13 Important Cooking Lessons We Learned From Sookie of Gilmore Girls
They don't call her "the maestro" for nothing.
If you're constantly refreshing your computer to see who is the latest character to join Netflix's Gilmore Girls revival, you were likely thrilled to read about Melissa McCarthy's return to Stars Hollow, where she'll reprise her role as the beloved Sookie St. James, master chef and ultimate BFF to Lorelai Gilmore. While there was speculation as to whether or not McCarthy would return, she recently confirmed that she is excited to return to set and film her part in the remake. Gilmore fans: You can now rest easy. To celebrate our favorite Stars Hollow cook (sorry, Luke), we've come up with a few key lessons we can all learn from Sookie.
Fancy food is great, but sometimes nothing is more relaxing than a Toblerone. When Sookie was pregnant with Martha, she snuck off to an empty room in the inn to watch Dark Shadows and eat Toblerones. “It was an hour all to myself,” she said. Sometimes we all deserve a break, a little trashy TV, and our favorite candy.
Sookie married hers—while you don’t necessarily need to go that far, everyone knows that high quality produce is the building block of a great recipe.
Especially expensive, organically grown turkeys. “You don’t deep fry turkey,” Sookie said. “Fillet of fish? Yes. A batch of fries? Yes. A donut? Yes. Not turkey." But if it happens, there’s only one way to cope: margaritas.
Maybe you’ll cut yourself with a knife or catch something on (a small) fire. Maybe you’ll somehow slit the back of your shirt while cooking—hey, it’s hard to explain exactly what happened (charades help). Stuff happens and, while safety is important, don’t let it hurt your creative process. Good insurance, however, is a must.
Look—kids don’t eat vegetables. They don’t eat “green stuff.” So when preparing for a child’s birthday party, opt for plain mac and cheese and some DIY cupcakes. When you’re catering a fancier party, say, for an Emily Gilmore-esque crowd, then you bring out three soup options and a selection of white and off-white linens.
When the Dragonfly’s accountant suggests cutting lunch to save money, Sookie went ballistic (which eventually helped her realize she’s pregnant). She’s a stalwart advocate for the importance of lunch—she even sent Kirk out to drum up some business. And no: iced tea does not a proper lunch make.
If you have a go-to delicious recipe passed down for generations, or a dish that is so good, it cures ailments (a la Sookie’s magic risotto), trust that the food will taste even better when paired with the perfect glass of wine. A subpar varietal will result in mediocre reviews (and a bit of a meltdown). And, risotto does not go with Riesling. Why not just drink battery acid?
So, you spilled a bit of extra cinnamon into your batter, or worse, a bit of chili pepper INSTEAD of cinnamon. You could scrap the whole batch, or you could go with the flow and end up with a deliciously spicy batch of cookies no one has ever tasted before. Take a cue from Sookie: When she and Luke teamed up in the diner after the Independence Inn caught fire, the Cajun Eggs Benedict resulted from spilling cayenne pepper into a bowl of hollandaise. Explained Sookie: “How do you think they invented the Reese’s cup and penicillin, my friend?” Have fun in the kitchen!
When Sookie got nervous the night before her wedding, she started wondering if the sugared daffodils on her wedding cake were the right choice (they were!). When she follows her food instincts, she rarely goes wrong. They don’t call her “the maestro” for nothing (or at least Lorelai does).
Your boyfriend’s crazy cousin needs a place to stay at your inn? Make some orange-glazed muffins to smooth things over. Not sure what to say to the diner owner’s sullen nephew who just came to town? Ask him if he likes cheese. If there’s an awkward situation, Sookie has a food or a recipe to fix it.
If you have your heart set on strawberry shortcake, but all you've got on hand is a bunch of blueberries, go with a blueberry shortcake. While recipes are helpful guides, they aren't the law. If you're willing to experiment, you may end up with your new favorite dessert!
Sookie is a great chef, but she’s an even better friend. When Lorelai called off her wedding to Max, for instance, she told her not to worry about the cake she spent so much time making and served it to the staff at the Independence Inn: “You were a good cake, Clyde, I never should’ve named you,” she said.