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Dear Delia

February 8, 2010

Dear Delia

I know this will seem a little weird to read. I know if I had something sent to me as a result of being on television, I’d feel a little freaked.

Don’t be. It’s meant with love – that non-scary kind of love.

I’ve just finished watching your “Delia through the Decades” thing on BBC Two.

At the risk of appearing like some kind of fawning imbecile, it’s been one of the few things I’ve actively looked forward to watching when I’ve got home from work.

In the media world, that kind of “appointment to view” television is a thing of the past. It’s the kind of television commissioners snort at with derision. ‘Why would anyone look forward to a programme being broadcast at a particular moment in time when they have the marvellous BBC iPlayer?’

Those commissioners reveal their shameful lack of intuition about what some of us staunchily defend as the shortcut to our hearts.

In case you’re not already aware, there are some things which are guaranteed to ease a troubled day. Just as reliable as a large glass of red wine, so too anything you agree to be involved in is sure to remind us that workaday stresses can be eased by a spot of solitary self-indulgence chopping onions or stirring casseroles in the kitchen.

Recently, my Significant Other has repeatedly requested the Vietnamese Prawn Wraps from the 21st Century How to Cheat book. Only the other day, I threw caution to the wind and had a stab at the Morrocan Chicken with Chick Peas. Both of us were suitably impressed. We raised a glass. I nodded towards the Winter Collection in smug self-satisfaction. ‘It’s a Delia,’ I explained. ‘I thought as much,’ he replied.

But as I watch the last episode from your “Delia through the Decades“, I wonder whether I might ask the worst kind of question a predictable (but otherwise normal) fan is bound to ask you.

Might you possibly offer an invitation to visit you at your home in Suffolk where you can show me how your country pate really should turn out? Could we eat it with freshly made wholemeal bread, sat in your summer house with your lovely cat prowling somewhere nearby?

Maybe if there’s time, could you provide me with a live demonstration of the sausage rolls you included in your Christmas recipe book last year? My neighbour popped round with a plateful and they were glorious. I missed that episode. I have the book but really I’d like to see you make them. You know. In person, so to speak. Not in a scary way. In a nice, grown up, friendly way.

And could I bring my mum and dad? Given my Mum queued for hours to get your Vegetarian Collection book signed for a Christmas present of mine, I figure this is the least I can do to make her day.

Obviously, I don’t want to appear like some kind of scary fan. But if there was any chance, I should of course be eternally grateful.

Fluff and respect (I don’t dish this out for everyone, you know.)

Mr Jacob x

PS Aside from my obsessive love of the Eurovision, I’m quite normal really. Just ask my boss.

  1. Oh yes! Am also finding Delia through the Decades UNMISSABLE. And I swear by her recipes. There are certain things I simply know I CAN cook but it is infinitely more comfortable and comforting having the book open on the right page whilst I’m so doing!

    If you should happen to be granted an audience, I wonder if you’d consider taking me along with you … I could only add to the general ambience of uncreepy, grown up, friendly fanship! x

  2. We too have enjoyed our regular Monday evening appointments with Delia – although I have to fast forward through that bizarre opening credit where she looks like she’s fixating on thin air like a simpleton.

    It’s been a very affectionate and quite witty retrospective of her tv life and I’m glad she passed our way. Can’t pretend to have ever attempted any of her recipes although I know Mrs P has – we have a number of the books so she must have. Mustn’t she?

    I can’t help but think that when she and her husband finally pass away into that great galley in the sky, Norwich City is going to come in for an awful lot of money.

    • Your cynicism is not doing my chances of a special invitation to Chez Delia no good whatsoever. 😉

  3. I have to say I can’t bear Delia’s delivery these days – it’s just so plodding and stilted. This said, I will not fault her cooking. That Moroccan chicken and chickpeas (the one-pot job with lemons and olives, yes?) is one of my favourite recipes. Funny that’s the one you point out – it must be quietly building its own legend 🙂

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