Saturday, 13 November 2010

Why I Love Nigella

"There are very few certain pleasures in life, but this is surely one of them" - Nigella Lawson

I don't know why, but somehow I feel a little embarrassed to reveal my love for Nigella. Like many of her competitors, it seems sort of unfashionable or naive to express any real delight towards her. Yet everyone seems to own a copy of Domestic Goddess, and everyone knows about her suspiciously young and mismatched set of friends who turn up for her dinner parties. Is everyone simply hiding an obsession with Nigella, behind kitchen cupboard doors, enjoyed only during times when Daniel is away at badminton practise?

Anyway, whether we try and hide our love for her or not, there are certain things about Nigella that I think most of us can agree on.

After a day spent frantically reaching for tissues and trying to sooth a scratchy and painful cough, I have spent the evening tucked up in my PJs, on the couch with a huge bowl of rice and peas (I ate Daniel's too...oops...feed a cold, feed a cold!) watching Nigella ooze that delightful thing that she oozes over Irish wheat rolls, chocolate salt bars and squid ink risotto. The whole thirty minutes I was trying to work out what it is that makes her so wonderful, what it is that excuses her fake friends and her overly perfect house (oh my, her library!). Of course, she's sexy - Daniel was hesitating at the door as he left for badminton, and that black dressing gown is really quite something - but I don't think that's it. Plenty of people are sexy, and squid ink risotto or no squid ink risotto, that doesn't make me watch them on TV (or iPlayer - we don't have TV, for the record, TV Liscensing UK). The thing is, that Nigella knows very well that she's sexy, she plays with it, she enjoys it, she's not ashamed to be completely gorgeous all over the TV screen, and from that begins my love for Nigella. How often do we see women on TV who really, truly love themselves? Nigella quite obviously doesn't care to waste her time toning her stomach or frequenting the gym; but why would she need to?

Even in the most generous sense of the term, I am by no means 'curvy'; I don't need to see curvy women in the media to feel ok with myself (a few more stumpy women with pot bellies, please!), but I love to see Nigella flaunt her wonderfully feminine figure on our TV screens, especially as she talks about how much she loves food, cooking it, eating it and over-indulging in it.

Because have you noticed that food is becoming really really popular all of a sudden? Everyone is cooking and baking, women no longer have to turn up their noses at the idea of cooking an amazing meal to feel liberated, and baking cupcakes or kneading dough is suddenly the best way to spend an evening or weekend! Awesome! And Nigella helps in this celebration of being female, cooking, eating AND being sexy without any of the painful kitsch of Cath Kidston (sorry, my own opinion only, too painfully girly for me!). Hurrah for black silk dressing gowns and Irish wheat rolls!


  1. Sometimes I wonder if I am the only person in the world who doesn't like Nigella or her cooking? I do love Cath Kidson though... We have a CK tent. It is easy to spot at festivals!

  2. I love Nigella's use of the English language, one of the reasons I love Laurence Llewllyn-Bowen. So many words out there to use and they make a bloody good job of it!
    I like a lot of her cokking. And you're right she is very comfortable in her own skin.
    But after watching her on Who do you Think you are tracing her family tree G proclaimed her an out right snob and any lustful feelings he felt for her disappeared!
    Lisa x

  3. My sentiments exactly. Sometimes I find bits of Nigella cringe-worthy, but that doesn't stop me loving her and her wonderful sexy ways. Oh and those salty chocolate bars? Oh yes!

  4. Ah, you're so right that everyone knows too much about her show for it to be plausible that they've not watched it at least a few times. For me it's the kind of thing I used to watch if I happened to catch it, when I still had a TV.
    I suppose the thing which grates a bit for me is the way she actively encourages excess in her cooking. So much of her food is 'comfort food', which isn't even something I really go for anyway, so for me it has got to the point now where I don't even want to make much of her food because I know it'd be too rich for me. I also think she can be a bit misleading about how easy something is, and I remember once when she was doing one of those programmes about fast food, her choice for a quick dinner for friends was to head out to her local Italian deli and buy what must have been at least £100 worth of antipasti. It was a tad ridiculous! Of course you can save time if you don't have to worry about saving money!

    However, I am a firm fan of anyone who promotes cooking at home and as something to do for fun, and Nigella clearly does have a real interest in food, even if her head is slightly in the clouds when it comes to how most people live. And I am a big fan of the recipes in her earlier books ... her pea risotto is my staple when the cupboards are bare, it's fantastic! And her involtini dish is one of my favourite vegetarian meals. Might have to make that soon, actually!