Behind the Scenes at Skepchick HQ: Holy Wars

Behind the Scenes at Skepchick HQ: Holy Wars

It all started so simply.  After the monumental success that was SkepchickCON, we wanted to send Kammy some cupcakes as a thank you for all her hard work. We had the amazing folks at Ultimate Cupcakes whip up a batch and sent it to her with this note:

Dear Kammy: thanks for the incredible job you did organizing SkepchickCon. We’re all happy you’re now an official part of the Skepchick family, after you undergo the initiation rites of course. The rites are basically just eating all these cupcakes yourself. Preferably on film. Love, Rebecca and all the Skepchicks

Kammy got the cupcakes yesterday morning and sent us a little thank you email and video:

From: Kammy

When I walked out on my porch today (in a bad mood) I found a box addressed to me. Opening it I found a dozen delicious looking cupcakes and a note. Mood changed from bad to good in a second. The note was from Rebecca and all the Skepchicks saying the cupcakes were to thank me for working on SkepchickCON. Further it said that I had to eat all the cupcakes, preferably on film. I can only manage one cupcake at time (shut up, how many can you eat at once?), but i did make a video of it. If you want to see me stuffing my face w/ cupcake and talking w/ my mouth full and showing off my mad editing skillz, click this link:

Oddly, about 5 min after I finished eating the cupcake, the guy from ultimatecupcake.com friended me on FB. If I weren’t a skeptic, I’d think he had some psychic connection to his cupcakes.

Thanks for the treats and the appreciation. Love you guys!!

Nice, no? And isn’t Kammy adorable? Who knew – this little video would start a WAR on the Skepchick back-channel.

From: Amy

Thanks for all your hard work at Convergence. :) xoxo

From: Mindy

OMFSM you are adorable, Kammy.

From: Rebecca

Ahhhhh so cute! And man those pumpkin cupcakes are good. I agree that raisins are shit and don’t belong in cake products.

From: Elyse

Fuck all you all. Raisins are just developmentally delayed wine. Have some goddamn compassion. Assholes.

From: Mindy

I like raisins. Especially in cereal.

From: Maria

I hate raisins.

From: A Real Girl

raisinists!

From: Elyse

VIVA LA RAISINLUTION!

From: Kammy

Raisins don’t  need a revolution!! Those of us who don’t like raisins are the oppressed minority. They’re fucking everywhere!!! Ruining our coffee cakes and cinnamon rolls and pumpkin bread, the crafty little bastards.

From Mindy

I can agree that they have no place in breads.

From: Maria

AND COOKIES. Ohhhh the number of times I’ve bitten into a lovely chocolate chip cookie only to discover it was fucking OATMEAL RAISIN in disguise?!

Disgusting.

From: Amanda

Count me as a raisinista. I can’t believe I know so many anti-raisin fascists!

From: Kammy

And what’s so wrong about a nice plain oatmeal cookie with it’s lovely chewiness and brown sugar cinnamon tastiness? Why is it that every delicious thing with brown sugar and cinnamon has to be spoiled with rotten grapes? I don’t get it.

From: Chelsea

Raisins are awesome! Sure, they kind of resemble tiny brown ballsacks (is that a leap? Maybe. Do I care? Not particularly.), but they’re nature’s candy! Also, my kid is much quieter with a mouthful of them. Raisins. Not ballsacks.

From: Amanda

Now every time I nom some raisins, I’m going to think of Chelsea and ballsacks.

From: A Real Girl

Sad.
Raisin denialists.

From: Maria

I am not saying that raisins don’t exist. I just think they suck. They are the yams of dessert.

Raisinapologist.

From:  A Real Girl

Aren’t yams the yams of dessert?

From: Amy

I love yams.

From: Maria

OMG

From: Kammy

I like yams, too. Especially when made w/ brown sugar and cinnamon. But no fucking raisins.

From: Maria

I don’t even know who you people are anymore.

From: Kammy

Want a cupcake?

From: Amy

From this day forward whenever you can spell raisin on words with friends, you must!

Or yam. I will have better luck with yam. Raisin has too many letters.

From: Mindy

I also like yams…

I always spell raisins when I can on words with friends. It is the code I live by.

