Sunday, 4 April 2010

Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights

I was sceptical. I was. I was sceptical when she first appeared on the world's radar as a model. I was even more sceptical when she began publishing 'novels'. And when I saw she had a cookery programme on the TV, with accompanying recipe book, I was...well, I was sceptical. But in both the first and last instances, she has won me over - the novels I have yet to be convinced by.

Sophie "grand-daughter of Roald" Dahl is probably as pretty as it's possible to be. Up there with Audrey Hepburn. She's sweet and affable, and as every review has commented, 'her' (it's not, it's rented for the series) kitchen is to die for. So the only thing that could possibly go wrong is the food itself. And I'm going to have to admit it, I'm lovin' the food!

Sophie, or Miss Dahl as I should properly address her, is on my wavelength completely when it comes to eating. She's a fan of mashed potato - I live for the stuff! - and rhubarb and simple soups and scrambling things and grating cheese over things and green stuff and fishy stuff and fruity stuff... I just love her Voluptuous Delights! Despite everything in me telling me this book is just an opportunistic money spinner, I can't help it. I love the food. I like Soph..Miss Dahl.

The book is punctuated with pages of autobiography, which are interesting, funny, heartbreaking in places, and - damn her! - well-written. The accompanying photos are aspirational enough to send me hurtling into charity shops looking for twee bone china cups into which I can slop chocolate mousse. And I've been dreaming of having a gypsy caravan at the bottom of my garden for years anyway, so that's just affirming the validity of a wish already placed.

It's Easter Sunday, yet another day of the year for thinking about nothing but eating well. I'm surrounded by Green & Blacks' eggs and a 'straordinary Black Forest Gateau affair by the Chocolate Alchemist - cherries embedded in white chocolate on a dark chocolate egg - and still my mind is full of the French Onion Soup I've made for tonight's starter. It won't be served in self-consciously mismatching flowery china bowls, but one step at a time, eh? We all need a dream to cling to.

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