VIFC- Two Fat Ladies

Two Fat Ladies.

Two Fat Ladies.

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!

 

'Easy Onion Soup' which I made. It certainly was easy, basically onions, butter, stock, beer and stilton. You should find it easily with Google, well worth a go for tasty lunch or first course.

‘Easy Onion Soup’ which I made. It certainly was easy, basically onions, butter, stock, beer and stilton. You should find it easily with Google, well worth a go for tasty lunch or first course.

Guinea Fowl Terrine from Professor Stu with pickled walnuts and a bacon jacket. Absolutely delicious, solid and gamey broken up with those tart, soft walnuts. This is the kind of thing I could easily disappear on a cold sunday afternoon along with a loaf of crusty white and a bottle of aged red.

Guinea Fowl Terrine from Professor Stu with pickled walnuts and a bacon jacket. Absolutely delicious, solid and gamey broken up with those tart, soft walnuts. This is the kind of thing I could easily disappear on a cold sunday afternoon along with a loaf of crusty white and a bottle of aged red.

Mains no 1: Meatloaf- beef, pork, sausage, mushrooms and another bacon wrapping this was serious meat, the Godzilla of gourmet burgers. Very well done Jason this was delicious, moist and meaty. I could eat a whole one. But I won't do that.

Mains no 1: Meatloaf- beef, pork, sausage, mushrooms and another bacon wrapping, the Godzilla of gourmet burgers. Very well done Jason this was delicious, moist and meaty. I could eat a whole one. But I won’t do that.

Medieval Roast Chicken from Matt. A fine and classic effort with sweet spices. Very well received and especially yummy when smooshed together with some of the roasted garlic.

Medieval Roast Chicken from Matt. A fine and classic effort with sweet spices. Very well received and especially yummy when smooshed together with some of the roasted garlic.

Broad beans cooked in cream and lemon juice with more bacon. I'm a big fan of broad beans and was a big fan of this offering from Nigel, though the lemony finish took a bit of getting used to. Maybe two mouthfuls....

Broad beans cooked in cream and lemon juice with more bacon. I’m a big fan of broad beans and was a big fan of this offering from Nigel, though the lemony finish took a bit of getting used to. Maybe two mouthfuls….

Caramelised potatoes from Sheena. Yup, toss cooked potatoes in butter and brown sugar. Unanimously unremarkable, though also a unanimous agreement they sounded great in theory.

Caramelised potatoes from Sheena. Yup, toss cooked potatoes in butter and brown sugar. Unanimously unremarkable, though also a unanimous agreement they sounded great in theory.

Beetroor gratin: it's bright pink and baked with extra mature cheddar and parmesan. I love you Sheena. This was my favourite of the night.

Beetroot gratin: it’s bright pink and baked with extra mature cheddar and parmesan. I love you Sheena. This was my favourite of the night.

Just because we've not made fun of Ian enough recently he decided to put his souffle in very early and learn the hard lesson of deflation with an audience. It was however very impressive upon tasting with a rich choclatey flavour. Who doesn't like warm chocolate cake in all of it's forms?

Just because we’ve not made fun of Ian enough recently he decided to put his souffle in very early and learn the hard lesson of deflation with an audience. It was however very impressive upon tasting with a rich chocolatey flavour. Who doesn’t like warm chocolate cake in all of it’s forms? Points too to fearless side kick and one night only member Matthew. 

Yorkshire Ginger Cake from Charlotte, served sliced with clotted cream. This is the kind of heavy, weaponised cake that cries out for a cold night and a hot custard. Spicy and hearty, good stuff.

Yorkshire Ginger Cake from Charlotte, served sliced with clotted cream. This is the kind of heavy, weaponised cake that cries out for a cold night and a hot custard. Spicy and hearty, good stuff.

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.

 

bio info sourced from Wikipedia and yahoo

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