17 March 2014

Requiescat in pace -- Clarissa Dickson Wright

Sad to report that Clarissa Dickson Wright , the remaining one of the Two Fat Ladies, died. 
Read Wright's amusing account of shooting the neighbor's peacock and serving it to them.  After all, who in their wright mind would waste a perfectly good peacock.

While best known for her stint as the side-car riding half of the Two Fat Ladies, Wright wrote numerous food books, including a wonderful book on game and tiny tome on the beloved haggis.  After Jennifer Patterson died, Wright teamed up with childhood friend, Johnny Scott for a British "countryside" show, Clarissa and the Countryman.

In recent years, she wrote a series of autobiographies detailing her rather wild and drunken youth.  After surviving a hard-fought struggle with alcoholism, Wright spent many years working in a cookbook store.  She was "discovered" by the legendary cooking producer, Patricia Llewellyn who teamed her with Patterson, and the rest was rollicking road trip. 

My particular favorite recipe from Wright was her Mitton of Pork, a large ball of terrine filled with bacon and pork with a bit of stuffing to bind it together. 

Mitton of Pork

8 ounces rashers streaky bacon
1 1/2 pounds pork fillet. thinly sliced
6 ounces sage and onion stuffing (not from a packet)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mace

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a 7-inch pudding basin with most of the bacon rasher, reserving a few for the top. Put in a layer of pork, then stuffing, season with salt, pepper and mace. Continue this layering process until the basin is full, finishing with the reserved bacon. Press down well, then cover tightly. Stand the basin in a baking pan to catch drips. Bake the oven for 1 hour. Place a weighted board over the pudding and leave until completely cold. Turn out the mitton and slice to serve.

 The dish was featured in the Picnic episode of The Two Fat Ladies.  I am pulling out the DVD's and spending the afternoon with dynamic duo.  No doubt Jennifer Patterson was waiting at the pearly gates with bottle of champagne, caviar and a cigarette asking what the hell Wright was doing there so soon.

 Clarissa Dickson Wright will be missed. The Guardian obituary: bit.ly/NmVV6o

1 comment:

  1. "Well, I didn't buy it at Harrod's" Oh my, that's hilarious. I used to love their show on PBS.


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