"Let's eat what God gave us." - Jennifer Paterson
"Never trust a thin cook." - Clarissa Dickson Wright
Two Fat Ladies was my favorite cooking show of all time, which is probably why my wife bought copies of two of their books for me while she was in London. Full Throttle was the third cookbook by these rebellious doyennes of decadent food. The two ladies ride a motorcycle and sidecar through Britain's cattle and pig farms, coming up with mostly easy-to-prepare recipes for cocktails, soups, puddings, and dishes such as "Boston baked beans with an Elizabethan twist", grouse pie, and meat patties in horseradish sauce. More viable recipes include beef stew with pumpkin scones, duck in red wine sauce, Calcutta chicken croquettes, and lobster with latkes, the recipe for which we'll present tomorrow.
Of course the recipes are interspersed with anecdotes and tips from the opinionated Brits - Clarissa, who has written numerous cookbooks both with Jennifer and alone; and Jennifer, who sadly passed away in 1999. One of Ms. Paterson's many claims to fame was cooking a dish of testicles for the Queen's Hussars in Benghazi.
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This is how the book starts:
"It wasn't until halfway through my conversation with Clarissa that I realised my exciting news was going down like a soufflé in a draught.
'America?' she barked down the phone. 'You don't really expect me to go to America?' I should have known. After vegetarians and supermarkets, Clarissa holds the home of the hamburger responsible for everything that's wrong with the modern world -- including fast food, political correctness and plastic surgery."
God, I love these gals.
Full Throttle was published in 1998. My copy costs £17.99; it's available on Amazon for $17.77 (ranking at #255,579).
Ebury Press, London; Random House
Authors: Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright
Food photography: James Murphy