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Saturday, January 19, 2008

THE ROUX METHOD 

I dunno, every time I switch on the TV these days there seems to be a cookery programme on.

I've genuinely never understood the appeal of cookery programmes, but then I've never really understood the appeal of cooking.

I don't do cooking. As I think I've said before, from the age of eight my mother was ill more or less most of the time, so I didn't learn anything beyond the basics in cookery. My domestic science teacher assured me that I'd *need* to learn how to bake cakes and prepare a roast for a family of twenty. She probably felt that it was a crime that my mother hadn't taught me these important facts, from her sickbed, so that I could grow up to be a real and fulfilled woman.

Anyway, her illness also meant that I had to endure the results of my dad's culinary skills. My dad was only good at two things: DIY and shouting at people. Hence I learned that mealtimes were almost as unpleasant as the school day I'd just put behind me. Watery, crunchy potatoes, salty black gravy and overboiled tinned peas were my dad's speciality.

I suppose I grew up thinking that any food that was vaguely edible was a treat. I marvel at the fact that I can actually, say, steam beans and new potatoes, and it's dead easy, and they don't taste like something from a Dickensian workhouse. My dad's meals have cast a long, long shadow. Bleurh.

I still don't cook anything from a recipe. I look at that long list of ingredients and a mist forms over my eyes. There's too much EFFORT involved.

I don't have the modern fetish for cooking everything from scratch, either. You want to spend two hours preparing a meal that you'll eat in five minutes? Fair enough. You genuinely think that eating fresh ingredients will make you live longer? Go ahead. I don't want to live until I'm a hundred.

Anyway, er ... cookery programmes and their presenters.

Gordon Ramsay? A bullying c*nt. Other bullying c*nts tend to say "you know, he talks a lot of sense" about people like him, so I can see why he's popular.

Nigella Lawson I can see the appeal of in a lesbian fantasy way, ahem. Yummers.

Of course I have to reserve the most bile for Jamie Oliver. I could just about cope with him as the gurning loveable Toploader moptop mockney with a scooter, but I hate the reborn Crusading Responsible Husband And Father Of Two Jamie.

As ene fule knoe, children should be crammed with E numbers and sugary drinks to the point where they go insane, and kittens should be battery farmed, just to annoy Jamie.

The only satisfaction that I get from seeing him on TV is from the knowledge that in ten years time he is going to look exactly like Michael Winner.

Happy days, geezer.

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Comments:
What about Huge Furry Whippingboy? You didn't mention him.
 
So long as it only goes in one big pot and simmers for a while, I am a culinary genius. Chile con carne - the students favourite. I hate Ramsey, am pissed off with oliver and Rick Stein makes me vomit. But I do like Nigella, in a lesbian fantasy way.
 
Sorry, sounds like he's a pet hate of yours, but I like Jamie for two reasons. First, I like the Fifteen restaurant idea, and the fact that the reason he created those is because some guy got HIM out of trouble and into working by teaching him to cook. Second, I just like to watch him interact with food. It's weirdly sensual, the way he loves food and cooking. But weirdly sensual in that fun way.

Nigella is fun, but she should call her show 'How to Die Happy, and Early'. Everything she cooks looks delicious, but would be banned by any sensible doctor. :)
 
I used to like Keith Floyd. The way he would get sloshed, and chat to the cameraman.

I love Nigella. How come she is not a vast heffer though, as everything involves large quantities of cream and butter? Being posh, rich and beautiful clearly protects you from calorific intake...
 
I think I love you
 
RoMo - Huge Furry Whippingboy sounds like one of those blokes you'd find on specialist gay "bear" sites, although I'm just guessing. As for that bloke who likes roadkill, I don't find him particularly offensive but then I've only ever seen him being interviewed on other people's programmes rather than watched his own series.

Fathorse - I'm even hopeless with any sort of casserole/pot dish. The ingredients always end up congealing into a thick goo within five minutes, no matter how low the heat underneath the pan is. Then the pan has to be in soak for a week and scrubbed for hours on end before it's useable again.

Chosha - I think I wouldn't have minded Jamie if he'd stuck to the Fifteen project, but it's the pompous Pioneering Jamie that gets on my nerves. I suppose some people get to a certain level of stardom and their egos go through the roof. Getting on the moral highground while accepting huge advertising deals ... hmm.

Annie - I agree with you about Keith Floyd. I'm still not a fan of cookery programmes in the main though. Nigella is probably storing up trouble for later if she indulges in all that high fat food. That's the sort of thing we can console ourselves with when we put on half a stone in weight after walking past a cake shop ...

Ziggi - right back at ya, as they all seem to be saying these days.
 
Did you know that Anthony (Wozza) Thompson swam the English Channel at the age og 16?

No, neither did I.

That Rick Stein is nothing without Chalkey.
 
Oh Betty, every so often your wonderfull never ending cynicism leaves me trailing in its wake. I love good food, I love cooking and I like Jamie, and as for Nigella in a sort of lesbian way, well, I'm breathless at the thought of it!
So what the hell do you eat, ready meals, yuk!!!!
 
Have you seeeeeeen what they've done to Masterchef?

It's gone all Apprentice-ish, with tense music and montages of contestants strutting purposefully through Borough market.
 
