Nadiya’s Fast Flavours


Mary Berry — Love To Cook  


Get rid of the bicarb.

In the golden age of good food, every dish was coated in gloop, and all vegetables were sold in cans. Back then, medicine cabinets held tablets to treat stomach cramps.

Commercial breaks were filled with advertisements for Antacids and Tums as well as Rennies, Alka-Seltzer and Rennies.

Although you can still buy them, we do not eat them like candy anymore. These slogans have become national catch phrases. ‘Plink-plink fizz!’ we said, doubled over with acid reflux.

Nadiya Hussain's Fast Flavours (BBC2) is a hymn to what she calls ‘comfort food’, could be renamed Nadiya’s Indigestion Attack

Nadiya Hussain’s Fast Flavours (BBC2) is a hymn to what she calls ‘comfort food’, could be renamed Nadiya’s Indigestion Attack

Nadiyahussain wants to bring back those good times. Her Fast Flavours (BBC2), a hymn to what she calls ‘comfort food’, could be renamed Nadiya’s Indigestion Attack.

She opened her series with a recipe for macaroni cheese, which has inexplicably been rebranded as the American-sounding ‘mac ’n’ cheese’.

Her decision to put half a bottle of Marmite into the saucepan was not shared by everyone. ‘Ah, nectar,’ she said, sniffing the yeast extract.

‘Amber nectar’ is what Aussie comedian Paul Hogan used to croon over a warm tin of gassy Fosters — another sure-fire way to give yourself a stomach ache.

But the macaroni cheese didn’t start to look truly revolting until Nadiya took a couple of packets of Cheesy Wotsits and crumbled them into the mix.

‘They add that extreme cheesy flavour,’ she cooed. They actually add enough E numbers that you can turn your stomach to sulphur.

In case your tongue wasn’t already a permanent shade of yellow, Nadiya suggested a breezy way to make toasted brioche without eggs. Make a powdered custard by dipping slices of bread in it and then fry the results.

That’s right: bread soaked in instant custard, sizzling in a pan. Nurse, I’m going to need another packet of those plink-plink-fizzies.

Nadiya hadn’t finished comforting us with platefuls of abdominal pains. She made pudding by whipping up half a gallon ice cream and filling it with frozen blueberries. Then she whipped it in between two pieces of sponge.

She then smothered the cake in cream and crushed biscuits.

The iced blueberries, she claimed, were like ‘sorbet shots — oh my goodness, oh so good!’

Mary Berry had the answer to potato shortages on Love To Cook (BBC2): grow them in an old fish tank on the kitchen windowsill

Mary Berry discovered the secret to potato shortages while watching Love To Cook (BBC2) on Love To Cook: Grow them in an old fish aquarium on your kitchen windowsill

Rest of the thing looked like a wheelbarrow full of solidified cholesterol.

Nadiya’s innocent energy is always fun to see, and her bright outfits — this time, a neon pink jumpsuit — were matched by bright clips of ingredients bouncing and bursting against DayGlo backgrounds.

It is evident that her shows are very cheerful.

But I was grateful for an interlude with Ukrainian cook Olia Hercules, who grew up in the Soviet Union and who showed us how to make borscht or beetroot soup — a bland staple, from the era when Slavic housewives had to queue for eight hours to buy potatoes.

That should give your stomach time to heal.

Mary Berry found the solution to potato shortages in Love To Cook (BBC2) by growing potatoes in an old fish tank that was placed on the kitchen windowill.

‘So rewarding and anyone can do it,’ she declared. It’s a pity there weren’t more fish tanks back in the USSR.

One of her recipes was a vegetable noodles soup. Another recipe included a carrot cake and grated courgette. The batter is mashed together with a brown banana. ‘It’s a bit of all right,’ she said.

Mary was impressed by the diversity of vegetables, fruits, and herbs Terry Walton had grown on his allotment at the Rhondda Valley.

Terry’s secret: ‘You have to teach your palate to eat what’s in season. I never understand eating strawberries in the winter.’

I bet he’s not keen on frozen blueberry ‘sorbet shots’ either.