The Delicious Miss Dahl
We already loved Sophie Dahl, hence being so keen to stock her Voluptuous Delights book. And signed copies make them that important little bit more special. Having watched The Delicious Miss Dahl on BBC2 earlier this week (click here to watch on BBC iPlayer), we might well keep hold of the few copies we’ve got left. Miss Dahl lived up to the hype. We trusted her to know about food – as she put it, she’s had the proportions of a ‘Rubens and been a tiny slipshod of a thing’ On TV, she seemed comfortably normal, though arguably the biggest things about her – apart from her eyes – are those cheekbones. You could practically slice parmesan with them.
She hasn’t gone down well with all the critics. Giles Coren’s comments are literally unrepeatable (we’re a family blog!), while the New Statesman talks about her ‘assembling food rather than cooking it’. But her program was as easy on the eye as the presenter, and we enjoyed the first program’s theme of ‘Selfishness’. She cooked a day of recipes to indulge yourself with, and despite Anthony Worrall-Thompson describing her haddock omelette as a ‘car crash’, we’ve made and found it lip-smackingly tasty. Besides, Mr W-T isn’t one to talk, as anyone who has tried his motorway service station e-number fuelled sandwiches will know.
In a white-tiled kitchen, with wallpaper accents (take note, home trend fans), Dahl played with vintage tea cups, enamel ladles and mixed up a dirty Martini in an antique cocktail shaker. It was all very beautiful, and in reality a lot more about creating an atmosphere (albeit in a borrowed kitchen) than an award-winning series of recipes for Masterchef. But to follow her ‘selfish’ theme through, not everyone wants to spend hours labouring over a simmering stock pot and reducing sauces. Dahl whipped up Rich Chocolate Pots with Brandy-Soaked Cherries in about five seconds, and they probably take little more than that to eat. Neither of those things we’d consider taking her to task on. We’ll continue watching, and if her mozzarella fondling and low-cut tops start to grate, we’ll turn back to her recipe book for greedy inspiration.