Monica: Hey, I know I what I want!
Chandler: What we want honey.
Monica: No, you don’t want this. I want to have your grandmother’s cookie recipe.
Phoebe: You mean the chocolate chip cookie recipe?
Monica: Uh-huh, yeah.
Phoebe: You mean the one that my grandmother made me swear on her deathbed that I would never let out of our family?
Chandler: Dying people say the craziest things.
Monica: I wanted it for years! I was gonna make cookies for my children.
Phoebe: Break my heart—Oh, all right.
Oh, I KNOW you know this one! It's "The One With Phoebe's Cookies"!! We've got everyone exactly in their element: Phoebe being silly and a bit ignorant, Monica absolutely obsessing over getting something perfect, Ross making everything about him (remember "IT'S BATCH 16! BATCH 16 PEOPLE! GET OUT OF THE WAY!"). This episode also has a fantastic Joey & Rachel storyline on Joey's new boat*, and one of my favorite cold opens EVER. But back to the most important issue - cookies! So, Phoebe's grandmother had the best chocolate chip cookie recipe, and Monica wants it as her engagement present, so she can one day be the mother who makes the best chocolate chip cookies:
No, not that kind of stake! Remember from, well, "The One With Five Steaks & An Eggplant", when Monica's restaurant switches meat suppliers and she gets free stuff and brings it home to the guys to make amends? Let's backtrack! So much is happening: Monica gets promoted at work, Ross's birthday is coming up, Chandler is impersonating a hot guy for a hot lady. Half the Friends - Rachel, Phoebe, and Joey - don't make as much money as the other three. The moneyed 3 don't realize this, and they keep coming up with expensive ways to celebrate things like birthdays and promotions, to the 3 poorpups' chagrin. Poor Rachel, Phoebe, and Joey - in multiple senses of the word - finally have to confront the others about the situation.
Ooh we're finally making the famous kiwi lime pie! I know you kids are excited. As you will recall, in "The One With The Baby On The Bus", Monica whipped up a lovely pie, and shared it with Chandler, Joey, and Ross. But after a few bites, Ross's tongue started to swell up and he realized the delicious pie was trying to kill him:
As we've studied the eating habits of the Friends over the past few weeks, what is the most important lesson we've learned? JOEY DOESN'T SHARE FOOD. Correct! In "The One With The Birth Mother", in one of my favorite Joey storylines, he dates a woman (Annie Parisse) who does silly things like order plain salads but mooch off of Joey's dinner. I agree with Joey on this one: Order the food you want to eat! (As long as it's vegan, obvs.) Anyway, Annie (let's just call her Annie) doesn't really understand that it's weird to take food off of someone else's plate, at least without asking first. The conflict comes to a hilarious climax with Joey's seafood platter dinner. He thinks he's successfully distracted her with extra fries (which he is willing to share), but no such luck:
Tonight, Ross is getting his lumps. Phoebe is getting her peas and onions. And Mario is getting his tots*. Confused? Don't be! We're having three kinds of potatoes! People are needy about their potatoes! But it's going to be awesome! In continuing this VeganMoFo theme of veganizing food made on "Friends", we're looking at the first ever Thanksgiving episode, "The One Where Underdog Gets Away." The "Friends" Thanksgiving episodes are usually stellar, and this early installment is no different. Monica is in charge of her first Thanksgiving dinner, and all the Friends are pretty ignorant of how hard she is working. They all make personal requests - Chandler needs his tomato soup and grilled cheese*, Ross needs mashed potatoes with lumps, Phoebe needs her potatoes whipped and with peas and onions, and Joey needs his potatoes in tot form. (Joey is wise.)
Joey: Hey, Monica, I got a question. I don't see any tater tots.
YES CANDY LADY!!! Folks, we've come to the point in this veganization of "Friends" journey when we get to celebrate one of the greatest things Monica ever made, yet remember that she acted kind of annoyingly in this episode. Maybe I just have no patience for rude people, but I always wanted her to show some moxie and punch her neighbors. Anyway! Enough violence, now onto the candy!
