When the coronavirus pandemic hit in March and Rachael opened up her home in the Adirondacks to film our show, she admits she was scared. Then, she and John sadly lost that home to a fire shortly after losing their beloved dog Isaboo. Through all of the fear and sadness, though, Rach was comforted by messages from family, friends and viewers like you.
"I have to say this has been the strangest year of my adult life. I've come through a lot of full circle moments," Rach says. "The thing I was scared most about over the last 15 years was crossing a line here in the Adirondacks — in my home, my quiet space — when we started to do shows here. It was very emotional for me and it was very scary. And then we lost our beloved Isaboo and I found that working from home and connecting with our viewers in a new and very stripped down way was cathartic and beautiful to me. And as soon as I got through that process and was really enjoying working from home, we lost our home to fire. Something that's made me feel incredible gratitude and [has been] really humbling and [has] filled our spirits up is the amount of letters and emails and text messages we've received from so many viewers and families and friends that we haven't spoken to in a long time."
One of those special viewers is named Goldie — a single mother of three from Chicago, Illinois. Goldie has been a Rach superfan for 10 years, cooking along with her and even creating a makeshift garbage bowl to mimic Rach's.
She was especially touched by our season 15 premiere about Rach's house fire, so not only did she send Rach a letter, but she also recorded her a sweet video message reading it aloud (which you can watch in the video above).
I watched the show on your house fire and felt compelled to reach out to you. I am a single mother of 3 (now ages 24, 14 and 13). Unbeknownst to you, you mean a LOT to my family! At one point I was a stay at home mom, in a strange state, with no friends. Your 30 minute meals back in those days and your sunny disposition got me through a lot of busy nights and gave me so much inspiration! I've cooked with you for years, followed and celebrated your success and consider you my tv friend :) So when I watched I was overcome with emotion. I cried nearly the entire episode! Oh how my heart goes out to you and your husband. It was so moving that even throughout that great loss, you managed to smile still through your own tears and emotions (what a trooper you are!). The song that you and your husband's band sang at the end gave me so much hope! ((insert ugly cry here)) I am forever touched and motivated by you Rachael Ray! In your honor, I am starting to save JUST so I can finally purchase my very own Rachael Ray pot set! I have had a makeshift garbage bowl forever lol. I want to be sure that I have the official set now to remind me of my good pal Rachael and all that she means to me.
Your Fan Goldie <3
To thank Goldie for her love and support, Rach video chatted with her — and we're pretty sure they're BFFs now!
"I'm happy crying!" Rach tells Goldie after watching the video message. "I'm so happy that you shared that. I really do feel like we are TV friends. I have opened my home and my heart so much this year, and that's why I love these conversations and seeing a story like yours. It just means the world to me."
"I'm so glad that you and John are doing okay," Goldie tells Rach. "That day, I was working from home [and] I just needed a little bit of background noise. And of course I keep it on the channel so I can see you. I literally stopped everything. I had a complete hour and 30 minutes of no productivity whatsoever — just sobbing uncontrollably. I do want you to know that gave me so much hope to see. I know people think about celebrities, [saying], 'Oh, they've got money, they can replace that,' but the letters from your mom, the notebooks, tore my entire heart apart."
Now, Rach couldn't let Goldie go without telling her that she's, of course, sending her a garbage bowl and pots & pans. (And Rach hopes to have Goldie on the show again in the future!)
Happy cooking, Goldie! 🧡