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I’m Sick of Scrolling Past Essays to Get to Recipes I’m Not Paying For

Memo to recipe bloggers: No one wants your life story, says me, an asshole

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Hands rolling out dough on a sunlit kitchen counter.
“As someone who is not paying for this freely provided recipe, I feel entitled to complain about it as much as I want.”
Photo: uzhursky/Shutterstock

Dear recipe blogs,

Why the FUCK does every single one of your freely provided recipes begin with a thousand-word essay about your life story? I don’t need to read about the recent death of your beloved grandmother, whose enduring longing for the flavors of her home country informed both your entire culinary philosophy and the development of this specific freely provided recipe that I found by googling all the leftovers in my fridge followed by the words “what to make.” Come on, I didn’t click on this page while sitting on the toilet until my feet go numb just to be confronted with the “blah blah blah” wordy fruit of both your literary expression and a long tradition of women’s domestic labor being devalued and marginalized.

Oh my god, it’s so long. Never mind that I missed the “jump to recipe” link at the top that would’ve let me skip past all the text that keeps you at the top of the search rankings that led me to this freely provided recipe in the first place. In the amount of time I spent scrolling past the ads that barely allow you to break even on the hours’ worth of testing and iterating that go into developing such a freely provided recipe — not to mention the costs of ingredients, photo editing software, and web hosting — I could’ve watched another TikTok or maybe even mustered the emotional capacity to comment “queen!” on a tweet in which a bestselling author clapped back at a college student who didn’t like her book.

Just give me the freely provided recipe, god damn it! I’m trying to feed my family here while ignoring the fact that you need to feed yours! No, I will not buy a cookbook that doesn’t need lengthy headnotes because the author is supported by readers actually paying for content. Nor will I use a mass-market, corporate-owned recipe site that, by virtue of business model and scale, can show me how to cook via context-free instructions or 30-second top-down videos, no life musings required. Instead, I’m going to go with your freely provided recipe, enjoy the dish, and then bitch about your independent blog for guaranteed Twitter clout.

Next time you publish a freely provided recipe, maybe think a little harder about how to curate the experience for me, specifically. Speaking of — can you please tell me what to make with two dozen cans of beans?