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Old 24th January 2011   #1
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Join Date: August 2005
Posts: 352
Default Nigella Lawson: ''The Joys of Food''

It's been far too long since we made mention of Nigella Lawson on this site. Just a few months ago, she released a new cookbook, and my goodness, the way in which she describes the pleasures of food, for women, are heavenly.

Those who called for a plus-size Miss Italy, saying that such a winner "should not be an erotic figure," haven't read Nigella. The idea of a voluptuous vixen indulging herself, in the way that Nigella describes, is the epitome of feminine sensuality.

Just listen to what she says:

Nigella Lawson says diets are a fat lot of good


Domestic Goddess Nigella Lawson is urging women to give up going on diets.

The curvy TV chef says they worry too much about their weight - and she believes eating fattening food leads to a better life.

Nigella said at the launch of her new cookbook yesterday: "The joys of food are so great that I really do believe that those who cannot allow themselves to wallow in them have lesser lives.

"It's all about savouring food without guilt or shame and not thinking that less flesh - either on your plate or your skeleton - is better."

Applause. I think Nigella is promoting something more than a cookbook here. She is advancing a philosophy - a philosophy to counter the "aesthetics of guilt" and the "minimalism" that have imprisoned society for almost a century. This is Maximalism. This is the freedom, for women, to eat whatever they want and as much as they want. Not to be ashamed of their naturally insatiable appetites, but to revel in them and to take pleasure in indulgence, knowing that doing so makes them happier and more physically attractive.

The Daily Mail concurrently ran a longer article under Nigella's own name.

Every word is gold:

Nigella's pleasure principle

By Nigella Lawson

7th September 2010

There’s something intensely satisfying about cooking and eating, says Nigella Lawson – whether it’s feeding family or snatching a greedy treat – and the kitchen, her ‘messy, ramshackle sanctuary’, is no place for guilt or self-denial. Here, introducing her new cookbook, she explains what the kitchen means to her, and why food is not just for body but for soul, too.

I often feel that those of us who like cooking get an unfairly good press: we are hailed as loving, warm and nurturing. And it’s true that I am – to a fault – a feeder; there is scarcely a person who can leave my kitchen without something wrapped in foil to eat later, and just thinking about what I might cook for the next meal gives me a surge of absolute if greedy delight.

But sometimes I wonder if the interest I pay to what I might be giving someone to eat is more selfish than anything else. Of course, I want to give pleasure, but life in the kitchen is, for me, as much about personal gratification.

I’ve come to the conclusion that this is not such a bad thing...I appreciate more and more that enjoying what makes you happy in the everyday is crucially important, and that self-denial (never my forte, let’s be frank) is not the path to virtue but to unhappiness.

So yes, for me the kitchen is not merely a room, but a pleasure palace, an interior garden of sensual delights...whether it be the gorgeous, fatty richness of some long-braised belly of pork, or the melting intensity of a chocolate lime cake, dolloped shamelessly with margarita cream.

Besides, I do think that enjoying food is a way of celebrating being alive. People often say that no one lies on their deathbed wishing they’d spent more time at the office and what I’d add is that I am sure that no one lies on their deathbed saying I’m so glad I turned down the bread, the cheese, the pudding, so thrilled I spent all those years on a diet.

We are all shaped by different things in our lives, but the memory of my perpetually dieting, self-denying mother saying – once she knew she had only a few weeks to live – that this was the first time she had eaten what she wanted and could enjoy it, is still shocking to me. She was such a fantastic cook and actually understood food and the joys it could bring, but the lesson I have learnt from her self-inflicted deprivation is as much a part of her legacy to me as is My Mother’s Praised Chicken, which is the fundamental, actually essential, dish to emanate from my kitchen, as it did from hers.

I feel I eat very healthily, just a lot. So yes, I allow butter, cream and other unfashionable delights into my recipes.

I don’t eat cake every day, but when I do make one I don’t feel bad about eating a slice; having said that, even food that I can’t quite make a case for, such as crisps, I am grateful for. In the kitchen I may be more of an Italophile than a Francophile, but still I cleave to the French saying, ‘Everything in moderation – even moderation’. I may have immoderate appetites, but that gives me immoderate pleasure. And for that I am greedily grateful.

Listen to the words that she so joyfully reclaims: "selfish," "personal gratification," "immoderate pleasure," "greed." She is in tune with the themes of this Web site. These are quintessentially feminine principles.

It's tragic that we live in an age that has brainwashed women into denying themselves the food that they naturally crave, an age that has programmed them with artificial guilt. I hope that many women take Nigella's words to heart, not only as recipes for creating delectable repasts, but as recipes for personal happiness as well.
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Old 5th February 2011   #2
Join Date: March 2006
Location: Portland, OR
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Default Re: Nigella Lawson: ''The Joys of Food''

Nigella is one of my favorite television personalities exactly because of her indulgent philosophy about food. It is one that I agree with and support wholeheartedly. The idea of diet-starvation to lose weight is one of the worst things to ever happen to women. Food and drink are to be enjoyed, either with family and friends or by one's self and with great gusto! It brings people together, it nourishes and heals, it brings pleasure.

