Good Food Blog
The Christmas cook-offPosted at 11:15AM, 22 December 2008 by Lulu Grimes - Deputy editor, olive magazine
Three days to go. I've been thinking about Christmas since August, and that's partly the problem. In the life of a food magazine such as olive, we are now channelling barbecues and picnics rather than roast goose because, like fashion, we are seasons ahead. It makes for utter confusion, though I know for a fact that barbecued turkey is a winner.
So, in desperation, I tuned into the wacky world of the TV Christmas food show, hoping for inspiration. Reality TV this was not. Whoever thought anyone would believe that Nigella had to drag a Christmas tree as big as a house up the front stairs herself? And where were all the relatives at Jamie's gaff? In fact where was the shouting, the noise, the unwashed pans, the lack of space and the general sense of hysteria in either programme whilst the actual cooking was underway?
I'd much rather be round at Nigella's, even though I suspect that my arteries would not thank me afterwards
Oh sorry, there was plenty of shouting round at Jamie's, but all of it by him. And that's when it dawned on me that I'd much rather be round at Nigella's, even though I suspect that my arteries would not thank me afterwards (for an original Girdle buster pie, look here ). At least between finger licks and midnight sandwiches (I swear one had Christmas pud, turkey and bread sauce in it), there was a lovely sense of calm. Dishes were cooked, tables laid and cocktails doled out and all without blood, sweat or tears. 'Listen', the programme whispered, 'you can do this, all of this, and wear velvet without getting it sticky'. I believed.
Round at Jamie's things were not as floaty and serene. The man was on good form; really brilliant food was cooked, practical jokes were played and chilli was flung about. It was fun no doubt, but that's not how I want it to be round at mine on Christmas morning. Ever. I know it's only TV but really, if I watched Jamie within 24 hours of the day itself, I'd be hyperventilating before I even got the giblets out of the turkey.
But perhaps it's just me. Sam Wollaston at the Guardian thinks Jamie's the one, so maybe all the useless expenditure of energy is a boy thing. What do you think?