Last week Thomas Sutcliffe tried to work up an appetite for TV cookery programmes
Here is a recipe for recreational cooking: take a cookbook, find the recipe you want, note down the ingredients, go to the shops and buy what you need, return to your kitchen and cook what you have bought, serve on a plate, eat. Use your imagination, make your own mistakes, learn from them. Why let a grinning, swilling TV cook take away the mystery and the enjoyment? You might as well head for the chiller department in M&S and heat and serve. Stand the heat, get into the kitchen.
Today's TV chefs are an anomaly. Working women have little time or energy for cooking, and serve pre-cooked food from supermarkets. Cookery programmes should concentrate on helping them, or on haute cuisine as entertainment.
Delia Smith clones should be sought - honest and helpful. Why not have a series on dishes that cannot be pre-cooked - a souffle, simple when explained, or things to do with batter, or Irish soda bread - a lifeline when shops are shut.
For cooking buffs, a series on master dishes by experts would be inspiring and might preserve the art of creative cooking.
What daytime television viewers need - almost by definition, I would suggest, since an addiction to that kind of programming suggests deficiencies in some key areas - is an education in the basic principles of the kitchen. A short course in domestic science, with lessons on why a souffle rises, how to recognise fresh produce, would be infinitely more valuable than a teasing invitation to spend vast sums on exotic ingredients for frou- frou dishes made to impress the neighbours.
Life & Style blogs
Three in every four British men will be overweight by 2030, says World Health Organisation
Rihanna's Met Gala dress took one Chinese woman 2 years to make, was reduced to omelette meme in 2 seconds
How to gain confidence and maximise your sexual potential
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
The 12 most sexually satisfied countries in the world revealed
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
- 1 Katie Hopkins gives rare glimpse of sensitive side with heartfelt open letter to her children penned in case she dies from epilepsy
- 2 Rihanna's Met Gala dress took one Chinese woman 2 years to make, was reduced to omelette meme in 2 seconds
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...