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Rifling Through My Drawers
Rifling Through My Drawers by Clarissa Dickson Wright
Clarissa Dickson Wright, famously one of 2 Fat Ladies takes us on a fabulous foodie jaunt through Britain in her book Rifling Through My Drawers. As you might expect from the title, this book is highly humorous, outspoken, contentious and passionate and hugely entertaining. Clarissa Dickson Wright (sometimes wrongly spelled Dixon Wright) takes us with her on a journey through one year of her life. She begins in January with dry rot, and ends with Christmas and caviar, barely pausing for breath en route.
At first I was expecting something as spectacular as her autobiography, Spilling the Beans, and when I began this book, it was a little disappointing. Only when I realised that Spilling the Beans was a massive life lived in brilliant technicolour and that this book is an exquisite trinket box full of the tiny little jewels of Clarissa's everyday life did I begin to savour this book for itself; a contraversial, informative and entertaining yarn that's also a jolly good read.
You'll be swung though Britain, introduced to a constellation of stars, and you'll be left in no doubt what the author thinks of them. On the first few pages you'll meet Clarissa's friends, Kate Adie, (who was one of the joys of this particular tour), and the 'dreaded Roy Hattersley'. These are just the first of many.
Clarissa Dickson Wright will leave you in no doubt about her opinions. They may clash with yours, (and they certainly clash with many of mine!), but she always backs them up with her knowledge and intelligent thoughtfulness.
I'm sure you'll enjoy rifling through these particular drawers and you'll be pleased and perhaps shocked at what you find there.
Sadly, Clarissa Dickson Wright died on 15th March 2014
Rifling Through My Drawers - Buy now from Amazon
A charming romp through the Englsih countryside in search of food and good living. Opinionated and never too shy to share, Clarissa will outrage and delight you in equal measures with her outspoken ideas on - well, almost everything. Love her or hate her there's something here for everyone to enjoy.
Sadly Clarissa Dickson Wright Died on Saturday 15th March 2014
she will be missed!
Clarissa Dickson Wright joins the late Jennifer Paterson at last. Clarissa passed away at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh at the age of 66.
Funny, outspoken, radical and, above all, intelligent, Clarissa will be missed by all her fans, including me.
On Radio 4's Desert Island Discs first broadcast in 1999 she said of Jenifer Paterson's death from cancer that:
"She died magnificently, she was an example to all of us, if I can die that well I should be very happy."
I do hope she would be proud of her own life and of her death.
Clarissa Dickson Wright is the Queen of Extreme
Dixon Wright is so non-PC you won't believe it!
Rifling Through My Draws is, at face value, a monthly account of a year in the life of this cook clbre, but there is just so much more. Clarissa gallops from January to December, recounting encounters with 'rather good' men, social and professional engagements, sejoures with gourmet friends and scuffles with 'the antis'.
All in a days work for Clarissa.
But to this she adds a Pandora's box of opinions from vegetarianism to Gordon Brown. She vents her spleen against the 'fluffy bunny brigade', Tony Blaire and all manner of movements and people, whilst singing the praises of the countryside, the hunt fishing and Guernsey cows.
Love her or hate her, Clarissa is amusing, outspoken, and perhaps, in the end, and regretfully, right. Who knows?
Clarissa has told us to eat badger! Whatever next?
Lots of Seasonal Recipes
You get value for money!
The book is divided into twelve chapters, a chapter for each month, and each chapter of the book begins with a little rural English saying, pertinent to the month in question. January's two-liner is 'Snout's high, snow is nigh ....' Just a nice little touch to set the country scene.
Each chapter ends with a recipe. These are varied and seasonal. The venison Scotch Eggs was March's recipe and I read this book at the beginning of April. It inspired me to attempt my very first Scotch Egg. Sadly, not with venison though.
They were easier to make than I thought and wildly delicious which meant that we ate too many too quickly. I'll be making these again!
January - Tropical Cake
February Bath Buns
March Venison Scotch Eggs
April White Pit milk pudding from Gloucestershire/ Somerset borders
May Moroccan Trout
June Broad Bean Puree
July Raspberry Souffle Omlette
August Asian Beef Salad
September Partrige and Potato Cutlets
October Walnut Biscuits
November Stuffed Sprats
December Galette des Rois Something that we have in Limousin, France
Clarissa Dickson Wright Talks About Rifling Through my Drawers - Straight from the horses mouth!
Who is Clarissa Dickson Wright?
I first knew her as one of 2 fat ladies
No, this is not a horrible, personal comment, but rather a charming tribute to two wonderfully colourful characters.
Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson were the Two Fat Ladies that burst onto our TV screens with their 'posh nosh' and country gentry lifestyles. The pilot for Two Fat Ladies was made in 1994 and for the next few years this ebullient pair zoomed around Britain on a motor bike and side car. (Jennifer did the driving!) The series ended with the death of Jennifer in 1999.
Clarissa is now known as an English celebrity chef and food historian but she is so much more. She trained as a lawyer, and, at the age of 21 she became the country's youngest woman barrister. She is also one of only two women in England to become a guild butcher.
Clarissa Dickson Wright was born on the 28th June in 1947. Her father, Arthur Dickson Wright, was a famous and respected surgeon to the Royal Family, and her mother, Molly, was an Australian heiress. Clarissa, together with her three siblings, grew up within this wealthy family, but all was not a bed of roses. Clarissa's father was an alcoholic who subjected his wife and children to verbal and physical abuse and in 1975, she inherited 2.8 million which ....
Well, I'm not going to spill any more beans! You really must read Clarissa's astonishing book to find out more about her unbelievable background and life.
Spilling the Beans - Clarissa Dickson Wright autobiography
Rifling Through my Drawers was written just after Clarissa's best selling autobiography, Spilling the Beans, and there are many references to the amazing riches to rags story, of her wife-beating celebrity surgeon father, the sad story of her brother, and her own claim to fame as the youngest woman ever to be admitted to the bar.
I strongly advise you to read this first, and then settle down to the alltogether more believable goings on in 'Rifling'.
Clarissa Theresa Philomena Aileen Mary Josephine Agnes Elsie Trilby Louise Esmerelda Dickson Wright
What's in a name?
Well, quite a lot when it comes to Clarissa's name. In Spilling the Beans Clarissa tells the tale of the choice of her first name. Apparently, the discussion of what to call her took place in the household library and it was decided that a book be chosen at random and from this a name for the child would be chosen. The book that came to hand was 'Clarissa' by Samuel Richardson and so the deed was done.
(I recount this from memory, so please forgive me if I have mis-remembered the details, the gist is correct, I'm sure.)
I wonder where the other names came from!
So there you have it, a conglomerate year in the life of Clarissa.
Rate it, if you dare...
On a scale of 1-7, what did you REALLY think?
The best line ever:
I spent my winnings on Wales beating Australia at rugby on beluga caviar.
Meet The Two Fat Ladies - Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson
Clarissa's England - Clarissa Dickson Wright's latest book
Clarissa's England is the latest book about this larger-than-life cook's exploits as she romps and rolls through jolly England.
She visits friends, eats and chats with all and sundry in her own inimitable way.
Catch up with Clarissa's latest opinions and unspeakable exhortations.