When it comes to well-varnished stupidity, it would be hard to top the latest description of Alice Waters as “the mother of American cooking.” For Amelia Simmons’s sake, she wouldn’t even qualify as the midwife of California cuisine! Squanto as the father would certainly make sense, given his early-on insistence on local, seasonal, sustainable. But a woman who is younger than both DDT and converted rice hardly fits the aphorism at hand — on the long arm of food in this country, she would be the mood ring at best. You could actually make a better case for Betty Crocker and the corporate horse she rode in on. But the idiocy that really sent me to the Google to trace this nonsense back is the bigger offense, representing as it does the weird mix of toadying and objectivity on display in so much food journalism. The formula: Coin a pandering phrase, then repeat your own slobbery words endlessly without attribution. It all reminds me of that graffiti guy who was everywhere in NYC in the Eighties; his tag was always something like “I am the greatest artist.” But at least he didn’t expect lifetime access to the table of the saints.