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Live webchat with Nigel Slater, TODAY, Wednesday 12 December, 1pm

(167 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 11-Dec-12 13:11:15

We're delighted that Nigel Slater is joining us tomorrow lunchtime (Wed 12 December) at 1pm for a live webchat.

Nigel is the author of a collection of bestselling books and presenter of BBC 1's Simple Cooking and has been food columnist for The Observer for 20 years. His award-winning memoir Toast - the Story of a Boy's Hunger won six major awards and is now a BBC film starring Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore.

Nigel's latest book, Kitchen Diaries Volume II, has just been published.

Join Nigel tomorrow at 1pm or post a question in advance on this thread.

NigelSlater Wed 12-Dec-12 13:11:48

NettoHoHoHoSuperstar

Hi Nigel.
I love your writing, and currently have 'Eating foe England', on my bedside tale.
I like to try a new stuffing recipe every year, so can I have your favourite please?

How about sausage meat, chickpeas, lemon, with a little bit of garlic? It's wonderful with turkey or goose.

Wolfcub Wed 12-Dec-12 13:12:37

Apart from mince pies what are your favourite recipes for using up leftover mincemeat.

As an aside, my DH and I have a christmas pudding making competition as one of our family christmas traditions. Last year I lost. This year I've made your pudding (smells amazing). I'm hoping that you can thrash Saint Delia.

NigelSlater Wed 12-Dec-12 13:12:39

calypso2008

Dear Nigel

I find it so hard to relax, but one guaranteed way is to sit back and watch your cookery programmes - I adore them, especially enjoyed the last one. I am also fascinated by your handwriting and gorgeous home.

I live in Spain - my question is, what is the best Spanish meal you have ever made/eaten?

Please carry on with the writing and programmes - I think you are fabulous smile and you cheer me up.

The best Spanish meal I've ever had is stir-fried squid with chorizo, garlic and tomatoes - it was made for me by producer James who is half-Spanish!

poucher Wed 12-Dec-12 13:13:41

Aha - thought parmesan would be in there somewhere! I'll bear this in mind the next time there doesn't appear to be anything for supper...Thanks!

NigelSlater Wed 12-Dec-12 13:14:41

lilibet

[deep breath]

Hello Nigel,

Thanks for coming to mumsnet, sorry I won't be there for the live chat.

I have all of your books and have taken to buying Real Cooking for anyone who has got engaged/bought their first house/got married and before I give it to them, going through it and putting bits of paper in my best bits (the chicken curry that you describe as being like a Howard Hodgkins painting is a must for everyone)

Anyhow, since that book was published I have become a vegetarian and although from your books you obviously have a real appreciation of vegetarian food, do you have any plans to do a book for us?

Follow up - for Chiristmas dinner I have husband and I who are vegetarians, six people who have loudly expressed a preference for lamb and another three who want the traditional turkey, what would you do?

[not allowed] Another follow up, tell me about your cats!

Thanks

Lili x

[scream!!]

Hi Lili, no plans for a specifically vegetarian book, but I always include lots of vegetarian recipes in my books. For your Christmas dinner question, I suggest exploring the smaller cuts of turkey and a little leg of roast lamb. There are also lots of smaller birds available - turkeys don't have to be huge!

And sadly, the cats are no longer with me, but each of them lived to a ripe old age in their 20s.

NigelSlater Wed 12-Dec-12 13:16:57

frankie4

Nigel - I loved the TV film of Toast, more for the family relationships than for the food, as my Dad had a similar situation when his father married a woman who was not a very good stepmum to him, so it really resonated with me.

I just wondered how it was for you after you brought out your memoirs, and how you coped with the publicity.

I thought the casting of the film was great. Did you have any input at all?

The reaction to Toast was a huge surprise. I'm generally quite private and that was a very intimate memoir. I was surprised at the reaction, and that so many people had had similar experiences in their childhood.
I always thought that I was going through it alone, so it was quite comforting to find that there were other people in the same situation as me.

Regarding the casting, I really wanted Ken Stott to play my father, because he is so like him, and I was thrilled when he agreed.

JillyTats Wed 12-Dec-12 13:17:52

Hi! In both your TV shows and Kitchen Diaries (which was an inspiring read, in a cover-to-cover sense, as well as a kitchen go-to book), it's not just about recipes and a How To, but about instilling confidence to try things out. How do you feel about your role as 'Food Muse'?