Remember the episode aptly named "The One With All The Candy"? Yeah you do! Monica thought that she should really get to know her other neighbors, not just the other Friends across the hall. She decided that making homemade candy and putting it in a basket outside her door would do the trick. At first, it works like a charm...but then the neighbors get quite boorish, and near abusive. Refresh your memory:
For today's installment of Veganizing "Friends", we are making lasagna! Not just any lasagna, mind you, but the lasagna that was supposed to be perfect, when Jack and Judy Gellar were coming over for dinner to harshly judge Monica and find fault with everything she does. Monica had to impress them with the lasagna, and had Rachel help her layer the noodles. But then...(fast forward the video below to 1:20 to see what happens, then read below to see what happens after the idiots who cut that video stopped that scene):
Given the name of this website, I can't believe it has taken me this long to make an actual aphrodisiac! Or, at least a vegan version of one. Especially when my font of wisdom, "Friends", featured the following exchange, in the classic, hilarious episode "The One That Could Have Been", between Monica and her alternate-reality-insanely-boring boyfriend-who-talks-about-hazelnuts-not-really-being-nuts*, Dr. Roger:
Monica: I hope you’re hungry. We’re starting with oysters. And y’know what they say about oysters, don’t you?
Yeah! We're going to make oysters (the mushroom kind!) and Middle Eastern couscous! And we're going to eat with our hands...maybe. Nah, probably not.
I'm having so much fun veganizing food featured on "Friends"! My to-do list for the next few weeks is pretty darn long, but somehow I forgot the subject of today's post until the lovely dropscone suggested that I do it. Thank you for reminding me of a favorite Ross moment! It comes from the episode "The One with the East German Laundry Detergent", when Ross, yet again oblivious to others' feelings and the tone of their words, says the following:
Rachel: (waitressing) Does anybody want anything else?
YEAH YEAH! With absolutely no other information to go on, we're going to make the wonderful, nutty, chocolaty kind of cakey pie thing from Central Perk!! For my own benefit, I decided to make it less 'cake that can be served easily in a coffee shop' and more 'cream pie that can be served easily on my table'.
Obviously, if I'm making a pie that I'm going to eat, and I have this little to work off of, I'm going to use Speculoos. I hope you know what Speculoos is. It's miraculous. If you don't have access to this European cinnamony cookie butter, use peanut butter! Oh I bet it would be great with peanut butter! Or really any nut butter of your choice. Or just with chocolate!
We're definitely going to start with a graham cracker crust taken to another level - made not with graham crackers, but with Speculoos cookies! Duh!
If you know "Friends" (and I hope you do!), you know that Chandler hates, I mean HATES, Thanksgiving. His parents announced their divorce on Thanksgiving when he was nine years old, and he was so upset that he threw up all the traditional foods he had eaten. Subsequently, he refused to ever celebrate the holiday or eat 'Thanksgiving-y' foods. (If I recall correctly, he also started smoking at this point too. At age 9.)
So, we learn through flashbacks that, during college, Ross brought his roommate Chandler home for several Thanksgivings. The first time, Monica offered to make him mac & cheese since he didn't eat Thanksgiving food. When eating it, Chandler said, in an offhand way, "This is great, you should be a chef!" and Monica just excitedly said "Ok!" And as we know, she became a professional chef. It's one of my favorite Fat Monica moments, though I love her allatimes. I could only find this long clip, so you can jump ahead (to 1:15-1:35, and then to 2:45-3:00), but it's so fun, why not just watch it all.
The Spark of Creation
I love to cook. Love it! 9 times out of 10 I'd rather cook my own meal than have someone else (especially a stranger! Stranger danger!) make it for me. However, I am not a chef, so my recipes usually are haphazard slapdash ragamuffin mixtures of ingredients. Proceed with caution.