The Savages

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 29 October 2007

I was doing my shopping in Waitrose - ok I know its a supermarket but if I have to stock up then at least Waitrose has a conscience. I was wandering round buying bio-degradable bin bags when my phone went. It was my old producer, Lucy, from LBC.

A news story about the wastage of left over food was being featured on their daily show. Would I like to comment as the food guru for LBC? Just for a moment I had to take stock. Food Guru? Rather than decline their offer I had to adjust to my new job description. Food guru! Erroneous, but understandable. I have been fronting a food programme for the last 5 years, so rather than telling Lucy to bog off I agreed.

I ran round the aisles, talking very loudly into my mobile telephone, until I found a signal that was mutually acceptable. It happened to be, quite unintentionally, right next to the cookery book section.
James O'Brien, the host of the day, was put on the line. He's really clever, funny and a good sport. He threw me a curve ball with his first question 'Would I ever get branded'. Not in an advertising sense, but in a real hot metal sado-masochistic sense. I was in the middle of Waitrose remember. 'No,' I said, 'I would not get branded', although I did have a few very good scars from my Bosch iron.

James then asked me what I would do with left over tomatoes. I refrained from telling him that I would use them as missiles and throw them at my enemies and talked soup and sauce instead. Then I ranted on about the iniquity of food wastage. I reminded him of life in the fifties when nothing was wasted; we even licked the cream off the silver top of the milk bottle -we couldn't afford the gold - and anyway it was just a little too creamy for my liking.

But the best moment was using the cookery books as inspiration. I opened up Tana Ramsey's book, - there wasn't a left-over recipe in sight. I took great delight in slagging her off; she's probably a very decent young woman, but what would you have done?

James hung up so I bunged some recycled loo paper in the trolley and checked out. B turned up for lunch. We walked to the King's Road, bought a clock to replace the one that was walked over in the bathroom, had lunch in Picasso's, then walked back over the bridge. I hung the clock on the wall; it's terrific. I can now see it from the bed without my glasses.

B went back to Camberwell, I jumped on the 239 then walked from Oxford Circus to the Odeon in Covent garden. I have to say that Oxford Street is my least favourite place in London. Its cheap, seedy, crowded and full of mean looking people who walk into you. So I took some 'back doubles' and arrived at the cinema in time to have a sit down with a bag of nuts and a cold beer.

THE SAVAGES is a dark comedy about the death of Mr.Savage. Lorna Linney and Phillp Seymour Hoffman play the 'Savage' siblings coming to terms with the slow demise of their brutal father. It's a tight film about old age, death, grieving and dysfunctional human beings. It was written and directed by Tamara Jenkins, a neurotic American with a great sense of humour. The Q&A after the screening was a bit long winded. But I enjoyed the film, especially the golden Labrador who reminded me of Jackson.

I went into the lavatory before I left. When I came out of the cubicle there was man in front of the mirror tidying his hair. Eight other women came out of their stalls at the same time. It was a bit like a Buzby Berkley musical it was so well choreographed. We all gasped in unison. His reflection in the mirrror said, 'Are you in the gents or am I in the Ladies?' It had turned into a Greek Drama as all nine of us said, in chorus, 'You are in the Ladies'.' I left before they set about him.

A number 19 turned into Shaftsbury Avenue whilst I was standing at the bus stop. It drove past. I banged on the back of the bus as it raced by. I then ran, like Linford Christie, down Shaftsbury Avenue to the next bus stop The driver looked in his mirror, saw me, and drove off. This time I banged on the window, I was so angry, although extremely pleased with my sprint. I think I broke my own personal best. Thankfully another 19 arrived within 5 minutes.

I arrived back at the flat by 10.30.

It's now midnight. I've had a bowl of cereal with some home stewed plums, made the necessary phone calls, dealt with loads of emails and now I'm going to bed to look at my clock. It's got a lovely face.

ttfn cul8tr.

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

Comments

1. At October 30, 2007 8:32 AM Irene MacKenzie wrote:

Brilliant! Why don't all these books (or shows) give some idea what to do with all that cold chicken where it doesn't end up smushy and disintegrated in a sauce or what to do with loads of carrots or sprouts? I know Gary Rhodes has a recipe for Bubble & Squeak soup but I don't believe there are too many more. You should do the show!

2. At October 30, 2007 9:11 AM Michelle wrote:

Hi Jen,
Well what can I say! When I found out that Matt was going to be the presenter Food Poker I know it was a mistake. I tuned in yesterday to hear you voice over and may I say your wit is the only saving grace of this show. What must they have been thinking of! You go girl at any opportunity to have a go at Tana, how can anyone be that skinny and enjoy food. Posh is her best friend for goodness sake! Enjoying the blog as ever.
Lots of love, Michelle x

3. At October 30, 2007 12:41 PM Libby wrote:

Have to agree - your voice sounded wonderful but it would have been SO much nicer to see you! Did you know people are STILL slagging off Marked up kitchen on UKTV Food website - would you like to join me in the "I told you so" dance???? and you can have a go at Tana (I can't even read an autocue) Ramsey anytime you want.
Lots of love
Marmite Girl xx

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.