Poor old Tracy

Posted by Jeni in Great Food Live | 2 April 2007

It's 18.45 and Tracy is about to be convicted of killing Charlie Stubbs in 45 minutes so I'd better be quick.

I've just been up the Kings Road, not a million miles from the flat, and down past the Thames, which was high and fast rolling today. The sun on the boats made it look, and feel, like Amsterdam.

Over Battersea Bridge, down Beaufort Street and onto the Kings Road. It was nearly empty as all the Toffs have gone off for half term. So my companion and I sauntered leisurely up the street looking at the chocolates, dresses and shoes. And then into my favourite shop, Wilde Ones. It sells everything from Navajo Indian bracelets, in bright blue tourquoise, to rare Adventurine.

I bought two gifts, one for my make-up woman and one for my dresser.

The young man who sold them to me is a font of knowledge. It's worth going in just to learn that Tourquoise is good for the throat chakra, helps you speak your truth and that Quartz crystal protects and gives clarity, both of which wouldn't go amiss at the moment.

So, on today's programme (one down and just four to go), Ed Baines talked about his life and cooked Fish Splodge from Willie Fowlers 'Countryman's Cooking' book. We had the publisher on the telephone talking about the book which he discovered in an Oxfam shop. He found it such a hoot that he published it himself and it has beome a runaway hit.

It is alternately sexist and utterly un-PC, but way ahead of the game when it comes to the treatment and preparation of animals. I quote: 'Smoked salmon is a fish that should be taken early in the season, and sent straight to the curers. The Jews do some of the best work; there is an excellent firm on the edge of Soho....' I love it. How times have changed.

Ed also cooked his Desert Island Dish - Steak with mushrooms and sauted potatoes. I can't remember much of what else was in it as I had shared six fab tipples with Sue Barrie. We had a bottle off bubbly that cost 50 and tasted a million dollars. I was a little squiffy, I admit. I know I caused concern because the Editor spoke very carefully down my earpiece. Eeee... the power of live television, it's a good job I am SO responsible!

The Body (Frank) Bordoni made something wonderful with duck. He smoked it. Not literally. He didn't roll it in a Rizla and have a puff, but he put tea leaves in the bottom off a saucepan along with some lemon zest and by jingo it tasted fab. Pomegranate is on almost all the shows at the moment. The seeds are like jewels and the molasses that come from the fruit is unctious, posh and very delicious.

All in all, the show went so quickly. It sped by like a tandem going down hill, it did. I sound like Russell Brand.

I've got 15 minutes before tracy Barlow leaves The Street so I had better hurry.

It does appear to be a time of new beginnings. GFL coming to an end is also a new beginning. Jim starting at the Globe is a new beginning. And the ends of my pyjamas are all frayed so it looks like I'll need a new pair of jim-jams.

Now the reason I share this with you, is so that I can set the scene for you.

Unlike Barbara Cartland, I do not sit up in bed surrounded by chocolate boxes and pink chihuahuas. Nor do I work from a little shed with a lunch box at my feet like Roald Dahl. If I am in London I sit with my right shoulder to the Thames, and my right ear to my music. At the moment a geezer from West Africa is wailing at me - wonderful.

When I come home from the studio I step out of my clothes into my frayed pyjama trousers and tatty sweater then write for as long as my eyes, fingers and brain will allow.

My computer is in a little office, surrounded by books, pictures of family and friends. All sorts of letters and messages are stuck everywhere. The kitchen is behind me. At home in the cottage I work in either the studio at the end of the garden or in the baby room where BeeBee grew up. Either way, I have been known to disrobe usually because I have pressed the wrong key and wiped out all my work. I get so hot and flustered that working naked cools things down. Not an image I wish to encourage in your mind, but when the heat is on the vest is off.

As I write, I am wearing a sweater that was retrieved from being sold on ebay. One leg of my frayed pj's is above my right knee. The other is tangled round my toe. My right foot is balanced on my left. My rings are in the bedroom, the telly is on and I am about to eat a Thai chicken curry which they will bring me up from the restaurant downstairs.

Poor old Tracy is going down for years, i.e. she has opted to leave the Street and move onto pastures knew.