NigelSlater Wed 12-Dec-12 13:18:19

AfterEightMintyy

Hi Nigel, did you know that there are whole swathes of people who cannot abide the taste of coriander? It doesn't seem to be a normal dislike of a foodstuff, it appears to taste actually revolting to them; apparently it tastes like soap or metal.

My equivalent is cucumber. To me it tastes rotten, decaying, sour, off.

Are there any foods that you similarly just really cannot eat?

I cannot bear boiled, poached or fried eggs. There is no cheque you could write large enough to get me to eat one - even for charity! (Though scrambled eggs I can just about swallow)

herecomesthsun Wed 12-Dec-12 13:19:13

Just seen this! Hello Nigel, can I ask what you are having for Xmas Day lunch this year?

(very much like your writing by the way, and the sense that you cook around the food that is available/ in season/ left overs beckoning from the larder or fridge, which is how we do things in the real world!)

NigelSlater Wed 12-Dec-12 13:20:17

Allalonenow

Hello Nigel,
Never thought I would be typing that!!

I enjoyed Toast so much, and so much of it chimed with my own childhood, (like the parmesan). Reading Kitchen Diaries feels like sitting chatting at your kitchen table, and is just sheer pleasure and indulgence for me.

Following on from other questions above, who have you worked with who has inspired you?
I know from KD that some of your inspiration comes from ingredients you spot when shopping, so what can those of us who live out in the wilds do to keep our kitchen creativity high?

Very many thanks for all the pleasure and joy your work has given me over the years.

What a lovely thing to say. Thank you.

My inspiration for dinner comes from so many things, but rarely from other people. It can be the weather, what's in the shops, what's in my fridge, or just whatever I fancy. I've rarely been inspired by other people, and I tend to plow my own furrow - for good or bad!

If I lived in the wilds, my inspiration would have to come from the nearest farm shop or farmer's market.

NigelSlater Wed 12-Dec-12 13:21:20

BlatherskitedaboutChristmas

Ooh, Nigel Slater. Another big fan of your Brownies here, they are amazing.

Tonight, the children and I have had good old baked potatoes as I've not being feeling very well and I needed an easy dinner that didn't take much thought or stirring. What's your lazy evening dinner for when you're not feeling up to cooking?

My lazy evening dinner is dipping grilled lamb cutlets into a tub of hummus whilst watching television, preferably Eastenders!

midnightexpress Wed 12-Dec-12 13:21:26

Hi Nigel. I love your books - my favourites are the polpettine (sp?) from the first Kitchen Diaries and the marmalade apple cake in Tender.

I write a blog about breakfast, so I am wondering what your favourite breakfast is? Salty porridge aside that is.

NigelSlater Wed 12-Dec-12 13:22:31

misspollysdolly

Hello Nigel smile

I love your writing, books and TV programmes. Your lovely face adorns my fridge. And recently on your programme about sweets, seeing you and Nigella discussing confectionary faves was tantamount to culinary porn...! Yum grin

So having enjoyed a double whammy of my two favourite famous/TV cooks, my question is: Who is or are your favourite famous chef/cook(s)...? And why?

Thank you! MPD

P.S. I think I love you a bit. Please. Thank you. <swoons> grin

My favourite cook is Nigella Lawson. I think we share a culinary DNA. I have never seen her cook anything that I don't want to eat now.

VikingVagine Wed 12-Dec-12 13:23:05

Crikey, it's Nigel, wowee!!!

<clears throat>

Hello! I live in France (not that that is in any way relevant to my question) and love watching all sorts of cookery programs with my ten year old son (he loved the film too).

My question is: do you have any advice on what age I can actually let him lose in the kitchen?

He sometimes makes pasta and bakes cakes, but I'm always hovering over him he feels he has to follow recipes to the letter (not sure if I should be encouraging this or, or should I get him to experiment?)

Merry Christmas!

grin

midnightexpress Wed 12-Dec-12 13:23:14

I hate eggs too.

NigelSlater Wed 12-Dec-12 13:23:35

KurriKurri

Hi Nigel, - I love your programmes on TV - I think your recipes are really accessible, and always look so tasty

I also loved 'Toast', - I think we are about the same vintage, and so many of your food memories struck a chord. (your recent programme about sweets had a similar effect grin)

I've made your peach and blueberry summer cake many times - it is a fabulous recipe, - best cake ever.

