No, we didn’t have an impromptu bingo night at the Victoria Inn Food Club for August, rather we drew the lot of recreating dishes from the old school beeb delights of Jennifer Patterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright, the proudly self proclaimed Two Fat Ladies.
If you aren’t familar with them, think Floyd with busoms. If you aren’t familiar with Floyd then pretty much all of this post is going to be lost on you. Move along.
I kind of love the two fat ladies, as they managed to hit an unatural balance of being marvellously British but also completely unapologetic. They used lard and booze and cream and veal and suet all other kinds of sinful ingredients. Puddings, stews and hearty loaves made with a firm hand and a dirty joke or two to sweeten the mix. They were all dinner and no dainty, the panto dames of the Celebrity Chefs perhaps but also the most believeable. How much of those cakes and trifles and pastries that ex model Lorriane Pascal bangs out do you think she actually eats? I don’t trust skinny cooks, I never have, it’s like buying a used car from someone without a driving licence.
I use the past tense as poor old Jen and Clarissa have both departed this mortal coil. Rather wonderfully Jennifer’s last request of her cooking cohort was to smuggle a tin of caviar to her hospital bedside, a request sadly fulfilled just hours after she died in 1999. Clarissa made another decade and beyond, leaving us just this year. My favourite quote of hers, which sums her up quite wonderfully I think, was “I once had two people attempt to mug me and they both ended up in intensive care. I can handle myself.”
History lesson over, what did we cook!
As you can see from the above evidence, Jennifer and Clarrissa didn’t do much for light lunches or photogenic cuisine but boy did they know how to churn out a good dinner. Traditional, old school comfort with extra bacon is what you got with those two and no doubt the main precursor of their famous shared physique. There were mutterings of this being possibly the best club night yet.
Join us next month for tastes of the 70s! Disco soundtrack and Huggy Bear dress up compulsory.