prepare it a l'Orange. :lol:

I can't resist quoting this, also from the introduction:

"Too much trouble," "Too expensive," and "Who will know the difference" are death knells for good food.
Those three things are exactly what Rachael Ray is selling. And you are right that we will have to agree to disagree about the value of them.
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Magnae clunes mihi placent, nec possum de hac re mentiri. Quis enim, consortes mei, non fateatur, cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos.

The Food Network: ESPN for fat people. What can I say? Hate it (like most of you) or love it (like me), I think we can all agree they pander to their audience well.

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Quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? :lol:

Thirty Minute Meals might get more sympathetic treatment from me if her recipes were any good. At least half are complete trainwrecks. And would it kill her to figure out how to bake?

$40 a Day is completely inexcusable however. There are terrific ways of feeding yourself inexpensively while traveling. Tipping like an a**hole isn't on the list.

She seems well on her way to total Oprah-like media domination, so my carping is merely sound and fury.

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I actually got a good idea from Rachael Ray early on in her 30 Minute Meal Show. It had never occured to me to make tuna burgers with fresh tuna before I watched her make one of her tuna burger "sammies". It has become a popular summer grill staple here at chez zora. I don't even remember exactly what she put in it, but I use yellow fin tuna, fresh ginger, sweet onion, cilantro and an egg to bind it together. And make wasabi mayonnaise to put on top.

Frankly, I can only take her in miniscule doses, and rarely see any of her shows--but this was a fortuitous viewing.

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From the YouTube comments:

I was wondering if she could tell me how to switch my brain back on? I've tried putting an elastic band round my head and smashing my face off the table to clear the vaccum but it is still off.

If you put a "trash can" next to where you're working, the "garbage bowl" isn't really necessary. :lol:

Has anyone here actually seen "Throwdown?" And why don't the Nigella episode descriptions have recipes? :unsure:

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I actually got a good idea from Rachael Ray early on in her 30 Minute Meal Show. It had never occured to me to make tuna burgers with fresh tuna before I watched her make one of her tuna burger "sammies". It has become a popular summer grill staple here at chez zora. I don't even remember exactly what she put in it, but I use yellow fin tuna, fresh ginger, sweet onion, cilantro and an egg to bind it together. And make wasabi mayonnaise to put on top.
I've enjoyed a number of her recipes from the 30 Minutes show, but off the top of my head, I can only think of an orzo primavera. I've made that quite a few times. A lot of the recipes look like they would be good, but she has a tendency sometimes to get carried away and put in too many ingredients. One show I can remember cringing at was one with a baseball theme where she tried to put a bunch of baseball-themed foods together in one dish. It sounded disgusting.

Sometimes the recipes seem too cluttered, even though the individual ingredients are fine. There was a show that aired recently that was for people exhausted coming home at night, and it was supposed to be a breakfast sandwich for dinner. In addition to the chicken cutlets with smoked paprika and smoked gouda, she did scrambled eggs with something in them, and rounded out the sandwich with watercress.

I love watercress, but how many people keep that around? There was too much to the sandwich. She also made quick fried potatoes, doing something I sometimes do: precooking the potatoes most of the way through in the microwave. That's a great technique for people to know.

The show to me really seems like cooking with your mom/aunt/older sister, who is trying to teach you how to make your way around the kitchen. She often gives alternatives for ingredients she suggests and seems to be trying to get people to think about how to put foods together. She encourages people to keep certain foods on hand (a pantry!) so they can put together quick meals. She's got the garbage bowl idea, which is good, but I don't do it. It certainly makes things seem more organized for people who don't cook, though. She also says to use a big cutting board so you don't have to dirty a lot of bowls for the items you've already cut.

I'd venture to guess that the recipes I find find too cluttered are just like what I would have if I started spelling out everything I do to make an improvised meal. I know how to throw things together from what I've got. She's trying to systematize that, and sometimes it doesn't work.

If she only had the 30 Minute show, I wouldn't have much objection to her.

