Revenge Recipes; and why Online Recipes are so Long

REVENGE RECIPES CAN BE SWEET

May I suggest firing off a revenge recipe when attempts at honest dialogue have failed?

Sometimes in corporate settings, you will receive childish and accusatory emails from other departments. These infantile missives often express a random mission-critical problem that all departments should remedy.

You note the email includes upper management in the carbon copy field, names hovering like vultures just above the subject line. As if management gave a shit about storage space.

And according to the email, they are the only department carrying out the file management load. Y’all are some real humanitarians.

Never mind that nobody is really doing an outstanding job keeping the storage space from overflowing— it perpetually ping-pongs between ninety-six and ninety-nine percent. The office snitch should have sent out an email admitting he also sucks at file management.

Obviously, one should self-reflect when receiving emails such as these— perhaps you really do stink at sharing workplace responsibilities. If that’s the case, feel free to drop off here. But check out my blog making fun of company jargonauts.

My father always said subordinates should refrain from selling out colleagues to leadership. It makes you look petty and unable to solve problems through the chain of command. 

He would also say, “no man should have a manifesto,” which was by far my favorite dad-ism. He would toss it out aloud at cult leaders, despots, and the crooked that appeared on 60 Minutes in our 1980s living room.

Anyway— many of us middling screws that never made it to the ranks of upper management still benefit from remembering 1970-1980s parenting. Parents would slap the shit out of us for exhibiting chain of command jumping behavior.

1980s MEANT IT WAS OK TO RETURN FIRE

Archaic adults preached retaliation. “Kick his ass” would be the overwhelming guidance over bullies and most anything else. Our comic and cartoon heroes punched their way out of trouble. And then were celebrated in snack pie ads.

Also, it didn’t hurt that I was sent to military school where dumb proliferated and every slight ended in a fistfight. And if you got into a fistfight, you better win (no one will ever let you forget it). And this probably answers for some of my own personal issues on letting arguments die. 

Most of y’all haven’t gone to military school, so I should probably stick to our shared corporal punishment-loving parentage.

Obviously, our parents had been war-torn and as much the same for their parents. I shudder at what corporal punishment looked like a hundred years ago.

So, I’ll blame the cold war era over our collective penchant for returning fire on emails such as the one I mentioned earlier. Just remember that curtly worded, swear-heavy screed you penned after midnight while drinking Shiraz— you should probably delete that shit.

The cold war isn’t an excuse company HR would accept.

Most folk’s attempts at passive-aggressive emails only wind up as aggressive-aggressive— and that also lands on HR’s desk.

MAY I SUGGEST A FOOD FIGHT

So, after my mid-thirties, I just began firing off revenge recipes. Revenge recipes are unironic recipes for spectacularly simple dishes— usually for shit like tuna casserole. 

And no buts— before you but, but— no one in the world actually wants a goddamn tuna casserole. And if they did, they already know how to make one.

There isn’t anyone born after the year 2000 that wants to know how to make a recipe that, at best, is just following box instructions on kraft mac and cheese and then dumping canned tuna over the top.

And by the way, 1960s recipes are not revenge recipes. They are too absurd as revenge recipes— it would be equivalent to tossing a brick through someone’s car window with a threatening note attached.

Further, a revenge recipe is not a gourmet take on tuna casserole; that wouldn’t be dumb enough. Oh, and by the way, note the hyperlink to BlueJeanChef. (I’m a fan, but) the blog buries a fantastic-looking recipe under a slew of words. 

(COMPOSITE/ DEATH TO STOCK)

Revenge recipes used to be so easy— just search some random ass recipe for avocado mashed potatoes, then copy it. Paste it to an annoying email, reply all, and get on with your day.

SEO RUINING TUNA CASSEROLE

Finally, the point of my post— buried needlessly beneath paragraphs of poppycock. Why is it so difficult to quickly get to the point of online cookbook entries to facilitate my revenge recipes?

Have you noticed that online recipes are suddenly a million words of some blogger yackety-yaking with a recipe tucked in somewhere at the very bottom of the post?

Search engines reward writers of lengthier posts. It doesn’t matter if it’s an actual recipe or a revenge recipe, or a diatribe on comic books— SEO rewards longer-form content. Basically, if you want your entry to show up at the top of a search query— better make that shit long.

