Sunday, July 20, 2008


Posh Nosh

When the British cop shows are shown on public television here in the States, they usually end somewhat early (they’re shown with no advertising breaks), and a bit of filler is needed to bring things up to the next hour and the next show. One of our local public TV stations has taken to inserting episodes of Posh Nosh to accomplish that.

Posh Nosh is a short bit of satire — each episode is only ten minutes — that pokes fun at gourmet-cooking shows. Richard Grant and Arabella Weir portray “Simon and Minty Marchmont” (names that ought to be right out of Saki or P.G. Wodehouse), as they do an over-the-top spoof of a cooking show, mixing a bit of spousal bickering into the crème anglaise. The show ran briefly in 2003.

I especially like the way Minty, who recites the “recipes” as she puts them together, uses inappropriate verbs and adjectives along the way. Here’s a transcript of one that I saw the other day, “Birthday Parties”, just excerpting the recipe for a chocolate-almond-chestnut torte (exactly what you’d serve at a child’s birthday party, hm?):

Waltz 50 grams of organic unsalted organic butter around a highly sprung cake tin. Make sure you cover every inch — Simon’s very strict with me when I’m butter waltzing. And then, line the bottom with baking parchment. 500 grams of fresh French chestnuts. We did our chestnut run to Provence last week. Hot-bubble your chestnuts in goat’s milk ’til queasy — ten minutes or so — then, disappoint. Save the milk for your cat. Into your mixer go the disappointed chestnuts, and some whole, blanched almonds from Spain. Vulgarize the nuts and chocolate.

Put 120 grams of organic unsalted organic butter plus 250 grams of organic caster sugar into your other mixer, and disorientate until they’re the colour of sunrise over the Duke of Dorset’s villa in Tuscany, where I met Sir Elton John. Swish chocolate and nut melange. Pirouette a quarter of the adopted egg whites into the chocolate mix. D’you see how excited it is? Well, the eggs will relax it. Nurture the remainder. Now, that’s the perfect cake mix: serene, but not comatose.

Time to lower it into the cake tin. Forewarn your Aga to 150, and furnace for about 46 minutes.


D. said...

I'd never heard of Posh Nosh before, but this post prompted me to check it out on YouTube. The episode you refer to isn't there, but there are several others. Very funny!

thomwatson said...

We adore Posh Nosh, and I'm so glad you posted your transcript; we were always confused as to why she kept referring to the cooker as an "augur," and hadn't realized it was an example of intrusive r and actually was "Aga."

jason said...

D., the episode is on youtube. Simply search for "Posh Nosh" and "Birthday Parties" or follow this link: