Monday, March 7, 2011

Nigella's Slutty Kitchen

For those of you familiar with British food "celebrity" Nigella Lawson, you know as well as I do that she is a frustrated porn star.

This assessment is, I admit, based solely on her pseudo-erotic demeanor while mixing, poaching and sauteing as well as the insane camera angles zooming in on yet more cleavage in the kitchen. If she and Giada De Laurentiis ever get together, hide your hungry adolescent sons, America, for there will be a revolution.

The assumption I've always made about her recipes is that they couldn't be too good if she has to depend on sex to promote them. 

I'm over here, people. Yoo hoo -- right here. Please stop googling Nigella until you've finished reading today's post.

Anyway ... there I was, pinned to the couch by two snoring cats. The clicker had slipped to the floor, well beyond my grasp, rendering me defenseless against whatever came on next. I had been enjoying another cooking show prior to Nigella busting on the scene (hahahahahahahaha) and decided rather than rouse the peaceful cats, I'd subject myself to 30 minutes of her lower-lip-biting-eye-lash-batting-no-way-for-a-cook-to-behave-culinary double entendres.

Also, I have been professionally diagnosed as having a medical condition that demands I erupt in frequent angry outbursts in order to remain alive and had been experiencing only peaceful emotions for a full half hour. I knew Nigella would do the trick and fill my prescription for rage with a little jealousy thrown in for good measure.

It was meatloaf day in Nigella's slutty kitchen. Everything was going as expected, but she ramped it up suddenly by purring about how sensual it is to mix meat with her bare hands. I could take no more, leaping to my feet in outrage, as the cats slid to the floor and groggily dispersed. 

But then something she was doing caught my attention.

She was making a trench in the middle of the uncooked meatloaf in which she placed several hard boiled eggs end to end, covering them with the remaining meat mixture.

Not only do I consider a hard boiled egg a little miracle in a shell (it's a meal, it's a snack, it's portable, it's low in calories, it's pretty, it's smooth -- it's perfect) but I remembered my mother -- who behaved like a perfect lady in the kitchen--adding them to our meatloaf when I was a child.

My mother's meatloaf was a treat -- warm and fragrant, she would pull it from the oven and we'd hover impatiently until it "sat a while." Cutting it would reveal either a golden disk of the encased and now twice-cooked egg or, brace yourselves, a whole frankfurter or two that she'd add to the mixture instead. Even without embellishment they were magnificent -- seasoned with cumin and studded with chopped onions and fresh garlic.

So, later that day I asked Seth if he would mind if I added a few hard boiled eggs to our meatloaf but before I was finished speaking, he had clapped his hands over his ears and was out the door, easily outrunning the UPS truck, startling the driver as he zoomed by.

Seth will not tolerate any changes to his favorites. And that's putting it lightly.

For a total Cro-Magnon Neanderthal non-foodie, he has a surprisingly developed palate. He can ferret out a single spice with a faint quiver of his nostrils, immediately tell if I've used Hellmann's mayo or a store brand and easily discern if I've tried to get away with turkey kielbasa instead of pork.

He, in other words, is an unbelievable pain in the ass.

Then Charlie arrived home for spring break. He's always been my experimental eater so I decided to try the egg question out on him and see if we could possibly overturn Seth's veto. If he ever stopped running and came home, that is.

Upon hearing the words "meatloaf" and "hard boiled egg" in the same sentence, Charlie panicked. As I walked away, I glanced back to see  him curled up on the rug in his room like a shrimp on a lettuce leaf, sobbing like a little girl, repeating the words, "I'll be good, mommy ... I promise I'll be good," over and over and over.

Strike two.

Next comes Tom. Practical, definitive and home for a visit.  He was my last hope.

I approached him as he sat at his computer, baring my teeth in a smile. Egg? Meatloaf? May I? Would you? Shall we?

He looked up from the keyboard, fixed me in an icy gaze and simply asked his own question in response: "Are you trying to kill us?"

Strike three.

And, no. I am not trying to kill anyone. Yet.

