From October 9, 1996 to September 28, 1999, the BBC ran a wonderful cooking show called Two Fat Ladies.
I love cooking shows. I remember Mom watching The French Chef – not the reruns mind you – but as a brand spanking new weekly series. Mom marveled that the teeny tiny kitchen that produced those French gastronomic beauties was indeed Julia Child’s actual kitchen. It wasn’t until I was much older that I came to appreciate the show: recipes, petite kitchen, not to mention Julia Child herself. After Julia came a succession of cooking shows I enjoyed and watch(ed) loyally. Among the many titles and chefs, there is one series/chefs that has a special place in my heart: Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson aka the
Two Fat Ladies.
The premise of the show is simple: Clarissa and Jennifer travel throughout the U.K. cooking for large groups of people. Each show has a food theme such as cakes or one episode is simply titled Meat. These two completely unscripted women are bold, intelligent, outrageous, funny, and incredible cooks. (They were also throughly unique individuals. Their lives make a fascinating read.). What’s more, this dynamic duo do their traveling via Jennifer’s vintage motorcycle with a sidecar for Clarissa – which leads me to my virtual vacation: Last Sunday, I dusted off my Two Fat Ladies dvd set and settled down for a nice little trip.
I rode with the ladies along the waterfront of Mevagissey, Cornwall sniffing the the catch of the day, moved on to Hallaton, Leicestershire and marveled as they creamed butter and sugar with just a spoon. The drive to Lennoxlove House in East Lothian, Scotland took my breath away – as did Lennoxlove House. I had just sworn (for the umpteen time) that I would make those chicken breasts with walnut l’aillade, (surely my cooking skills are up to that recipe?), when my DVD player hiccuped. Unfortunately, like all hiccups bouts, the pops and burps continued sporadically until I admitted defeat. Or rather an extended pause – I ordered a new dvd that afternoon.
I hope to continue my lovely journeys with Clarissa and Jennifer very soon. I say give them a try!
Thank you for reading and stay safe!