From: Chelsea

Yams are my favorite. Also they don’t resemble any body parts. Usually.

From: Felicia

Also, whose idea was it to put raisins in bread, originally? because I swear if they ever invent a time machine I will use it to go back in time and wreak horrible vengeance on them. RAISINS BELONG IN MUESLI. NOT BREAD.)

________________________________________

The battle rages on behind the scenes. I must admit, I’m a little shell shocked. I really blame myself – I brought a sweet potato to a raisin fight. But how was I to know I was surrounded by yam-lovin’ bitchez? I am regrouping and trying to work out my next move. Send help, if you can.

- Maria

EDIT 5:34pm: Maria just received this letter from someone calling himself Dave the Skeptical Raisin, via Facebook:

Hi Maria,

You may not remember me, but we met once at TAM. There’s a picture of us on Facebook. I’m a big fan of Skepchick and I just read your latest post about the cupcakes. Great video, very cute!

I have to say, I was stomped when I read your opinions. I don’t mean to wine, but it is a bit rasinist to judge us all the same way. We come in a bunch of different flavours, we aren’t as cut and dried as you suggest. Well, not as cut anyway.

Not all of us like to hang around in oatmeal cookies, for instance I would prefer to lie in the sun and read a book by that other skeptical raisin, James Randi. In the future, please be more raisinable or I will have to file a complaint with the Raisin Bigotry Resistance and Awareness Network (Raisin BRAN).

I hope I have planted the seeds of tolerance. I’ll leave you to grapelle with these issues.

Dryly,
Dave the Skeptical Raisin

Maria Walters (a.k.a. Masala Skeptic) has spent a lot of time in ‘furrin parts,’ including Hong Kong, Trinidad, and Pittsburgh. Although her passport is from India, she’s spent most of her adult life in the United States. She currently lives in Atlanta and has an unhealthy affection for science fiction, Neil Gaiman and all things Muppet.

130 Comments

  1. I’m no help to this battle, I am allergic to grapes (NO WINE :(:(:( ) so raisins shouldn’t be in anything.

    • Whaaaa I didn’t even know that was a thing! You poor dear. For the wine, not the raisins.

      • Apparently you can develop an allergy to anything if you try hard enough. I used to be able to drink wine….I miss it! That and almonds. I miss those too.

  2. Yams are disgusting, Raisins are cool. Although my gf loves raisins and hates sultanas…..They are like the same thing.

    On a completely unrelated note I can’t access twitter at work so I can’t tweet this awesome page of self defence stuff Life hacker has posted up.

    http://lifehacker.com/5825528/basic-self+defense-moves-anyone-can-do-and-everyone-should-know

    Thought skepchick and the readers might be interested.

    • I’m surprised–usually self defense advice online is crap. That’s not too bad.

      The most important part is being aware and being willing to make noise, though, and that’s the part of the article I disagree with. Start yelling BEFORE you get touched, or if someone is approaching you and ignoring your requests to stay back.

      You need to signal right away you are not an easy target.

  3. I’m thinking of putting “Yams are the yams of desserts” on buttons that no one will ever understand, ever.

    • hello sales
      i would like to order some yam button product from your store to mine in australia.so let me know if can ship down to australia so that i can email you the product i am interested in.also payment will be done via credit card details if you do accept that let me know so that i can place my order and the Items will be picked Up by my shipping Company at you store , please Get back to me so that i can email you the items i am interested

    • I’d wear that button.

    • OK, I really have to jump in here. The raisin issue was bad, but I have some things to say about the yams.

      If those of you speaking of yams are in the US, you no doubt mean sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are not the same as yams. They are in totally different families, yams in Dioscoreaceae, sweet potatoes in Convolvulaceae. Yams are native to Africa/Asia, sweet potatoes to Central America.

      These are completely different foods! Sweet potatoes are simply marvelous. They are full of vitamins and easy to prepare. I like mine microwaved until soft with butter and salt and pepper. Delicious. All that sugary syrup is too much, and don’t even try adding marshmallows!

      Disclaimer: I once did some PR work for the NC Sweetpotato Commission and even met Spencer Sweetpotato!