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From the YouTube comments:

If you put a "trash can" next to where you're working, the "garbage bowl" isn't really necessary. :lol:

Has anyone here actually seen "Throwdown?" And why don't the Nigella episode descriptions have recipes? :unsure:

I've seen several episodes of Throwdown. Flay actually "won" on one of them. I think the concept of the show is pretty stupid, but when I have the tv on to have the tv on, I've watched it.
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From the YouTube comments:

If you put a "trash can" next to where you're working, the "garbage bowl" isn't really necessary. :lol:

exactly - i don't rightly understand the garbage bowl. yeah it's great to have a place to put all your scraps for the garbage (or for your compost), but why dirty a clean bowl? i normally just use leftover produce bags as my "garbage bowl". that way, i use bags that would have otherwise gone into the trash empty.

i have to admit although i don't really care for RR, but because i don't have cable, whenever i'm someplace that has food network, i'll watch whatever is showing, be it RR or bobby flay (though, i will draw the line at semi-homemade what's her face).

speaking of throwdown, i thought i saw on tony luke's (in philly) website that they filmed a throwdown episode there. anyone seen this?

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Something actually useful from Rachel Ray. Unless you know you're one of those people who isn't into anything in jars. Something like that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FZjJDm3fls

She's not just a Food Network Personality any more! She's a journalist! (Just like Katie Couric!)

Rachael Ray (note proper spelling!) interviews First Lady Laura Bush!

Q You know, it's so fun to see inside that kitchen because it's not at all formal, she's got all of her cookbooks up there and there' all those little mugs -- everybody has their own mug. It's fun.

MRS. BUSH: You can also see how sweet and cute Cris is. She's just a wonderful cook, but really fun to work with, too.

Q She seems like such a warm person.

MRS. BUSH: She is.

Q Do you love to cook? Do you ever get down to the kitchen?

MRS. BUSH: I do love to cook, but I don't -- no, I don't get down into the kitchen. (Laughter.)

Q You're a little busy. A little busy.

MRS. BUSH: I like food, I love to read cookbooks, and I used to be a cook, but not any more.

Q Were you a good baker? I'm a lousy baker.

MRS. BUSH: No, not a very good baker. (Laughter.)

Q You see how much we have in common? We're bonding. (Applause.) Now, what about the girls? Were your girls -- you have beautiful girls, by the way, because their mom is so pretty.

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I actually got a good idea from Rachael Ray early on in her 30 Minute Meal Show. It had never occured to me to make tuna burgers with fresh tuna before I watched her make one of her tuna burger "sammies". It has become a popular summer grill staple here at chez zora. I don't even remember exactly what she put in it, but I use yellow fin tuna, fresh ginger, sweet onion, cilantro and an egg to bind it together. And make wasabi mayonnaise to put on top.

Frankly, I can only take her in miniscule doses, and rarely see any of her shows--but this was a fortuitous viewing.

This is not an original idea, though. My copy of the first Union Square Cafe cookbook is pretty long in the tooth and Michael Romano credits Pierre Franey for the suggestion.

So, so glad I just discovered this thread. Thank you, Waitman & Heather for your responding posts.

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INSTEAD of bringing home a bucket of KFC
While I was barely awake this morning, a commercial came on after the local news. I wasn't upright so could only hear the tv. It sounding like they were running a PSA. The teenaged boy is calling home to ask his mother if he can eat dinner at his friend's house but mom is suspicious. Finally he has to put his friend's mom on the phone. She reassures the other mom that it's legitimate; yes, they're all having dinner together as a family, which is apparently an unfamiliar concept. By now I'm looking at the tv and we see dinner: a big bucket of KFC. This is what a family dinner is all about!

For some reason, I found this ad offensive, maybe because it started out sounded (to me) like a PSA for families all sitting down to have dinner together and it's selling fast food. Or maybe I just woke up cranky :lol: .

(Apologies if everyone has seen this ad a million times. I don't watch a whole lot of tv and usually tune out the commercials when I do.)

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I posted about this on the Central thread, but I suppose this is relevant as well. Was eating at Central last night and about 10 minutes into our meal, Giada De Laurentiis and a friend were seated at the table directly next to us. I had my back to them so I couldn't spy on what she was eating, but it was definitely her. A friend also knows an insider at the White House that had mentioned Giada was in town for something, so it would make sense to be dining only a few blocks from the there.

