There was this brilliant show in the late 90s called, “The Two Fat Ladies”.
I remember my dad watching it on occasion, giggling and moaning, while the “oohs” and “ahhhs” fell out of his mouth like saliva from Pavlov’s tormented dogs.
Watching them nearly a decade later, and with a strong curiosity as a newly birthed gastronome, I totally dig it.
You can safely gather by the name of the show that yes, they are fat and they are indeed ladies. And by watching the show, you can see why they claim such a build.
They cook with the good stuff.
Now, I assume they cook old school.
Meat. Potatoes. Parsley. Garlic. Lard. (…aaand end scene!)
If you have never watched their show (which you can get on Netflix), they basically drive around England in a badass Triumph motorbike with a sidecar. They explore beautiful countryside and dig around in rustic gardens. Both with incredibly strong personalities, share small stories and switch back and forth with recipes, banter and fun little songs and prose. Surely they would have never been picked up for long by the Food Network.
They cook at monasteries, nunneries, campgrounds, restaurant kitchens and do so with a variety of stoves, pots and pans. They use heavy old Dutch ovens and always seem to cook in the most amazing kitchens that are garnished with fresh herbs, spices and lots and lots of fat.
And by fat, I mean bacon…lard…drippings…the usual barrage of cholesterol heart-clogging goodness. “Look at all that good fat…” they’d say.
The food is most definitely English, which means…there’s not much to it. It’s mainly potatoes…tomatoes…cabbage…and again, lots of bacon and fat. There are the things like fish gelatin molds, bean and egg salads and “strawberry breasts” that come off as quite unusual. I suppose I find them a bit more odd than the average Brit.
I assume England has very nice game. [Lots of little birds that are good for eating, but don’t have too much going on as far as taste goes.]
For example…Cornish game hens are rather dry and bland unless you jack them up with something good. In typical TFL style, they would stuff the bird with herbs [rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, etc.] and probably some other type of meat like ground pork or something else fat-tastic. THEN, they’d tightly wrap the game hen in bacon and bake it for a couple of hours. And so this goes for several recipes. Cover with bacon [fat] and cook.
“None of that streaky American bacon”, they’d say. “You must get that old country bacon…”
At the end of each episode…they’d take a sit down…one smokes a cigarette and both hold a glass of gin as they tap glasses to the setting sun and wish to one another “good health to you, daw'ling!”
“Here! Here!” and “Cheerio!”
As I read a few days ago, one of the ladies died in 2000 of cancer – most likely from smoking and a bad diet. I believe though, she enjoyed the life she had and most definitely ate very, very well.
So, here’s to you, two fat ladies for singing your own theme song, showing us how to properly cook with fat, and giving us one helluva’ show…
Takin to learnin
6 years ago