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Support group for disgruntled fans of Delia

(89 Posts)
downbutnotout Tue 11-Mar-08 13:08:34

I was brought up by an ardent fan of Delia who owns everything she has ever written and I learned most of my own (admittedly limited) cookery skills from her books (esp. the fabulous Complete Cookery Course). In fact, given the amount of Delia meals I've eaten in my lifetime, I am substantially her creation.

And what has she done to me in return? Spawned some ghastly book and TV series where she harps on about the delights of frozen and processed foods (presumably while pocketing a ton of cash from the maufacturers and the supermarkets). At the very time when I am trying my best to give my family the benefits of organic home-cooked food and reduce the amount of waste and packaging we produce. And to encourage my child to enjoy creating delicious food from scratch.

Doesn't she care about anything except her own bulging pockets? angry

<off to lie down and breathe deeply>

CatIsSleepy Tue 11-Mar-08 13:34:14

most of the food looked pretty gross I thought- I had to stop watching when she made the sauce for that potato wedge thing as it was making me feel a bit sick

excessive and unnecessary use of frozen mash

not good, really

downbutnotout Tue 11-Mar-08 13:34:30

And I may be an idealist, but having read some of her older stuff, it doesn't seem that she was always just about the money. She started out by filling a gap in the market for easy-to-follow recipes for wholesome family food. I don't have them to hand, but she sings the praises of fresh and unprocessed ingredients in a lot of her earlier books.

In my view she has been losing her way for while since How to Cook Books 1-3, when she started to introduce a lot of fanciful and hard-to-obtain ingredients seemingly for the hell of it. Now she seems to have abandoned any idea of trying to get people to eat well in favour of making herself richer.

But maybe I'm taking this whole thing a tad too seriously? hmm

CatIsSleepy Tue 11-Mar-08 13:36:30

ooh agree about Gordon ramsay and Kitchen Nightmares USA
too much blathering (analysis of every single little thing by all and sundry every other minute), not enough about the food
disappointing as I really like the UK version

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 11-Mar-08 13:40:30

Why do those fools in the US programme called him, reverentially, CHEF Ramsay? It's not as if he is Escoffier, fgs

fedupwasherwoman Tue 11-Mar-08 13:41:36

If the OP owns everthing Delia has ever written then surely you have a copy of her original "how to cheat at cooking" which uses lots of preprepared/long life stuff.

All DS is doing is updating that book bearing in mind that some of the products in it are probably no longer available and there's so much new stuff on the market now.

clumsymum Tue 11-Mar-08 13:46:04

You know, I was most shocked by Delia using TINNED MINCE to make the shepherds pie!!!!

Tinned Mince FGS. I would be very concerned about that, I mean surely tinned mince is all the grotty bits of gristle & yuk left over from all other meat processing, ground up with lots of salt and e-numbers

And who is honestly going to do this 'cooking'? If you can't be bothered to fry up some mince with onions, you are not going to buy tinned mince & frozen mash and do a "lego kit" meal in your kitchen. You are going to buy a pre-made shepherds pie.

downbutnotout Tue 11-Mar-08 13:47:45

Will check it out as soon as I can, washerwoman. Think I am just having an allergic reaction to last night's programme - it may subside.

Although I'm not as annoyed as some

TheDevilWearsPrimark Tue 11-Mar-08 13:48:37

lots of 'fresh' mince is just that Clumsymum.

girlfrommars Tue 11-Mar-08 14:03:26

Always had an irrational hatred of Delia, and now everyone else is joining in.
Now to convince the world of the evils of carnations......

<<exits thread cackling>>

clumsymum Tue 11-Mar-08 14:03:41

TheDevil, I know, that's why I buy mince from a proper butchers shop.

But the tinned stuff could be worse, because they have the opportunity to cover up the 'gross-ness' of it by cooking it up with onions & stuff first.

MrsPuddleduck Tue 11-Mar-08 14:15:13

I now have the show on series link on the basis that it was so funny. Were they aunt bessies frozen mash btw? - DH and I were in stitches!

I must admit that some of the receipes would have been nice had she used fresh ingredients and they weren't that labour intensive -you could have boiled a pan of spuds in the time it took you to open the various jars of pickles she put in the salmon dish.

I liked the idea of putting the leeks and grated cheese on a shepherds pie but again it doesn't take that long to fry off some onion and mince with a stock cube rather than buy a tin of mince.

It also struck me that they would be v expensive to make.

Can't say I fancied the chocolate cake with mash in and as for the potato cake......

clumsymum Tue 11-Mar-08 14:22:21

yeah, the potato bread was wierd.

