Thank you for the kind comments. So many and too many to answer individually, but be rest assured they are noted and gratefully received.
We had a little hangover cushion on today’s show. Stuffed with herbs in brown silk, it smelt intoxicating, and was hand-crafted in Nepal. You can buy them from Wild Earth. They’re sweet and buying them gives decent people some pennies.
I brought four back to the flat: one for hangovers, which is great for today; a yellow one for dreams; a pink one for energy; and a deep crimson one for passon. I think I may leave the passionate red one in the airing cupboard just in case. All the herb combinations are different but they all assault the nostrils magnificently.
Uncle Leo, the floor manager, is in Dubai doing some kind of horse racing (floor managing it, not entering the fray) but he says he will be back for the last week, we have 7 shows to go. I am managing to get through them. I’m not sure how, although pulsatilla, a homeopathic remedy, helps.
In the morning, when we read through the script, I have a little sniffle. Nobody seems to mind. The young guns are really supportive. i am not one for revealing myself in public but I see no point in pretending that I am not gutted. So, thanks again for the emails and comments. The show, as they say, must go on.
Three producers, Dave Baker, Leila Salim and Mhairi-Ann – you try saying that on four gins – each have a researcher and an assistant producer: Adam Lewis, Mrs Janet Harrison (she’s just got married so I like to embarrass her with her married name), Mike Harris, Steve Roe, Natalie Bloxham and James Emery, Sarah Forfar does the compilation programmes and she works alone. You’d understand if you met her. That, of course, is a joke.
But those three teams are working like fudge at the moment to get out the last seven programmes. We could all let it go, lie down and die, but we have chosen to keep on keeping on, although in my case it’s weep on weeping on.
I will have to write some kind of speech when we finish but there are so many people to thank. We’ve been at it since Novemeber 2001 which makes for five and half years which is a lot of natives to remember.
Today’s show felt lonely, but only because I still had champagne bubbles in my blood stream. The delectable Ed Baines worked wonders with veal shanks.
My learning curve on the programme has been unquantifiable. Back in the day I wouldn’t touch veal with a barge pole. Now, as Ed explained, they are humanely reared and are part of the food chain.
Finding out where everything comes from is now de rigeur. And having Clodagh McKenna on reinforced everything that we all know – farmers Markets are the way forward. The edible Irish girl single handedly got the juice going in Ireland for small producers. She’s now out in Turin, dating the son of the slow food movement and eating out every night, not to mention writing for 49,867 publications and still managing to swim regularly and smile endlessly. Her book The Irish Farmers’ Market Cookbook is decidely dishy with recipes that will make you dream of the blarney stone and book the next ferry to Rosslair.
Maria Elia made a sardine rillette (a fancy name for a fab mousse) which we ate out of tall martini glass. It was accompanied by a luscious beetroot salad. I know it’s because I am an old Russian immigrant that root veg are so dear to me, but when beets are mixed with mayo, onions, mustard and horseradish I would happily date Putin. Well, maybe not him, but you know what I mean.
Ed finished the show with some kind of decadent passion fruit thingy that made my normal blood sugar level swing to an unfortunate high. I think the real positive thing about coming out of the show after so long is that I may be able to eat less. Not worse, just less often. Although, what will I do when I haven’t got a camera to salivate into?
I have a rotten sore throat, which I have been eating raw onions for. The old man is coming to stay with me in the flat tonight. I think I’ll send him to the airing cupboard where he can snuggle down with the passion pillow.
On tomorrow’s show we have Yorkshire’s finest, Liverpool’s shiniest and Kingston’s kindliest, so you’d better watch to find out what the River Uck I’m talking about. Cu2morrer.