Hurrah for new beginnings, I say, even if they do make for uncomfortable nights and weary days. Anything that will stop Dierdre from smoking so many fags outside her house. And from Ken nag, nag, nagging at her. Roll on a new story line, I say, for them and me.

That's if for now. Cu2morrer.

Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes


1. At April 2, 2007 11:42 PM Sally wrote:

Hi Jeni, Just got home and have had a chance to see last Friday's GFL and, yes, I am "Sally from Bucks" - thanks for giving me so many plugs - gives me yet another chance to spray my family with copies of me on TV - I've definitely had more than my 15 mins of fame!! Thanks so much, I so enjoyed it - husband dropped off after the third mention - I think it was jealousy. I'm relishing this week's shows but am dreading Friday but not as much as you, of course. Love, Sxxxx

2. At April 3, 2007 12:10 AM john from shotts,scotland wrote:

Hi, Jeni, cannot believe the better half and I are watching the last week of GFL and your hilarious antics!
Will they give you a new programme on UKTV Food or are they only 'stringing us along'(your fans)?
We will miss you very much, but wait -with baited breath-for news of your new show!
What's up with BBC or ITV are they blind to your talents?
God Bless, John and Anne.

3. At April 3, 2007 12:12 AM Lindy (from Inverness) wrote:

Hi Jeni
Loved tonight's show. Can't believe we are only getting only 4 more. I always looked forward to watching GFL at 10pm each night, you will be greatly missed. You always made us smile and laugh whilst still producing a great show.
Love Lindy

4. At April 3, 2007 4:09 AM christian wrote:

Hi Jeni

Do people know that you only watch the Street, becuase that Yorkshire git of a hubby used to be on it??
Remember Sherry Blairs stepmu was Elsie Tanner after all ???

5. At April 3, 2007 8:15 AM Rhianon wrote:

Fast and rolling Thames. That sounds good. Remember the bit in 'Heart of Darkness', early on in the book where he talkes about the Thames?
I hope this week is wonderful for you and all your people on G.F.L., full of billiant memories and fun, and sod the execs with no insight. Pointless bunch. WE'RE ALWAYS WITH YOU, YEAH?

6. At April 3, 2007 1:41 PM Dave, Bridgwater wrote:

Well enjoyed yesterdays show, yet again :) Keep it up for the rest of the week - as you said yesterday 'what can they do to you now'

Both my partner and I have loved your antics, aswell as the content and really hope to see you on our screens again very soon.

I have my sister and family desending on us for the easter weekend - from thursday, so had better warn them that we will be glued to your last two shows (as always)

All the very best and sock it em

Love Dave and Andy XXX

7. At April 3, 2007 8:28 PM Jennifer Cardy wrote:

Hi Jeni and all the GFL team.

I've been watching the show since I came back from Uni last year and have managed to work it in to my daily routine, if not once but twice a day now !!!

It's not fair that you are going. I'm going to get a petition started like the one for road tax. I'd rather watch you than drive anyway !

Thanks for a great few months, Best Wishes Jen xxx

8. At April 3, 2007 8:48 PM Leanne wrote:

I too am gutted that GFL will finish on Friday. I must have watched 90% of all of the GFL programmes during the past 5.5 years and cannot believe that it's being axed - unbelieveable. I guess all good things must come to an end but even so, I am not looking forward to next Monday when you're gone from our screens Jeni.

You are a very talented presenter with the most amazing energy and personality when you are behind the camera, something alot of people envy I'm sure!

You've kept me and my Mum and Dad going over the past few years, my Mum's been very poorly with anxiety and depression and the only thing which has kept her 'sane' every lunchtime is the prospect of watching you and the team on GFL. It's given her something else to focus on and some welcome light relief!! We love watching your reactions when you put the first forkfull of food into your mouth, we always know you're going to love it!!!

All that remains to say is that we (Mum, Dad and I) wish you every success in your future endeavours and hope to see you on the TV again very soon, you will be sadly missed.

Thanks again to you and the team for all the fantastic GFL episodes over the past 5.5 years.

With all our love,
Leanne, Charles and Pauline (Mum & Dad!) xxx

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.