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While I was barely awake this morning, a commercial came on after the local news. I wasn't upright so could only hear the tv. It sounding like they were running a PSA. The teenaged boy is calling home to ask his mother if he can eat dinner at his friend's house but mom is suspicious. Finally he has to put his friend's mom on the phone. She reassures the other mom that it's legitimate; yes, they're all having dinner together as a family, which is apparently an unfamiliar concept. By now I'm looking at the tv and we see dinner: a big bucket of KFC. This is what a family dinner is all about!

For some reason, I found this ad offensive, maybe because it started out sounded (to me) like a PSA for families all sitting down to have dinner together and it's selling fast food. Or maybe I just woke up cranky :lol: .

(Apologies if everyone has seen this ad a million times. I don't watch a whole lot of tv and usually tune out the commercials when I do.)

My wife and I saw the same ad the other night and had a similar reaction. Our jaws dropped and we looked at each other in amazement. Did you also notice the soft focus and washed out colors of the commercial, as though it were a nostalgic look back at the nuclear family of the 1950s who ate their meals together? I suppose such a commercial is an indication that, despite "The United States of Arugula" and all the progress made in the past 50 years, there remains a great mass of the culinarily unwashed in this country. (Or is that what companies like KFC just want us to think?)

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My wife and I saw the same ad the other night and had a similar reaction. Our jaws dropped and we looked at each other in amazement. Did you also notice the soft focus and washed out colors of the commercial, as though it were a nostalgic look back at the nuclear family of the 1950s who ate their meals together? I suppose such a commercial is an indication that, despite "The United States of Arugula" and all the progress made in the past 50 years, there remains a great mass of the culinarily unwashed in this country. (Or is that what companies like KFC just want us to think?)
Which is exactly why we NEED people like Rachael Ray and Julia Child to teach people that yes, you CAN cook for your family and bypass the mediocrity of takeout.
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Glad someone brought up the KFC ads. I find virtually all of them offensive and lowering the standards of a "family" meal. For instance, the one where mom calls up the steps "Kids.....dinner!": and the kids run out of the house into the SUV. But no.....wait.......mom cares far more about the kids than to take them to the drive through. She actually brought a bucket of fat and salt home. How Rockwellian.

Another one which got under my skin was when KFC was promoting a"cholcolate cake" as a part of said lard package. Being the rare occasion that mom brings a cake to the table for dessert, dad naturally thinks it must be a speacial occasion, say a birthday. He begins to lead the kids in singing Happy Birthday, desperately looking amongst his family members for someone to acknowledge thier special day. Alas, mom is just serving an instant cake out of love. For no silly reason at all.

Gosh.....pulls at my heartstrings. Can I get a tissue?

Not that getting a bucket once in a while is bad necessarily. But touting it as a caring, well rounded family meal is disgusting.

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Not that getting a bucket once in a while is bad necessarily. But touting it as a caring, well rounded family meal is disgusting.
Harold and Kumar go to White Castle....xcanuck goes to KFC. I get a serious craving for KFC about once a year - usually coincident with being on a real bender. One year I made my girlfriend stop at KFC where I picked up an 8 piece box (a whole chicken) and I demolished the thing in under 20 minutes. It was about 2 years before I ate there again. A guilty pleasure, I admit.
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Glad someone brought up the KFC ads. I find virtually all of them offensive and lowering the standards of a "family" meal. For instance, the one where mom calls up the steps "Kids.....dinner!": and the kids run out of the house into the SUV. But no.....wait.......mom cares far more about the kids than to take them to the drive through. She actually brought a bucket of fat and salt home. How Rockwellian.

Another one which got under my skin was when KFC was promoting a"cholcolate cake" as a part of said lard package. Being the rare occasion that mom brings a cake to the table for dessert, dad naturally thinks it must be a speacial occasion, say a birthday. He begins to lead the kids in singing Happy Birthday, desperately looking amongst his family members for someone to acknowledge thier special day. Alas, mom is just serving an instant cake out of love. For no silly reason at all.

Gosh.....pulls at my heartstrings. Can I get a tissue?

Not that getting a bucket once in a while is bad necessarily. But touting it as a caring, well rounded family meal is disgusting.

I saw no issue with these ads. Most people not have the time to have a "well rounded" family meal on most nights. I don't think anything in those ads suggest that you should go to KFC every night. At least they are trying to promote the idea of a family eating together, which is something that those not happen that often anymore.

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