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Mar 11, 2008 09:04 AM

Delia [from UK/Ireland]

Anyone see it last night? Comments?

My well known stance of always being polite prevents a free and frank commemtary but let me just say....... Frozen mashed potato? As if!!


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  1. We watched. I can be impolite because I am a Yank. As usual, the program seemed just one big advert for Delia's new 'shtick,' and raison d'etre for her current book. Do we really need these shortcuts? Well, maybe some working mothers will find it useful and that's fine if it makes their life less complex. Did we need to see her house and husband... not as interesting as Nigella's brood. :-) Did we need to see the football team? OK... Delia is not just a name... she's a real person.

    17 Replies
      1. re: PhilD

        Hmm. Not exactly your ringing endorsement from the Grauniad readers.

        And I really hope Slater got paid shedloads for appearing - only way he could possibly justify such a sell-out.

        And I've just gotta comment on the hot smoked salmon mess. Frozen mash and shop-bought grated cheese? Why bother cooking - might as well just pop to Iceland for your puke on a plate.

        Even worse than the recent Nigella nonsense.

        1. re: Harters

          Agreed about even worse than Titsella Express.

          I was struck by how defensive she was about the whole thing (and I count Nigel Slater's presence as part of that -- I guess Hugh Fearlessly Eats-All was out on a boat somewhere).

          That said, having never seen a Delia show before, I found her more likable than I expected. John Peel was a pal of hers (I'll pause while you pick your teeth up off the floor) and he claimed that she was good fun, so who knows?

          But I have to say: I've heard about the so-called grocer's apostrophe (using an apostrophe to form the plural, as in [banana's]), but I'm formulating a theory about the cook's lisp. Jamie, check; Emily on the recent Masterchef, check; Delia, check. Is it required for anyone purporting to cook for Real People (TM)?

          1. re: mmwwah

            "Is it required for anyone purporting to cook for Real People "

            Yeth :-)

            1. re: Harters

              Emphasis on "purport," in case it needs to be said. Or thaid.

            2. re: mmwwah

              For a minute, I almost thought Emily was Jamie's long-lost sister! I don't believe the British believe in speech therapy. I often mention that to my husband.

              1. re: mmwwah

                Love love love the nickname for Ms Lawson, perfect.

            3. re: PhilD

              Thanks for the fun reading, Phil. This was actually my first experience of seeing Delia on TV, but I did know who she was. I guess we're all pretty much in agreement about what a load of you know what this show is.

              1. re: zuriga1

                Whilst I was in full rant over dinner, Mrs H pointed out the Sainsbury connection. Both Smith and Slater write for Sainsbury's magazine - a publication originally founded and published by Smith's husband (and may still be). Funny old world.

                All a great shame. We still regularly use recipes from "Complete" and "One is Fun" and a Harters Christmas would not be the same without her definitive book. But she's great one for recycling recipes over many years - with slight name changes of course.


                PS: Dinner was Pizza Express pizza from the freezer, bagged salad, bottled dressing - and very tasty it was too :-)

                1. re: Harters

                  Yeah, I lived out of *One Is Fun* my first long trip to the UK. When I brought it home, my partner saw the spine of the book and assumed I'd used it for other purposes.

                  I consult the *Complete Delia* or whatever it's called (*Complete Cookery Course*?) when I'm doing something major, but I almost never cook one of the recipes as written.

                  Good call on the Sainsbury's connection. It doesn't make me think any better of Nigel Slater, though.

                  1. re: mmwwah

                    "Other purposes". ROFLMAO.

                    On a serious note, the thing about Delia's recipes (this book aside) is that they work. We have books going back to the 70s (but not the original "cheat" book) and I can only think of a couple of recipes which are horribly amiss.

                  2. re: Harters

                    Of course, Jaime is also associated with Sainsbury's. Maybe he'll show up on another episode. Ours here has just been given a makeover - big improvement, but there's a Super Sainsbury's not far away, and I love that they stock American bacon. Be still my heart.

                    I found this today, John. Someone else is a bit upset with Delia.

                    >The Restaurant star Raymond Blanc has criticised Delia Smith for "betraying" her home cookery values.

                    Blanc, who owns Oxfordshire's Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons, said Smith's new book How To Cheat At Cooking and BBC 2 show Delia was "damaging" the work of other TV chefs.

                    Smith's book features recipes including ingredients such as frozen mash potato and tinned mince.

                    The French chef told the Daily Express: "Suddenly the great lady who helped us all to connect with our food has published a book which undermines her credibility.

                    "Just at the point where people were beginning to connect with their food and become aware of the joys of seasonal food, she suddenly gives us the opposite message and that's sad."

                    C'est vrai!!


                    1. re: zuriga1

                      Merci, M Blanc.

                      I see also that, for UK/Ireland members, we are now in the Land That Time Forgot (or Food Media as CH prefers to call it ) :-)

                      1. re: Harters

                        The powers to be censored my reply. Sorry. I don't think they like criticism. No matter - they referred people here and are just doing their job. Pizza Express? It serves a purpose. I'll wait till I get to the States to have pizza again. It's not my husband's favorite.

                        1. re: zuriga1

                          Nor mine, but an "American Hot" from the freezer is far better than the stuff on offer from my local takeaway.

                          Can't wait to see if St Delia does pizza? Mum's gone to Iceland.

                          1. re: Harters

                            I'm just cheap at times. I refuse to pay what Domino charges - twice what it would be at half the quality of the American equivalent. I do like a good pizza.. comfort food and Pizza Express is fine.

                      2. re: zuriga1

                        Re: zurigal's praise of "American bacon".

                        WHA? SAY WHA? The most amazing things I've found in British supermarkets are (a) the milk/cream section and (b) the bacon section. Those make our poor attempts at dairy and pork look pathetic. 40 different kinds of cream - clotted, double, etc, etc. Boiled bacon, thick bacon, back bacon, steamed bacon, candied bacon, deep-fried bacon, thick bacon, thin bacon, bacon made from marzipan and kiwi. Amazing number of choices. And you're longing for ours? Whew, let me catch my breath!

                        Of course nowadays here in the SFBayArea we have more choices due to the snooty foodification of our area....not that there's anything wrong with it.

                        This thread is really fun to read and it's given me a new challenge: Find Out About Delia Immediately!

                        Sorry, but I do love Jamie, though. He may be annoying, but loads of his recipes are stellar.

              2. Oh dear by the sounds of things it was not a pretty sight. Perhaps ole Delia is after a spot on the American Food Network. It's too bad I have seen other shows(not the one here in question.) and quite like them and her.

                1. There is a review of some of the recipes on the Guardian site today, seems they were not impressed!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: nanette

                    Thanks for the link. Interesting to see the taste tests which seem to generally confirm what we've been saying.

                    And I would never have thought there was actually even a short cut available to make an Omelette Savoyard. But here they are - tin of pre-fried onions; frozen rosti; pck crisy bacon; ready grated Gruyere. Unfortunately, you have to buy real eggs - and whisk them yourself.

                    Not that I would want to be overly sniffy here (perish the thought ;-) . I make a mean pasty - with real veg and homemade pastry. But I always use a tin of stewed steak . It works (but with apologies to any Cornish people reading - I know it's a travesty).


                    1. re: Harters

                      BUY MY OWN EGGS? Are you INSANE?

                      1. re: oakjoan

                        As I said on the other thread, we are exercising great restraint here, in accord with board "taste and decency" rules. But it's hard. Very hard. ;-)