Monday 25 January 2010

A history of Delia Smith

Delia Smith's Book of Cakes has been central to the success of the New History Lab. The earliest cakes I made came from a slightly disintegrated old copy. The BBC have currently run a series of programmes on this national institution. The three episodes broadcast thus far are available on the iplayer (ep. 1; ep. 2; ep. 3). As a bonus, the whole thing is narrated by another venerable national institution, Stephen Fry. This is quite a few things in one. Firstly, it looks at Delia's cookery, with some yummy recipes. Secondly, it shows the changes in broadcasting. Perhaps the hints, however, at changing diets are the most interesting. The archive footage affords us glimpses. Ye olden Delia's suggestion that she rather enjoys a baked lasagna, is fascinating, as she points to the sheets of eggy goodness needed to make it. It's worth watching. It's history in the making too, as Delia's Complete Cookery Course will be read by historians in the future as we read Mrs Beeton today.