Oliver generally goes down quite well in our house, although the body thing the other night was a bit pointless. And I'm not comfortable with him being cosy with Sainsburys.

I can understand why people don't like his 'hello mate' persona, but his recipes work with the minimum of fuss and it was him who first got my son interested in becoming a chef.

Nigella? Lesbian fantasy? Oh dear, oh lordy.
 
Murph - a man without his dog is no kinda man. There are people (generally over the age of sixty) in South London who would probably say Jim Davidson is nothing without Chalkey ("political correctness gone mad! You couldn't make it up!). I can picture Anthony Worrall Thompson bobbing about in the sea actually ... horrible thought.

Tom - ah, well, we'll have to agree to differ. I don't know anything about good food: couldn't recognise it from a hole in the floor. Cooking equates with drudgery as far as I can tell, and Jamie Oliver should be forced to live as a single mum, on a single mum's budget, for a year. Nigella though ...

Boz - I must admit that I never watch Masterchef, but successful formulas tend to get flogged to death on TV, don't they? Perhaps the idea is that viewers are so stupid that they won't realise where one programme ends and another begins.

Mal - that's the thing, I don't know anything about his recipes because I have a complete aversion to cooking. Anything more difficult than boiling an egg is too complicated and time consuming for me. Come to think of it, even boiling an egg can be a tricky business ...
 
I don't think anyone mentioned Delia who saved herself from 'The most boring woman in the world' title by her Norwich rant.
She fed the fans on Holland's pies.
 
Hahahan you're so right about Michael Winner.
 
...and poor Gary Rhodes has rather dropped off the radar, hasn't he? Is it because hair gel isn't so popular these days?
 
Kaz - Delia used to go to a Bexleyheath school y'know, so I don't know how she ended up supporting Norwich. She should be a Welling Utd fan!

Rhino 75 - Jamie looks as if he'll end up with a rosacea problem as well. Here's hoping, eh?

Boz - too true, that hairdo is still stuck in 1985. Even worse, he's in his late forties. Mind you, I can't really lecture anyone about growing old gracefully ...
 
I have lesbian fantasies about Nigella, and I'm male.

Gordon Ramsey can fuck off though.
 
You're the second girl-type-person of my acquaintance who's expressed this Nigella-lesbian-possibilities thing. What is it about her?
Secondly, and more importantly, I read everything and, as usual, agree with you but just three words stood out above all the others to my mind - "ene fule knoe"!
Does the name Nigel Molesworth mean anything to you? If so, we spent our youths in a similar manner and I am not alone in the universe after all.
 
I'm with you. EExcluding ACTUAL grilling/ovening times, food should not take longer to prepare then it takes to eat.
 
Huge Fairly Windscreenwiper dismembered a squid in his bathtub.

He looks like a crusty but is dead posh.
 
Billy - why, does Gordon Ramsay keep turning up in the fantasies about Nigella, which ruins everything?

Reg - is Nigella a lesbian icon then? Yeah, I was a fan of the Down With Skool books, particularly Ronald Searle's wonderful illustrations. There was a Radio Four documentary about the books which featured reading from some weedy sounding posho kid who was completely wrong as Molesworth ... still, I digress.

The Boy Who Likes To - well, I'm useless at timing ingredients to cook together, so anything which can just be stuck under a grill or in the oven and left is at a distinct advantage as far as I'm concerned.

Garfer - Hugh Farley Jackmaster Funk, as he was known in the house music era. He has even worse problem hair than mine (unless he is dead scummy and washes it in dismembered squid ink, which is highly likely).
 
I don't like cooking on the telly but I'm a pushover for a cooking book; some of the best are the greatest reads, even if you don't get around to pre-heating the oven.
Some I collect for the illustrations, so I guess it's porn.
Delia will always be the mother I never had in the kitchen: bossy in a caring way - works every time.
Nigella had me till I saw all the nail varnish stored in her fridge. A woman of her means and she buys Revlon?! Chhheeez.
 
I want to lick dripping mango juice from Anthony Bourdain's heroin-tracked arms.
 
Arabella - I gave up buying cookery books. There are already enough books cluttering up the house. The only one that I've ever used is a 1970's Penguin edition of a '50's cookbook that has loads of fairly basic recipes in it (ie, about as much as I can cope with). There are various foodstuffs smeared all over the pages from disastrous attempts to create something that would be edible.

I bet Nigella only puts those Revlon nail varnishes in the fridge so that the Common Woman can identify with her. Bah.

MJ - not familiar with him. Is he really a heroin addict? Perhaps crack smokin' Amy Winehouse ought to become a chef. A far safer way to make a living than being a crap jazz singer, eh? Hmm, the one chef I quite fancy is that French bloke whose name escapes me ... then again, I have a partiality for French men.
 
Oooh Billy and I like the cookery shows on weekend mornings: Saturday Kitchen (with the inedible omelette speed challenge) and Market Kitchen. Cable has whole channels devoted to cookery and we can watch the antics of Chalky the Chef's Dog regularly :)

... and I can drool over all the foods I'm not supposed to eat.
 
Cookery shows just leave me with a sense of guilt, and a need to give in to temptation and eat. Not good on either count.
 
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