I am simply trying to do something different so that I don't become so bored in the kitchen that I have little choice but to become a serial killer. It's not looking good.


  1. I'm not a fan of hard boiled eggs...I can't stand the smell...There's 3 things in which I like them though:
    1-Guacamole (You chop the hard boiled eggs and add them to the mixture of avocados, onions and lemon).
    2-"Enchiladas", a traditional salvadoran dish (I'm salvadoran).
    3- Meat loaf! My mother's recipe is pretty similar to your mother's recipe.
    When I was a child, grannie used to say: You can't say you don't like something you have not yet tried! You're the cook, I'd say - Go for it!!! They might like it, and if they don't, they can always eat around it ;) Best Regards!

  2. That sounds delicious! I think the boys need to suck it up and try something new. My mother's meatloaf is one of the dishes I miss most from home!

  3. Wowee---never thought of eggs in guacamole, Debora...or enchiladas. Great ideas, both! And you're right, I AM the cook, dammit. Thanks so much for reading!

  4. Hi, doubt your mom is very ready to make you a meatloaf!!! Thanks for readina all the way over there in Morocco. I hope you're having a blast!

  5. I've only heard Nigella on NPR and I must agree that even her voice is unnecessarily seductive.

    I've seen the meatloaf egg but I don't think I could handle eating something that looks alarmingly like a huge eye glaring at me accusingly.

  6. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! I LOVE hard boiled eggs too. Just put the eggs in one end of the meatloaf so you can try it. :D

  7. Sharyn...I kind of like being accused by the egg "eye." It keeps me in my place!

    If you've only heard her Google her photo. Thanks for the comment!

  8. Now there's a fabulous idea, Maria!!

  9. Mrs. Szold, I'LL eat the hardboiled egg in meatloaf :)

  10. And I'll be happy to make it for you, Katie!

  11. I love eggs and I'm with Katie, I'll come eat it. I say make the meatloaf with eggs in. If your guys won't eat it, they obviously aren't hungry... you can then get angry and throw things and cry - this has been professionally diagnosed as good for you, right? Nigella's groaning ticks me off, but perhaps she just has backache from carrying her chest around??? :-)

  12. You are right, Janet. If they were hungry, they'd darn well eat it.

    Nigella also wrapped her meat loaf in a snug bunting of bacon...

  13. I too am writing a post about becoming a serial killer! O wait...that was just the last part. Never mind.

    But I would most definitely try your meatloaf and eggs. Love eggs, love meatloaf. Why not?

    Also, I signed up for Charlie's newsletter. Just doing my best to get you to love me more!

  14. Very funny post. Just last night I was telling my daughter that Nigella always has that 'cat that ate the canary' smirk on her face; like she knows a secret we don't know. Well, the secret is that old cliche: SEX SELLS. Especially to men and even to women. Nigella and Giada keep you watching to get to the commercial to buy the products. Bottom line.

  15. Cat, I already loved you a hell of a lot but thanks for signing up for Charlie's newsletter. I think you will really enjoy it.

    And if you become a serial killer, I promise to become one, too.

  16. You are so right, pammypoo---it's hard to avert one's eyes but Nigella is much "dirtier" than Giada, don't you think?

  17. hahaha!!!! tell me you made it anyways. i mean really, i am sure you trump all the testosterone in that place no?
    oh how i've missed you!!

  18. I should have but I didn't. Next time. Tommy kind of scared me, Bee.

  19. more Nigella posts please


  20. Thanks for the comment, Lance. I will try but received some serious (scary) hate mail regarding this post from guys who thought I had sinned against her.

    My aim is to poke fun not hurt feelings and I am relieved that you got that---I hope.

    In any case, thanks for reading!!

  21. HA!

    I used to watch her years ago. My then other wife swore I was cheating on her w Nigella. I've remarried, and my wife now makes sure I don't know what channel Nigella is on.


    glad I found your blog...we used the same picture of St Patrick for our St Patrick's day posts.

  22. Nigella is a strumpet. Gotta love it.