Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tonight, tonight

at the Atlanta History Center, Nigella Lawson, talking and signing copies of her new book which is included in the ticket price. I shall be there trying not to be a complete prat but I shall have my book signed if its the last thing I do.

However, go here for information about the AHC Lecture - its an absolute must!

Don't be late.

Tonight, tonight
It all began tonight
I saw you and the world went away

Tonight, tonight
There's only you tonight
What you are, what you do, what you say

I don't need to tell you where this quote is from, right?

Update: I cannot express fully how pleased I am to have heard Nigella (as she is known to us Brits - none of that last name nonsense) speak tonight. We, together with Peak of Chic, went along to the Atlanta History Center and I for one thoroughly enjoyed it. That such a beautiful woman, voluptuous both in form and language should talk about the quotidian nature of cooking was quite illuminating.

Cooks, those of us that cook at home, are not chefs and it is both pretentious and time wasting to pretend we are: we cook for ourselves, family and friends, not for display. We serve ham with mac n' cheese rather than eggplant and philo stack; serve trifle or bread pudding rather than some rarified sorbet made from fruit plucked from the left-hand side of the Himalayas by a one-handed monk in saffron robes. In other words, daily cooking - and that is what it is, cooking not chefism, is what we do.

So simple and so beautifully expressed by a woman who read Classics at Oxford, needed to work at home whilst raising children and her husband was dying - a woman whose humanity and joie de vivre was palpable; who only makes a television program every two years so her children are not too negatively impacted; and by extension such a person are we when we cook for friends and family rather than buy into the pretense of trying to reproduce restaurant food.

Both of us have a copy of Nigella's latest cookery book, signed, and treasured. One will likely go to our beloved sister-in-law as a Christmas present.

Another interesting point that Nigella brought up about Christmas is that, despite her being Jewish "of the blood pure" as she says in her book Feast, for her as a Brit Christmas represents that mid-winter, non-denominational, non-religious festival of lights that bravely battles the dark of winter with a promise that spring, and rebirth is not too far away.

Allelujah to that!


  1. Clearly you did (enjoy it), and weren't (late). It's so refreshing to listen to someone intelligent, instead of the usual vacuous twaddle that spews forth from the so-called "slebs" of today.

  2. I agree about the "slebs" - who needs them? Vacuous Nigella is not - she's intelligent, self-deprecating and amusing with it. Many celebs can be self-deprecating, or wish to appear to be, but Nigella actually is, I feel. Anyway, it was a good event and followed by our own "block party." The evening ended with a tipsy and raucous round-table discussion with friends and neighbours - about what I have no memory, but a lot of laughter ensued.

  3. Well Nigella certainly gets around doesn't she. Somehow though I don't think you will be cueing to spend some extra special time with 'Jamie' and the rest of the British cooking gang, not all our British exports are witty, debonair, or even educated.

  4. John, you're right - I would not cross town to see Jamie, et al, but Nigella I like and she was lecturing down the street - so near I could, had I not been totally idle, have walked. Who the rest of the modern Brit cooking gang are, other than Nigel Slater, I have no idea. I find Nigel Slater's writing a bit precious.

    I'm looking at my bookshelves from across the room and mainly what I see in the cook book section are Nigella, Nigel Slater, Elizabeth David and Rick Stein.