Thursday 9 December 2004

"i've come to fix the fridge"

Nigella Lawson's cookery programmes are known for their softcore porn-like quality: soft focus, close ups of Nigella licking a spoon, lots of "mmmmmmmmm" noises, that sort of thing. What I never noticed is that Nigel Slater's "Real Food" programme is remarkably similar. He actually described melted chocolate as "soft and sexy" while jazzy instrumental music played in the background. While it's all fine and good when Nigella does this (in my opinion, she's attractive and sultry in her own domestic goddess kind of way), it's largely unsettling when Nigel attempts to smoulder on the TV screen. Nigel Slater, it must be said, looks a bit like a diminutive person who has recently been sent on a quest to destroy a very naughty ring. I always imagine that just below the camera's view, you can see him standing on a small footstool.

On the other hand, I understand how people can get passionate about food. Cynics claim that spoon-licking in food programmes is merely to get ratings, but I think there is a sincerity to some people's deep love of food. Mine tends to be more of the Homer variety rather than 9 1/2 Weeks. When I'm eating something I'm enjoying immensely and my tablemate tries to converse with me, my instinct is to bury my head deeper into my plate and say "Can't talk. Eating."

Jasper represents my inner food child remarkably well. When it's suppertime, without the aid of a clock (or the ability to tell time), he sits and stares at us, jumping every time we make a move that might be related to retrieving his food. All I need to say is, "Jasper - are you hungry?" and all you will see is a cloud of fur accompanied by the sound of doggy toenails skittering across the laminate floor as he dashes madly into the kitchen. While I'm filling his food bowl, he jumps up and down on the spot, making the occasional "rrrrowr" noise. Once the bowl hits the floor, he dives into it, not emerging until the very last speck of food is gone. Even then, he will go back to his bowl seconds later to see if it has magically refilled. If I wasn't conscious of appearing socially adept (or sane), this is exactly how I would eat my meals.

This is why I think that it's a load of bullocks when people claim that we eat too much because we have "emotional issues". I eat too much because I enjoy good food, which is actually a happy event in my life. Although you won't find me standing in the kitchen caressing cutlery with my tongue, it is highly likely that you'll find me standing at the fridge eating something directly out of its container. Rrrrrrrowr.

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