A friend sent me a link to a story about Delia Smith in her local paper, Norwich’s Eastern Daily Press:
Delia: Television wants celebrities rather than proper cooking
My jaw dropped when I saw it. Proper cooking? Is that what you call tinned mince and frozen mashed potatoes? According to the article, Delia’s days on the small screen looked as though they were over, after her latest series Through The Decades finished…
But now, to the relief of all those who hanker after sensible, practical cookery, it’s been announced Delia will be back on TV before Easter – in a new series of commercials for upmarket food store Waitrose.
And then there’s this bit about ready meals:
And she has ready meals in her sights: “Ideally, I’d like to help wean people off them. There’s something quite sad about them – and they don’t taste anywhere near as good as cooking for yourself from scratch.”
Cooking from scratch? That doesn’t exactly tie in with what she’s got on her own website.
Here’s Delia’s recipe for a very quick moussaka. Note well the list of ingredients, which include:
- 1 x 425g tin minced lamb (preferably Marks & Spencer)
- 1 x 300g pack vegetable ratatouille (preferably Marks & Spencer)
- 1 x 300g tub ready-made cheese sauce
- 1 tablespoon ready-grated Parmesan cheese
Oops, it looks like she’s recommending M&S products. Oh well, perhaps her new paymasters Waitrose won’t mind. As for tinned mince, urgh! I don’t even buy mince – I make it myself. A pack of vegetable ratatouille? I can’t really comment as I’ve no idea what such a thing would be like. I’d just take a few Mediterranean vegetables, chop ’em up and saute them and add a tomato-based sauce. Ready-made cheese sauce? Why? It’s not hard to make – you just add grated cheddar to a white sauce. And ready-grated Parmesan? That stuff usually smells like spew. What’s so hard about using some freshly grated? Very easy, especially if you have the right kit.
Having said all that, I do (for a change) totally agree with something Delia Smith said: “There’s something quite sad about them – and they don’t taste anywhere near as good as cooking for yourself from scratch.”
But how she can reconcile that statement with tinned mince and shop-bought cheese sauce is totally beyond my comprehension.
In the article, Delia goes on to say:
“Now television companies just seem interested in personality and celebrities, rather than proper, easy-to-follow cooking. It’s all about entertainment – they just seem to want it sexed up. I’m seen as boring!”
It’s about proper food, Delia. We don’t want everything to be sexed up. We just want proper food. Ainsley Harriott, for example, is a perfect example of how you can make delicious meals in minutes – FROM SCRATCH! See Gourmet Express or Ready Steady Cook. Yeah, I know I’m a huge fan of his but I think he’s undervalued as a chef because of his, often too silly, funny man approach. Ainsley is a seriously good chef, don’t let him kid you otherwise.
Delia then burbles on about Norwich City, home cooking and the evils of food technology – despite apparently appearing with Heston Blumenthal for some of the Waitrose adverts.
And finally there’s this little gem:
“The recession has done home cooking a lot of good. I think some people are beginning to realise that it’s amazing how much cheaper it can be to buy fresh ingredients and cook for yourself.”
Words fail me.
Any comments? Let’s be ’avin’ yew!