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Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Sophie Dahl

There are women in this world I fall head over heels in love with and from the moment she tumbled down the catwalk, all cleavage and pale flesh, wide eyes and bambi-style bewilderment, Roald Dahl's granddaughter was one of them.

Perhaps it's because she looks so very like my Mum. Perhaps it's because Playing With the Grown Ups, her vivid,semi-autobiographical novel was jam-packed with the kind of terribly English, whimsical description we Vintage Housekeepers adore. Perhaps it's because her perfume column in Vogue makes me want to drown in her scented words, or perhaps it's because she manages to combine beauty, with intelligence and a gorgeous dose of the kind of authentic frippery that always inspires both envy and adoration in my all too willing soul.

Next Tuesday evening marks the first of six programmes, turning Sophie's book, The Voluptuous Delights of Miss Dahl, into the kind of scrumptious cookery programme that is more about lifestyle than it is about the food. While I suspect comparisons between Sophie Dahl and Nigella Lawson are inevitable, the recipes in Sophie's book are lighter and somehow frillier than the delicious cream drowned stodge Nigela is prone to serving up, and each week is themed rather fabulously, around emotion and the kind of ritual I suspect we will all relate to, with episode one being dedicated to the art of enjoying a "Selfish Day"...

"Sophie Dahl revels in the joy of cooking for one on a purely selfish day. Shutting the world away and answering to no-one on a day that is indulgently independent means cruising the food boutiques and cooking simple dishes with the finest of ingredients.Her selfish day begins at breakfast with her take on an omelette Arnold Bennett and the preparation of peanut butter fudge.
After a sweep of the local cheese shop she's assembling a buffalo mozzarella bruschetta with shaved fennel and courgette salad for lunch.
Finally, inspired by a picture of an old Hollywood screen siren and an art deco cocktail shaker picked up in a second-hand shop, it's time for dirty martinis and a dinner of roasted halibut with spinach and watercress sauce, healthy sweet potato chips and wild mushrooms, followed by rich chocolate pots with brandy soaked cherries.
By the end of the day, Sophie feels ready to share again...maybe."

Sounds wonderful mais non? Mais Oui! If for nothing else,  watch it and weep over the gorgeous, bunting festooned garden tableaux to which Sophie delivers her rose petal sprinkled meringue...

I can't wait!

The Delicious Miss Dahl, BBC 2, March 23rd, 8.30pm


Gena said...

Oh my word! I too cant wait! I have that book and I love the way Sophie writes,my favourite piece in the book is when she describes 'musicians breakfast' she says"My beloved is a musician,this,a strong cup of tea and Miles Davis on the stereo,makes him a happy fellow of a morning" is'nt that just enchanting? Oh,the festooned garden is beautiful!

LissyLou said...

yes, i'm looking forward to this too....shes so lovely xx

The Hausfrau said...

Oh, you lucky people who get BBC 2! I've read Playing with the Grownups and also have Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights (been meaning to blog about it for ages), so you can see that I'm a big Sophie fan!

Anonymous said...

I remember when she first came to the public's attention ten years ago. What a revelation; a model with a real female body. Anyone else recall the ridiculous flap over that YSL perfume ad, featuring her, naked?

Then she caved to pressure from the size 0 Nazis and wham, there goes "voluptuous". So it beats me why she's doing a cooking show. It seems just a bit hypocritical when you've adopted unrealistic body image standards.

Stick to what you know Miss Dahl; writing good books!

Sasha said...

OMG - I can't wait either!!!! I've had her book for ages, and absolutely love it as not only are the recipes SO make-able and, more importantly, SO eatable, it is also an absolute thing of beauty in it's own right, with absorbing narrative in between the sensibly seasonal layout of recipes. Perfect!!

I have loads of cookery books from more, shall we say, serious chefs/cooks, but love her book all the more as it appeals exactly to my tastes and style of eating - I come back to these recipes more often than the others. And, I wonder if you noted this too Alison, her recipes also seem to coincidentally lean, rather conveniently for me, towards being naturally gluten/wheat free on the whole (aside from her love of spelt).

I'll deffo be recording each episode to savour over and over again! I would much rather take cooking and eating advice from someone real, who has been-there-done-that as far as eating unhealthily, then dieted, then found that ideal place we should all aspire to - the happy medium of everything in moderation, and truly ENJOYING eating good, healthy and tasty food, as she explains so well in this book. Love her!!!!!

SK said...

Well, I can't watch it ("not available in your area"), but it sounds wonderful!

Eleanor said...

My first visit to your blog and it is a treat. I think I must quit my job and be a full-time vintage housewife (I wish,I wish!).

Pamela Angus said...

really looking forward to this - the 'kitchen' in the TV teasers looks gorgeous too!

Teresa Jane said...

Just wanted you to know since you are on the blog roll of CharmofTheCarolines that she has lifted (without credit) a lilly placesetting photo and wording about napkin etiquette from Miss Janice's blog,

Anonymous said...

TERESA JANE. What a horrible sneak you are. What has that got to do with Alisons Blog? Just because she is on someones blogroll???? Why not tell 'miss janice' someone has copied her photo if you are that bothered. You are really awful.

Alison I cant wait for this programme, thanks for telling us about it. Linda

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