Thursday, 31 May 2012

Nigella Lawson, the game is up

Nigella (Saima via Flickr)
I was really looking forward to the day, my first domestic day for months, this year even. It was the a long holiday weekend and there has been a steady slide from the full tilt of normal life. 

It was Easter so we planned visits to gran's, lunch with pals, Cbeebies live and the movies with a gradual slowing down.

I think I might even have found my cooking mojo, tucked between the pages of Nigella's Feast,

Some friends, real people were coming for lunch tomorrow and I'm looking forward to it.

A leisurely breakfast at a table I even had time to wipe and I started my hunt for sunday lunch inspiration with the queen of slurp and innuendo.

I remembered with particular fondness her tasty concoction of pork and prunes.

Moments later I found myself wondering where the best place to put hot cross bun dough to rise and where I might buy live yeast.

Hold on a minute. The first domestic day in yonks and I want to clog it up with the unnecessary creation of a bakery item that can be bought for pennies.

Where did that come from, eh, Ms Lawson?

How come a moderately rational middle aged woman is contemplating such culinary craziness? Particularly when her Aspie son's current obsession with extreme cake icing is providing all the crazy she needs. 

She has done this to me before. There have been fish balls, pastry and mayonnaise. Fruitless visits to shops where staff haven't heard of fresh horseradish much less know where it is stocked. We aren't all within reach of Borough Market, you know. Then hours in the kitchen trying to stop things curdling by will power alone.

But I'm on to you now. Your power lies not in beguiling men with your souffles and veloutes, but in persuading women that making hot cross buns from scratch is a worthwhile use of their valuable time.

I've still not quite worked out your motive in this but, rest assured I know there is one and you won't catch me out again.

And now where did I put that vanilla extract (not essence of course)?


  1. Normally I agree tooth and nail with you Ellen, but not on this one. Hot Cross Buns are better made at home, although they do consume more time than the average person has to spare and there is the problem of where to put them to prove if, perish the thought, one's kitchen is not equipped with proving ovens.

    I adore Nigella's books (although I have never seen her on television, strangely) and I find that, as a rule, shop-bought cakes always disappoint in comparison with home-made. My problem is that I like baking but everyone else in my house, having been trained not to eat between meals, ignores my creations, so I have to finish them up. Because it wouldn't do to waste them. Which has caused havoc with my shape. Heigh ho.

    1. I agree that generally home made is better, but in the time-energy equation, I simply don't have time for it. And, like you say, my kitchen wouldn't be improved by bowls of not-rising-enough dough.

  2. I love Nigella - the Nigella Express book in particular is great and would even dare to hint that you should make hot cross buns from scratch! Her fridge cheesecake recipe is delicious and can be knocked up in a mere 20mins ;-)

    1. 20 minute cheesecake is a much more attainable option.

  3. Boy, Ellen you are brave. I am with you. Go to a good bakery and buy them. Loved this piece.

    1. Thanks. Do you think hoards of Nigella fans will be after me?

  4. I love cooking from scratch, but I don't think I've ever eaten, never mind baked, a home made HXB. Life's too short, surely?

    1. It's up there with mushroom stuffing.


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