Ice Cube Recipe Inspires Genius Comments

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 22 2012 9:50 AM

The Only Recipe for Ice Cubes You’ll Ever Need

ice
The recipe on Food.com

Food.com.

Comment sections on websites can be nasty places, but they’re rarely more useless than they are on popular recipe sites like AllRecipes, Epicurious, and the like. The comments there are not full of the obvious trolling you come across elsewhere, which is generally easy to ignore. Instead, you find one recipe “review” after another that pointlessly recounts an innocuous substitution, describes a husband who thought the dish was too spicy, or shares a breathless complaint about “no flavor” that could surely be fixed with a teaspoon of salt. Occasionally one finds a flash of genius from a clever cook, but usually the comments are an endless slog.

So I was happy to discover that my despair over such commenting practices is widely shared—and even happier to read a perfect parody of this corner of the Internet. In a glorious recipe posted to Food.com that has been making the rounds on Twitter, a frustrated cook offers a recipe for ice cubes, noting that it may come in handy for “families who have members who don't know how or have forgotten how to make ice when the ice tray is empty.” The rundown proceeds as expected—water, freezer—and it’s funny enough on its own: a passive-aggressive plea to refill trays that anyone can get behind.

Advertisement

But then the commenters get ahold of it, and the magic begins.

“This recipe is horrible!” declares Chef #1408275. “Maybe I should have left them in longer than two minutes (the recipe doesn't say how long to leave them in the freezer so I just kind of guessed) but mine came out all watery. I won't be making these again.”  

“I harvest my own free-range water, so the idea of putting it in a plastic tray and a commercially made electricity-wasting freezer disgusts me,” huffs donquix66.  

It goes on, beautifully: “I was wondering if you had a crock-pot version for this recipe.” “So easy and low carb/cal, lactose, and gluten free.” “The addition of 1 1/2 T of Sriracha really lifted the oxygen flavor that was being overpowered by the doubled hydrogen.”

The winks and nudges continue, and no commenter stereotype goes uncovered. There is a Rachael Ray joke, an Al Gore joke, and at least one genuinely helpful suggestion for how to end up with clearer ice (start with hot water). True, the jest gets a little overextended in 326 reviews, but the deft sendup of the comments that typically litter these sites seems to have sprouted organically from the community. It’s enough to restore one’s faith in Internet commenting.

Jeffrey Bloomer is a Slate Video assistant editor. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 23 2014 6:00 AM Monster Kids from poorer neighborhoods keep coming to trick-or-treat in mine. Do I have to give them candy?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 8:51 AM The Male-Dominated Culture of Business in Tech Is Not Great for Women
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 9:00 AM Exclusive Premiere: Key & Peele Imagines the Dark Side of the Make-A-Wish Program
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.