      • Oh great. Here come the shills for Big Sweet Potato. Hey! Take your dirty potato propaganda elsewhere!

      • I logged in to comment just to post this same thought. Sweet potatoes are not yams! Respect the sweet potato!

  4. Holy shit that was one of the funniest things I have ever read. I laughed until my eyes were watering.

    Thank you, Skepchicks.

    Also, Kammy: You truly did do such a kick ass job at SkepchickCon. It was so much fun.

  5. Raisins cooked in oat meal I like, peanut butter I hate, and Kammy is the bees knees!

    • Hate peanut butter? I thought I knew you…

      • He’s an INFIDEL! Shun him.

        • P.S. About the peanut butter. Not about Kammy, of course.

  6. Raisins are grapes without souls.

    Period.

  7. Misty water colored memories….of raisins.

    When my children were young they loved raisins! I can still see their diapers chock full of perfectly intact raisins! Pure colon blow.

  8. I am virtually fist-bumping dpeabody in yam-hatred solidarity. I am also virtually doing that thing where I extend my hand to shake and then whip it through my hair at the last second for all the Skepchicks suffering from Yam Stockholm Syndrome.

    And I respected you ladies. OMG. If I had known you were yammers…

    If I may quote from the opening speech in “Patton”:

    “When you put your hand into a bunch of goo that a moment before was your best friend’s face, you’ll understand how awful it is to eat a yam.”

    Some of you may even now be thinking of yam-based recipes that would surely soften my heart if I were to only try them. Steaming orgies of marshmallows and butter and cinnamon, wafting through the house on Thanksgiving or Christmas or whichever event you choose to ruin. My only question is “does it have yams in it?” If the answer is yes, get thee hence.

    I am pleased that no one has yet tried to defend sweet potatoes by claiming they are not yams. Molest me not with your semantic nonsense. The devil is the devil, whether you call him Satan or Beelzebub.

    I hope you can be saved. I have a cheesecake ready for you when you return to the light.

    • phlebas, I saw your comment only after entering mine. The semantics thing is very important. Without it, the marketing would be really confused!

      I’m afraid I was a little late to this party. Had I commented before you, we could have had all this straightened out.

      And it sounds as if you’ve only had SPs the sickly sweet way.
      I urge you to try them prepared another way. Change your ways and you shall be saved!

      • Cut 1 sweet potato in 1 inch cubes
        Toss in olive oil
        Spread on a cookie sheet on foil or parchment paper
        Sprinkle with Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
        Cook for 30 minutes at 400 F.
        Take 1 cup of raisins
        Throw them in the trash
        (Just kidding,I love raisins,especially the golden ones)

  9. Raisins are vile. I love love love Carrot cake, but unless I make it myself it’s going to have raisins! WTF bakers? Raisins do not go in cake! And the oatmeal cookie thing has happened to me too many times to count.
    As for Yams, none of those sweet, nasty, marshmallow topped ones, please. I like butter, salt, pepper and curry powder on mine.

    • I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced the oatmeal cookie deception in my life. If I’m ever again made to believe it’s chocolate chip when it’s not, I’m taking hostages.

      • The Oatmeal Cookie Deception is the name of my Nirvana cover band.

        • I would like to be in that band.

        • I call drums!

          • Shotgun!
            What I mean by that is I’ll play a shotgun in your band. Not enough bands have shotguns nowadays.

        • Can I be the useless tambourine/random auxiliary percussion instrument player? I keep a damn good beat with a woodblock.

      • As one who likes raisins I also hate getting an oatmeal raisin cookie when I think it’s a chocolate chip cookie.

        But I really get bothered when someone makes chocolate chip cookies with raisins in them. Yuck!

  10. Great, now I’m craving yams.

    • Et tu, Brian?

      • Brians ruin everything #fact

        • Not Brians. Raisins. Raisins ruin everything.

          All Brians who like yams are my new best friend. Unless they like raisins.

          • So glad you appreciate the wonderfulness of Brians!! I have to say I love yams (or sweet potatoes, I suppose) and am accepting of raisins. I notice, though, that no one seems to have reacted to Felicia’s raising the topic of muesli. Got to admit–I hate that stuff with or without raisins.