Nigella hits the nail on the head when she says that those who cannot and will not enjoy the sensual pleasures of food, especially women, have lesser lives. One wonders what else they don't enjoy?
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Old 7th February 2011   #3
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Default Re: Nigella Lawson: ''The Joys of Food''

This may be a minor point, but I was delighted to learn that Nigella Lawson is a favourite of the Vatican, and that she, in turn, is gratified by the honour.

This is an endorsement par excellence:


Monday September 6,2010

SHE'S renowned for turning grown men into dribbling fools with her way with a cupcake but is the Pope a fan of domestic goddess Nigella Lawson?

For the voluptuous cook says she is especially “proud” that her television shows are now being shown on Vatican TV, the specialist channel of the Holy See in Rome, which largely features religious-themed programmes.

I'm not really that surprised, though. Catholic art has always expressed a lush, opulent aesthetic, especially in the Counter-Reformation, to contrast itself with Protestant austerity. And the current pope is a great traditionalist, as the following article indicates, so it's all of a piece.

The love of "beauty" and "tradition" go hand in hand:

Pope's master of liturgy helps Benedict restore traditions

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A tall, reed-thin cleric with a receding hairline and wire-framed glasses, Guido Marini, 45, perched behind the pope's left shoulder, bowed with him at the altar and adjusted the pontiff's lush robes. As Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, he shadows the pope's every move and makes sure that every candle, Gregorian chant and gilded vestment is exactly as he, the pope and God intended it to be.

"The criterion is that it is beautiful," Marini said.

Some of the key trappings of the Mass - the vestments and vernacular, the "smells and bells" - have taken on a more ancient air since Benedict succeeded John Paul II, and since Marini succeeded Piero Marini.

Since the Marini II era began in October 2007, the papal Masses clearly have a stronger traditional element.

For Marini, Gregorian chants must be the music of the church because they best interpret the liturgy. And in September, ahead of the pope's visit to Britain, Marini told the Scottish paper the Herald that the pope would celebrate all the Prefaces and Canons of his Masses in Latin.

"Now there is a different style, one that is more sober and more attentive to the essential things," said Guido Marini, who, like his predecessor, hails from northern Italy but who, like the pope, expresses admiration for the old Latin Mass.

Perhaps the most apparent and luxurious sign of the new era is the pope's vestments. Benedict has worn an ancient form of the pallium, or cloak, preferred by first-millennium pontiffs. He also brought back the ermine-trimmed red satin mozzetta, a short cape.

"The pope likes...antique things," explained Marini, who compared the pope's attire to someone in a family who likes..."the treasures of the family."

"It's hard work," Marini said. "But it's beautiful."

Nigella Lawson's sensual, indulgent philosophy about food fits in perfectly with a Baroque sensibility. It's another expression, I think, of today's society rejecting minimalism and the "aesthetics of guilt" and embracing a more lush sensibility, the kind that dominated the West in art and religion and culture prior to the 20th century.
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Old 26th April 2011   #4
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Join Date: October 2010
Posts: 133
Default Re: Nigella Lawson: ''The Joys of Food''

The Daily Mail is very good about celebrating Nigella Lawson and all that she represents. The paper ran a gorgeous photograph of Nigella a couple of days ago which juxtaposes her luscious figure with some decadent food. There's something truly life-affirming about a picture such as this.

What always strikes me about Nigella is how youthful she appears. I find it hard to believe that she's 51 years old. By her age, most Hollywood actresses resemble walking cadavers, exhibiting corpse-like emaciation and leathery skin destroyed by decades of radioactive tanning. But with her fair complexion and youthful fullness, Nigella looks half her age.

In a new Daily Mail article, she attributes this youthful appearance specifically to not starving and to taking unhindered please in food.

Plus-size models certainly keep their youth far longer than their underweight rivals, and many studies have observed that plumpness preserves the youthful look of skin and of facial features, so I think Nigella has it right:

According to Nigella Lawson, the best weapon in the war against ageing is a curvy figure.

The 51-year-old is convinced that her voluptuous physique keeps her looking young and claims that she would ‘age ten years straightaway’ if she lost weight.

‘Women find it very easy to persecute themselves over their weight and whenever I’ve said, “I ought to lose a bit of weight,” I can guarantee I’ll put it on.

‘I love food and I love cooking so therefore I never deprive myself.’

Miss Lawson added that her mother’s struggles with her weight made her wary of denying herself food.

She told Australia’s Woman’s Weekly magazine: ‘When I was growing up my mother had eating disorders. Thinness mattered a lot to her. It was anorexia...Family meals were a source of great stress, an endless power struggle.

‘I vowed I was never going to be like that.’

It's sad to hear that Mrs. Lawson's mother starved herself. Thank goodness that Nigella didn't follow her mother's example, but instead became a living expression of the joys of food and the beauty of being fuller-figured.
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