I really just wanted to gush grin but for appearance sake I will also ask a question -, you have a wonderfully readable writing style - have you ever considered writing a novel, and if so what sort of novel?

x

So pleased to hear about the cake - and yes, I have considered writing a novel. But I haven't gotten around to it yet. But it might well be my next project. And that's a Mumsnet exclusive!

NigelSlater Wed 12-Dec-12 13:24:28

midnightexpress

Hi Nigel. I love your books - my favourites are the polpettine (sp?) from the first Kitchen Diaries and the marmalade apple cake in Tender.

I write a blog about breakfast, so I am wondering what your favourite breakfast is? Salty porridge aside that is.

I adore breakfast. My number one favourite is a good old-fashioned kipper with lots of butter and lemon, and some brown bread and butter.

NigelSlater Wed 12-Dec-12 13:26:26

VikingVagine

Crikey, it's Nigel, wowee!!!

<clears throat>

Hello! I live in France (not that that is in any way relevant to my question) and love watching all sorts of cookery programs with my ten year old son (he loved the film too).

My question is: do you have any advice on what age I can actually let him lose in the kitchen?

He sometimes makes pasta and bakes cakes, but I'm always hovering over him he feels he has to follow recipes to the letter (not sure if I should be encouraging this or, or should I get him to experiment?)

Merry Christmas!

grin

Crikey, it's VikingVagine!

I really think that you should encourage kids to cook as soon as they want to. But we do need to keep an eye on what they're up to.

Yes, please, please let him experiment - better to learn by your mistakes than to follow a recipe gram for gram. Encourage, encourage, encourage!

CraftsonSea Wed 12-Dec-12 13:26:30

Sorry emergency second question. I have just been given a bottle of lambrini in the office secret santa. Sigh. Would you use this to cook with / do anything with, or is it ultimately bound for the drain? Thank you!! wine

BillComptonstrousers Wed 12-Dec-12 13:26:33

Good afternoon Nigel, how lovely to have you here <swoon>

For supper tonight we are having tatey ash with crusty fresh bread and lovely salty butter and spring greens.

What's your favourite comfort/traditional meal?

(and after living in staff accommodation in a hotel for 2 years as a teenager, I laughed like a loon at the end of 'Toast' I'm sure all chefs are sex mad in their early years!)

NigelSlater Wed 12-Dec-12 13:27:46

jarndyceandjarndyce

Hi Nigel,

I love love love all your books and your writing. Toast made me laugh and cry, it's truly wonderful smile

In our house we have a goose/turkey quandry. I am in the goose camp (with legs made into a confit, mmm), though lots of people complain there's not enough meat, and goose just isn't as good! <sniff>

Please defend the maligned goose, any suggestions or thoughts?

p.s i love you

Goose has always been my Christmas dinner of choice. I love all the fat that you can use afterwards, especially for roast potatoes. I treat getting as much meat as I can off the bones as a challenge - just get stuck in there with your fingers! But the best bit really is the crisp skin.

NigelSlater Wed 12-Dec-12 13:28:55

CraftsonSea

Sorry emergency second question. I have just been given a bottle of lambrini in the office secret santa. Sigh. Would you use this to cook with / do anything with, or is it ultimately bound for the drain? Thank you!! wine

Keep it, wrap it up beautifully, and use it in next year's secret santa!

OrangeforDd Wed 12-Dec-12 13:29:01

Something shared with Nigel!!

Whispers <we have mice in the attic too blush>

Jenski Wed 12-Dec-12 13:30:44

Thanks for answering Isobel's question. She is dubious about the chillis, but I love a spicy thai soup.

Can I ask another.....
I really love the music that is used on Kitchen Diaries. Is music important to you? And what do you listen to when you are cooking?

x

NigelSlater Wed 12-Dec-12 13:30:51

FellowshipOfFestiveFellows

Hi Nigel

I am absolutely hooked to the show- with supermarket prices going up weekly, it makes sense to stick to a small amount of food and use it all up. Its exactly the type of thing my Gran has been telling me for years!

As someone who cooks from scratch for my family (from being a novice who burnt pots through a few years back!), I have trouble pleasing fussy children. What would you suggest as a good starter recipe to get them eating more veggies?

Thanks!

I think the answer is vegetable tempura with very light, thin batter. Yes, it's fried food, but very light, crisp and it will get them eating their greens. It works for me!

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