  11. All this talk of raisins reminds me of a bit George Carlin did about Raisin Rhetoric.

    @Jacob V: I’m right with you about the peanut butter thing. I do not like nuts at all in anything. I do like eating peanuts (and other nuts) by themselves but please do not put them in cookies, sundaes or anything else.

    • I don’t like nuts in brownies (raisins or yams either).

    • Peanut butter is a singular dislike for me. In fact a chocolate chip cookie without walnuts will almost get a pass from me.

      And a pox on all these people who say yam or sweet potato fries are the bomb. They’re crap and were only invented when some sodding cook ran out of spuds and remembered he had some nine month old partially shriveled yams in the back of a cooler. Also the sweet potato pie is nothing more than a pathetic excuse for forgetting the pumpkin when you were shopping!

  12. RAISINS! I love raisins…I gotta have them in my morning oatmeal. But I have a different raisin war: my wife sneaks into the kitchen at night and eats all the raisins by the handful out of MY box. And then I get up in the morning to find no raisins.

    Before I resort to divorce, I’m thinking of installing a raisin safe in the kitchen.

    • Raisin Bran is my perennial favorite breakfast food.

  13. I also like yams. Candied yams with raisins are very good.

    • Godalmighty, PZ. It’s like you WANT atheists to be thought of as deviants. Candied yams with raisins?

    • I don’t know who this “pzmyers” guy is, but he clearly has a good head on his shoulders.

    • As a complete aside, does anyone else think PZ’s avatar looks like he’s lifting his shirt to show his nipples? No? Just me? D:

      • Not just you, I always get that image. It took a long time for me to realize the white things were wings!

        • Maybe he is showing his raisins.

          • I hope that’s not a euphuism

        • Nice try,but clearly he’s flashing us!

      • You just had to put that image in my head, didn’t you…

    • Candied yams are very much an American thing. Many years ago, some friends and I went to the States to do some shopping and decided to have lunch in a buffet place. There was this gross lumpy, stringy, gooey stuff in the dinner section and we were daring one another to eat it. It was the grossest thing ever, turns out it was candied yams. Whose idea was it to put marshmallows on a root vegetable? WTF? Do not want.
      Vinegar on fries? Yes please. Marshmallows? No thanks.

      • I’ve never understood the appeal of vinegar on fries. Or vinegar in general, really.

        • Noooo! I’ll have to disown you now. :(

          • YOU CAN’T DISOWN YOURSELF, AMANDA!!!

        • It’s probably not for everyone, but I think it brings the flavour out.

        • Vinegar is the 2nd ingredient in Ketchup.You’re not one of those disgusting poutine lovers are you?

    • I used to think you were cool, PZ.

    • Small gurgling gagging noises…

  14. Now I know why I didn’t win the Darwin Day Baking Contest. My entry included gin soaked raisins (Orange-Gin of the Spices). The truth comes out.

    Also, I think yams are from the devil. And I don’t even believe in the devil. And nuts make me swell up like a puffer fish. NO MORE NUTS!!!!! NO MORE NUTS!!!!

    • Have you been tested for a nut allergy? If you react like that you might be anaphylactic and should have an epi-pen around. Being anaphylactic is totally stupid. If only I could control my genes…

      And no, spellcheck, “prophylactic” is not a suitable replacement for “anaphylactic”

  15. BTW, what the shit is with that “Fart Marketing” ad at the top of the page? Is that a cow? I… I’m afraid to click it.

  16. It’s like the Skepchick crew WANTS to divide the skeptic community. Why would you even bring up such a hot-button issue like this?! YOU’RE TEARING US APART.

  17. Honestly, I’m fine with raisins & yams. It’s those motherfucking carrots that get me. What kind of hell-beast vegetable gets gummier, the more you chew it. O_o

    • What in the hell kind of carrots are you eating? They sound terrifying.

      • I dunno? Maybe it’s just a “me” thing, but the more I chew raw carrots, the harder it is to swallow them, and then I end up with a mouth full of bits of raw carrot, all gummed up & it makes me feel gaggy.