“Content is king, but long-form content is the king of kings,” Says Emery (Ross) Pearson for Tribute Media. I’m shocked Emery got that close to coining “Christ Content” and pulled back. Regardless, according to Ross, more words impart more authority to a site.

“[Google] wants to see that you have expertise in what you’re showing — Google wants to see more than a recipe,” Elise Bauer, founder of SimplyRecipes, told the Washington Post. And that could include demonstrating proficiency through personal stories, cooking tips, and more.

HubSpot says the “ideal blog post length should be 2,100-2,400 words.” And that is a ton of words— but don’t fret. HubSpot advises that “there’s still plenty of opportunity to get posts ranking with lower word counts.” So online recipes need not balloon any further.

WHY ARE ONLINE RECIPES SO LONG?

It must be a challenging tightrope to walk for the writer, teasing out their beloved recipe like Ryan Seacrest on an American Idol finale. Visitors could stick with it or just ditch.

Burying a recipe under a sea of words forces visitors to hunt for the cooking information, which can be annoying when you have a sauté pan sizzling. 

“I just want the recipe! I don’t need the Modern Love essay on how you came up with it!” Actress Mindy Kaling exclaimed in an apparently deleted tweet (maybe I’m coming out of warp here into Star Fleet carnage).

Anyway, the practice of burying the content visitors came to your site for probably leads to higher bounce rates. A bounce occurs when “a user enters [the] page and does not further interact with the elements on [the] page or any other pages on [the] site.”

So if a visitor returns to the search results, closes the browser, or becomes inactive— that’s a bounce.  

The rewards for risking a higher bounce are easy. Longer posts mean better rankings in search engines, which equals more visitors, increased dwell time, and (hopefully) more money for the recipe writer.

Dwell time is the period where a visitor “clicks on a page from the SERP and stays awhile.”

Digital marketing influencers such as Neil Patel are bullish on dwell time even though no one is entirely sure whether Google rewards pages for longer dwell times. He concedes that Google hasn’t confirmed dwell time increases site rankings. Yet “most SEOs consider dwell time to be a ranking signal.”

GETTING TO THE REVENGE RECIPE

I must admit I’ve been that dude with every oven in the house blazing— searching for that one recipe I found months earlier that had worked out so well. 

Then wife says something about smelling smoke, and I’m like, “Yes, I know,” staring at my phone like a millennial waiting for a subway train too far out on the goddamn ledge— someone could just nudge you, man— then a smoke alarm going off; wife saying “honey, you’re scaring the children.”

Maybe archaic adults printing out every webpage that has a paragraph they wanted to read again is the correct method, after all. I’ve just had to get used to flinging past sentences for the gold in chef-blogger posts. That terrible dish— the ultimate revenge recipe.

In the domestic cooking world, fires could result from not preparing ahead of time.

Have you ever had some oil over-heated in a sauté pan and then dropped in some frozen shrimp? I was that doofus that did that shit and worse in a kitchen with four animals half-asleep on a tiled floor. Imagine the sounds of four house-pets all trying to leave a place with a tiled floor simultaneously? SKWA-SKWA-skwa-skwa-skwa-skwa!

Maybe Google should think of rewarding food blogs for how good the dish is rather than how many words precede it. That would undoubtedly help kitchen culinarians cut to the chase on their forthcoming food. And it would help me get to my revenge recipe faster.

I know that’s an impossibility— but it is amusing imagining a culinary board that cooks up online recipes and decides whether SEO should apply. Weight the rankings based on how good the recipe winds up being.

GETTING A REVENGE RECIPE, THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY

If you’re craving the old days when you could just type in a recipe search and immediately get the directions— without asking why this recipe is so long. Well, you can! Just search with a decade-old date range.

Would you look at all those recipes without any stories about how the writer’s mom used Jell-O to make Kool-Aid in the 1970s when there wasn’t any Kool-Aid in the house. Which, BTW, what you do is add a Jell-O packet to a pitcher of water and then drink it before it has time to congeal.

That wasn’t projection at all. And speaking of which, have you written a recipe blog and stuffed it with terrifying memories of your childhood? Let me know in the comments. 

And if you’re interested, I wrote my own really dumb food blog about a sandwich I like to make with peanut butter and bacon. Plus, I want to mention this blog was written while listening to DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist, “Product Placement”

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