Buy a bag of frozen Rosti (hey I never knew they SOLD frozen rosti, not something that had ever crossed my mind) then break them up (but you've paid money for them to be squashed together), and make bread out of them.


GetOrfMoiLand Tue 11-Mar-08 14:25:41

I don't see the point in buying ready grated cheese. How long does it really take to grate some bloody cheese?

Also, frozen potatoes, like wedges and frozen roasties, have got a wierd, spooky tecture, all woolly and not like a real potato.

I think Delia had been at the cooking sherry again, got lost on the way to Waitrose and ended up in her local Farm Foods or Iceland instead grin

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 11-Mar-08 14:26:29

We will see her advocating the delights of Big Posh Prawns a la Karry Katone next!

MrsPuddleduck Tue 11-Mar-08 14:32:50

The whole thing was a bit weird. If I watch a Delia programme I expect to be instructed on how to cook something - it's what she does. I didn't like the snippets into her personal life - in fact I don't think it did her any favours.

DH and I came to the conclusion that she was a drinker (ifkwim).

And when she was getting the camera man to slurp the soup - I thought the whole thing looked set up and a bit false. Poor bugger (the camera man, that is).

bundle Tue 11-Mar-08 14:33:15

so that's why Delia goes to Iceland...

captainmummy Tue 11-Mar-08 14:36:21

Downbutnotout - lol at the fancy house with diamond leaded windows. I've inherited diamond leaded widow and I hate them.

Oh and the 75% mince in the mince. gak!

captainmummy Tue 11-Mar-08 14:36:43

Windows, not widows blush

ecoworrier Tue 11-Mar-08 14:40:18

Bit of a disaster really wasn't it.

She's just perpetuating the media myth that we're all just so so busy and cooking is oh so hard and so time-consuming.

If she really wanted to help people prepare quick, tasty and healthy meals there are better ways to go about it. She could show people how to batch-cook and make full use of their freezer. Why buy grated cheese at a premium when you can grate your own, freeze it and use it straight from the freezer.

Does she not know many meals cook brilliantly from the freezer - yes, even shepherd's pie, and not an over-packaged, over-priced product in sight.

That soup she cooked in what, 30 minutes or whatever, funny thing is, many many soups only take that amount of time from scratch. And the potato bread - paying all that money for rosti then pulling them apart to get, well, grated potato. Does it take that long to grate a potato?

Why not show people how to build up a repertoire of quick meals from scratch that they can use on busy days. That's what I do, so swimming lesson night is always a faithful old standby, often home-made soup which is made in batches and frozen in family-sized portions. Defrost overnight, reheat in 10 minutes when we get home. Not exactly hard is it.

Then more time-consuming meals can be saved for when you have a bit more time. You make your meals and your cooking fit your lifestyle and available time, it's not rocket science.

It's also a bit hypocritical Delia spouting off that we 'need' cheap chickens etc to feed the poor masses. Has anybody costed any of these 'cheating' meals of hers? I can't see 'the poor' rushing to stock up on roasted peppers in a jar or quails eggs.

It would have been so easy for Delia to produce a book and TV series showing that actually you can feed your family well on a budget and that you don't need to devote hours a day to doing so or need a catering degree.

Rose Elliott, now she really does have the right idea. 'Cheap and Easy' rules!

ecoworrier Tue 11-Mar-08 14:42:43

And those 'lifestyle' bits - yuk! They just emphasised how little of substance there was in that programme, they could have shown it over 10 minutes not half an hour.

Countingthegreyhairs Tue 11-Mar-08 15:06:59

Couldn't agree more Ecoworrier

and Cod (did I just say that?? grin)

ditto what everyone has said:


if I had eggs & frozen chips in the house I'd make egg & chips fgs not serve up a wierd platter of unrelated ingredients dressed with cat sick.

What on earth has happened to the poor woman??

ArmadilloDaMan Tue 11-Mar-08 15:30:20

I'm with girlfrommars - I've never liked delia and always found her a bit creepy tbh.

IT was the first time I read one of her cookbooks. She promised an exciting version of mashed potato - she delivered a spoonful of mustard. I knew we were never to get on.

But I am actually shocked by this and wonder if she is in financial trouble.

MyEye Tue 11-Mar-08 15:39:43

kathy's theory made me lol.
this really was massively distressing television.
I thought there was a definite froideur between her and her husband. Wondered if he was thinking, 'not that hideous rosti bread again, please.'

bundle Tue 11-Mar-08 15:40:54

lol myeye

lovin' the use of froideur too wink

JackieNo Tue 11-Mar-08 15:51:39

We found it pretty strange too. The bit where she showed us her shed made me laugh - there's Nigella with her retro-chic warehouse done out like a house, and Delia has a shed in the garden full of crockerygrin.

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