        • Not my experience with carrots, but that sounds completely awful. I would hate them too if they did that to me.

        • I suggest picking a point in the process to swallow before the texture issues set in.

          • That is perhaps the single greatest piece of advice ever given.

        • I can’t eat raw carrots at all. My throat tightens up and when I try to swallow them, my gag reflex sets in instead. It’s the weirdest thing.

          On sweet potatoes: sweet potatoes are part of Peruvian ceviche. I like to leave them uneaten on the plate.

          Raisins are okay as long as you don’t put them in the sorts of things they don’t belong in. The things you shouldn’t put raisins in is anything that isn’t the rubbish bin.

        • Try em with raisins.Just sayin’

  18. I only like raisins as a snack, keep it out of my desserts though.

    Yams, on the other hand, are awful terrible excuses for ground starch. After years of having to eat them as a child, I am so happy I don’t have to look at a yam right now.

    Down with Yams!

  19. I yam what I yam
    an’ dat”s all dat I yam…!

  20. I agree with @Lezgeek, yams are only good without all that syrupy shit on them.
    I love raisins, including sultanas, in all their forms; oatmeal cookies, trail mix, Raisinettes, Chunky bars, spice cake, you name it.
    Except for those dancing bastards – FUCK THEM!
    In fact, I like all dried foods; raisins, prunes, apricots, banana chips, sun-dried tomatoes, jerky, uncooked pasta, in fact screw water in food altogether – CRUNCHY RULES!!
    .
    And eggplant can blow me, who decided that was food?
    .
    Is brown acid bad for you?

    • Don’t mention eggplant. In nor Cal they put that on pizzas. Oh, the humanity…

      • I don’t trust ambiguous food! Egg or plant? Just make up your damn mind,I say!

  21. To all of you yam haters, I say this: More sweet potato fries with curry mayo for me!

  22. Raisins for some, miniature American flags for others!

    • We must move forward… not backwards, not to the side, not forwards, but always whirling, whirling, whirling towards raisins.

  23. This is the best Skepchick post. Ever.

  24. They’re just humiliated grapes.

  25. Raisins are only good in baking.

    Yams with chipotle peppers and cream are awesome.

    Brussel sprouts are not to be taken internally.

    • Brussels sprouts are great. You can get them on that thing that looks like a Yucca plant sometimes, and play whack a kid with it (greatest xmas present ever).

      Then you can eat them.

      Hans

      • My upstairs neighbors have some very strange kids. On time I was visiting and they were cooking Brussels sprouts for dinner, and the 4 year old asked “What’s that stuff we put on sushi?” and the parental unit reply “You mean soy sauce?” and he said “Yes, can I have soy sauce and vinegar on my Brussels sprouts?” and he had them that way and devoured every one and they were delicious. (He was also learning to count and carefully counted them out so everybody got the exact same number of Brussels sprouts, so there was no fighting.)

  26. The first time I had a nice Italian dinner with my former wife made by her mother (of Italian American heritage) at her house and we sat down to eat manicotti with meatballs and other good stuff. It smelled fantastic and my mouth was salivating. I was ready to dig in, and dinner started off well. However, when I bit into a meatball I was surprised that it tasted kind of sweet and their was something chewy in it…that something was RAISINS. Has anyone else ever heard of ruining a perfectly good meatball by putting raisins in them?

    • That is the most terrifying thing I have ever heard.

    • Haven’t had that,but I have had a Chile Relleno stuffed with beef raisins and pecans that was to die for.And I love raisins in some Indian food dishes like Chicken Korma,and Biryani.

  27. Oatmeal cookies should have chocolate chips, end of story. The only person worse than a oatmeal raisin believer is an on the fence plain oatmeal cookie apologist.

    • Oatmeal raisin is not a belief, IT IS THE TRUTH!
      It was laid down in the ancient days and has had many disciples through the years.
      By the light of Betty Crocker and Dunkin Hines I implore you to try another cookie and revel in the love.
      Come join the followers of Mrs. Fields, worship the crumbly and chewy in all it’s glory.
      .
      You will be one of us.
      .
      One of us!!
      One of us!!
      One of us!!
      .
      Gooble gobble

  28. No I have a craving for raisin toast and I don’t have any.

    Anyway, everyone knows all foods should have wild rose petals in it.

