Greg and Fanny
This week I was really pleased to catch a TV program on Sunday where he got all doey-eyed about the first lady of the Kitchen - Fanny Craddock. We’re used to shouty, sweary celebrity chefs today but Fanny, with her bossiness, her air of innate superiority, as if she were a grande dame condescending to offer cookery tips to the great unwashed really was in a league of her own - and half a century ago too! Her eccentric dishes, with their dubious sauces and vegetable dyes and her barmy clothes (she even took to wearing formal frocks and ballgowns and sometimes even a tiara for her TV demonstrations!) took the term ‘dare to be different’ to another level.
Born in 1909, much of her life was a lie, a cover-up, a delusion, from her date and place of birth to her marital status. She was rude to everyone: BBC colleagues, helpers, members of the public, fellow cooks and her long-suffering partner, Johnnie who goes down in the annals of history for those immortal words:
“If you try that recipe at home,
I hope your doughnuts turn out like Fanny's".
Lovely Greg Wallace re-tweeted my daughter Katy’s homage to Johnnie this week – a slight misquote but bringing a smile to face nonetheless! I do have to express a mild concern knowing that Greg met his last, “quite-a-bit-younger-than-him-(now estranged)-wife-no-3” on twitter! Is it time to lock up my daughter or just a case of tweeters beware?