If you are looking for an amusing, decadent, politically-incorrect cooking show for meat eaters, these are your girls! I use that term loosely as they are bigger than me and I am far from tiny. The two fat Ladies are the ruby-talonned Jennifer Patterson and the brilliant Clarissa Dickson Wright with nary a low-fat, vegetarian recipe in sight.
These fascinating and remarkable women were a TV match made in heaven. Both well-spoken, well-educated, well-travelled old-school British boarding girls, the chemistry even on their earliest shows was great.
The series ran from 1995-1999 when Jennifer sadly passed away of lung cancer. Clarissa had once noted that the inside of the handsome Whitby fish smokers smokehouse was what Jennifer’s lungs were like. I guess she was not far off.
Eccentric themselves and descended from eccentrics, you are bound to hear things you have never heard before in your life as you watch them cook meals for the lucky groups of nuns, motorcyclists, brewers, Womens Instituters and lumberjacks they travel to in the show.
Whether they were talking about the right Saint for the occasion or reminiscing about the good old days binge drinking, you never knew what they would say next. How many people do you know that have shot a peacock in the sprouting broccoli, then served it up for their neighbors?
The all-time tickler for us was watching when they were making a recipe and Jennifer out of nowhere, I think a childhood reminiscence, brought it on, comes out with something chewy in the mustard One can only just imagine what the chewy things originally were, but we missed the next few steps in the recipe we were laughing so much.
With interests as diverse as motorcycles, men, singing, camping and British history, you certainly learn a lot. The dynamics between the two of them whether the agree or disagree just adds to the amusement and entertainment factor.
We have their book and I made the mistake of making recreating nearly all the recipes from the Cakes episode for some of the desserts for my Moms Retirement party hosted in a marquee at our farm. I have no idea how we made too much food for over 40 people, but we did.
The highlight was the night before making the galette, we had bought the Kirsch especially, and as you know the 2 fat ladies love a bit of booze in their recipes. But we failed to wait for the cake batter part to firm up inside the free standing pastry shell in the fridge, so on cooking it in the oven, the filling melted and flooded out of the pastry, spectacularly filling the stove and kitchen with sweet almond and cherry cake smoke.
Our guests never saw it, but it tasted great, cooked with what was left scraped off the tray. The Yorkshire Ginger cake was a favorite that day, though we never licked the bowl like Clarissa and Jennifer.
They are great characters
Do you have a kitchenalia fetish? Clarissa has one and we have had for years. We have collected old tin and wooden cooking tools just like Clarissa.
Her other use for an antique barding blade (for introducing fats into extremely lean game and fish, or we even used ours for putting garlic cloves in roast beef) just Stick it in the burglar would make the burglar sorry he messed with her, though it certainly demonstrates how they are multipurpose they are.
And what real 2 Fat Lady fans can see an Aga cooker and not say it! â€œArghhh an aga!â€ in mock horror. So if you think you may like to see more of them, check out more Two fat lady Amazon DVDs and Books here