  29. Oh, will you all stop yammering already! ;) Just stick a spud in it already. This has gone far beyond raisin! Enough with the wine-ing. : p

  30. Raisins are okay. What I can’t stand is grapes. I always buy them, and they’re supposed to be good for me, and I eat a few and stick the rest in the fridge. From then on the thought of eating any more of them is repulsive. I’d rather eat carrots than grapes as a snack, and that’s saying a lot. I know I have a bunch lurking in the back of my fridge right now, waiting to pounce. I keep hoping some day they’ll turn into raisins and then at least they’ll be tolerable.
    .
    P.S. Kammy, it was great meeting you at TAM. If you discover any of your cupcakes have raisins, send them to me. I might have to pick the raisins out, but I can deal with that.

  31. I think I wet myself a little reading this post!
    Cheers,
    GaryU

  32. @ Jacob V: Peanut butter is, after all, the atheist’s nightmare.

    I am casting my vote againsts raisins, yams/sweet potatoes (same or different, I hate them equally), and eggplant, but in favor of carrots and peanut butter.
    Because I’m sure this is about to become someone’s Master’s thesis.

    • Where do you stand on the ‘celery-peanut butter’ issue?Are you willing to sign my pledge? Now where did I out my clipboard?

      • Is that for or against.
        I like peanut butter on celery, then add some raisins–ants on a log–so yummy and cute!

        • “Is that for or against” Yes.
          As for your recipe,I was Ok with the celery,peanut butter and raisins,but you lost me with the ants.

  33. So, um, Raisinets, anyone?

  34. Few thing:
    1) Who do I sent the bill for my new moniter after I sprayed my drink on the old one?
    B) Raisins are just wasted wine.
    3 or C) sweet potatos are great.

  35. How do you guys feel about Craisins?

  36. Raisins? Yams? Have I stumbled onto an extraterrestrial planet?

    Whoever had the bright idea to suck juice out of a grape needs to be jailed.

    And yams? I already don’t like sweet potatoes. Yams are worse. (And for those wondering… no, they are not the same thing.)

    • Actually, since we’re on the subject, I have more lines to draw.

      What idiot thought carrots would make a good cake? Why? When I think of cake, I don’t think of vegetables.

      And I don’t care if tomatoes are technically a fruit. That doesn’t mean they make a good juice (or alcoholic beverage, for that matter).

  37. So offering up some of these http://carrotsncake.com/2009/11/sweet-potato-oatmeal-raisin-cookies.html would be pointless?

    Sweet potatoes and raisins are delicious folks. Just accept it already! :)

  38. Ok,I wasn’t going to bring this up,but I see I have no choice: Prunes!
    Discuss

    • Yuck.
      It’s because my mom forced prune juice on me and my sister when we weren’t so regular way back when.*
      I can’t bring myself to try a prune.

      *She even tried mixing it with our orange juice. Nasty. Sometimes I still have flashbacks when drinking OJ.

      • She should have tried it with vodka AKA the ‘Trotsky’.
        I really like prunes,personally,but then I’m just a regular guy,you know?

        • Plums, Yes. Prunes are an OK dried fruit when I’m stuck in the desert. Other than that…

  39. It’s absolutely refreshing to see a high volume thread without trolls peddling ignorance…even though I don’t like yams. >.>

  40. Why hasn’t Dawkins weighed in yet?

    • Dear Millions of Sub-Saharan Africans,

      I know you subsist on yams, but all the privileged haters at Skepchick would rather have you starve to death then eat them. Please rip up all your yam crops immediately and eat dirt instead. Raisins and carrots and Brussels sprouts are right out.

      Sincerely,
      Richurd Durkins

      • The fact that you changed your screen name for a joke makes this the greatest comment in history. Bravo Buzz, or Richurd or whatever…

      • COTW!

        Or is that no longer a thing?

    • I’ve got him at about 12 stone.

  41. Raisins of the World Unite!

  42. Raisins are bad, m’kay?

  43. I like Grapes. Raisins are OK too!

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