Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The New Earl of Sandwich

As the latter half of “I Like You” was comprised primarily of recipes, I felt compelled to read the majority of the instructions, until I decided that I would only read the ones that looked tasty. While this resulted in reading almost every single one of the delicious-sounding recipes, I began to realize that Amy was very serious when she said this would not be a joke cookbook. Yet she manages to insert a great deal of humor into her entertaining advice
Remembering that the book is written all about taking care of guests and also being a guest, I began to take a closer look at the food. Why would certain dishes be placed here? Aside for obvious choices such as “I Remember the War Cube Steak,” there emerged a method to the genuine madness of Amy in that each food choice seemed to be made to cater especially for the purpose. My favorite option was the placing of Rice Krispies Treats in the Sick People section: a tasty guilt-free treat with no real danger to allergy or complicated medical problems.
I mention the recipes in particular throughout the book not only because I enjoy cooking but also because the seriousness of the instructions enhances rather than detracts from the humor. A climax has a greater impact when the shift from low to high tension is large, and as my eyes fell from the line “Never steal a sick person’s pills” to a recipe for marshmallow-cereal squares the idea that this can happen repeatedly in a book was made clear. Amy manages to take readers on a roller-coaster ride of lackadaisical ridiculousness balanced with some very sincere and serious tips on being a good entertainer for a wide variety of situations. Humor and gravity are juxtaposed in a way which allows each to add to the other and magnify each others’ meaning, and this strikes me as something very difficult to accomplish with food recipes and party-throwing advice.

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