There's been quite the hullaballoo this week in the press about the 'Return of Fanny Cradock' to the BBC... Every newspaper, every radio show and even some television shows have covered the 'breaking news' story. The BBC are at last adding some classic cooking shows to their iPlayer archive for us all to savour, showcasing the changes from the 'early days' of Fanny and Delia to erm, well, the 'later days' of, erm, Levi Roots and Lorraine Pascale. It's Fanny that has set the headlines alight however - and I'm not just talking about those nasty tabloids who stole my blog photos to illustrate their stories, but that is another tale for another day...
Once again, Fanny will be showing us all how to throw a proper Cheese and Wine Party. She happily invites us into her actual home to do this, and cooks for us in her actual kitchen. She'd actually campaigned fiercely for many years behind the scenes to move cooking programmes out of the dreary studio, to show the housewives of Britain how to cook in ordinary kitchens. She wanted to cook in ordinary housewives homes. The producers were't keen. Fanny cooked up the plan to use her own kitchen instead. We'd all love to see that! Just before we get that exclusive peek of Fanny's kitchen, she, of course, introduces us to her dog, Mademoiselle Lolita Saltina Cradock, who is not yet quite a lady. No more explanation required.
Fanny is sick to death of looking at walls while she cooks at home, so she shows us around her time-saving kitchen where everything faces the camera instead. Which is fortunate. Peter and Sally are on hand, looking terrified, to help out when barked at. We're having a Cheese and Wine party after all, and time is tight. We all have dramas, nothing worse than the doorbell ringing before you are ready, you really should have your frock on by now and the food isn't presented as it should be. Don't worry, just pull in your army of amiable assistants to rummage through your endless cupboards to make the show happen with ease. It's what every ordinary housewife would do.
To celebrate Fanny on the iPlayer, I am making her very special Italian cheesecake with her very special homemade cream cheese, that we very specially made earlier. This one uses a pastry base. The cream cheese is simply mixed together with egg yolks, orange zest, sugar and a little flour. Oh, and fresh grapes and mixed peel. They are funny lot these Italians. This mixture is poured into the raw pastry case. Fanny then covers the surface in unbeaten egg white and a trellis of pastry offcuts. She sprinkles on a few pine-nuts and a dusting of icing sugar, and it's ready to bake.
Her kitchen at home has four ovens, but we only need one for this. Once baked, sit back and enjoy a slice while catching up with Fanny on iPlayer. It's a treat. Sing along to the jaunty theme tune and gawp in amazement at her talents. She never misses a heartbeat as she tours round, whips up several meals, cleans as she goes, fries stuff, forks stuff, fondues stuff, shows off every piece of equipment she owns and gives detailed explanations of the culinary terms involved. She has diplomas you know. All in one take. The camera follows her round the kitchen with ease. You'll be amazed. Of course if you miss the recipes, don't worry, they are all in the booklet. Back where she belongs on the BBC. Enjoy!
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