Fiona Duff: Take comfort in ordering takeaway

Chef Jamie Oliver presents  Jamie's Comfort Food.
Chef Jamie Oliver presents Jamie's Comfort Food.
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So tonight, just like last ­Monday, I’ll be watching Jamie’s Comfort Food on the gogglebox. Talk about ­carbohydrate porn – I swear that just looking at the food he produced last week piled on the pounds.

Now I do have a slight issue with this programme – while I agree with many of Mr Oliver’s campaigns for better food in school and revealing the nasty practices of some fast food ­companies, I don’t share his idea of “comfort food”.

Basting burgers with mustard, soaking onion rings in vinegar and making one’s own Marie Rose sauce is the stuff of sweat and tears. And when it comes to making your own marshmallow, not to mention scraping out lobster innards to put into a macaroni cheese, well I almost had palpitations thinking about the effort involved.

Then again, the racing heart may have had something to do with the handsome friend he had beside him who was apparently a “barbeque expert”, which sounds like a job that is up there on a par with chocolate taster in a teenager’s wish list of careers. If there’s one thing Jamie always provides other than delicious looking food, it’s ­attractive people – from his gorgeous kids to man pals who are as tasty as his steak and kidney pudding.

In my life, the clue to ­comfort food is in the name – it is ­generally accompanied by the sound of a ping or a ding-dong. It should be prepared while I am lying flat out on the sofa while the microwave does its job or a nice man from Edinburgh ­Rendezvous turns up with my crispy duck and prawn wontons. Comfort food equates to laziness to be honest – it should be easy but delicious as well as immediate on both arrival and pleasure.

If you aren’t in the mood to create food, what is the point in spending ages making a sauce when someone else can do it quicker and better? There is no comfort in standing over a hot stove.

I ain’t no kitchen dodger. When I’m in the mood I like ­making meals almost as much as I like ­eating them.

But if Jamie wants to me to try his ­ultimate cheese burger he’s going to have come round and cook it for me. If he brings his mate it could turn out to be the perfect evening.

California dreaming after discount

Do you remember a time when everyone bought their jeans from Gap?

When the shop first opened in the UK it was so exciting – we thought we were getting a part of the effortless West Coast cool that some Americans pull off so well.

I haven’t been in one of their shops for years, but last week, desperate to find some denim that fitted properly without costing a fortune, I darkened their doorstep on my mission.

And yes, I found a pair that snugly fitted my strange middle-aged body – they cost a bit more than my usual purchases from M&S, but at least I could be seen in public wearing them, not to mention being able to sit down without the waistband straining like the rope in a tug of war contest. At the checkout I was given a whopping 30 per cent discount in exchange for my e-mail address.

At this rate, I’ll be able to afford to go to California and show them off properly.

Taking cakes to the Maxine

For a couple of months now there has been an intriguing sign in a window on Queensferry Street announcing that Maxine would be arriving soon.

Whoever she is, I thought, she doesn’t half take her time to get here.

But now the mystery has been revealed – it is a new bakery.

Mind you, revealed is hardly the word to be used as I couldn’t get near the window to have a look at the cakes due to a large group of ladies positively ­salivating as they oooohed and aaaahhhed over the display.

What with this and the ­fantastic Afogato ice cream shop across the road, those nicely fitted jeans may be a tad on the tight side in a couple of weeks.

Channelling trouble with my TalkTalk TV

DOES anyone in Edinburgh work for TalkTalk?

I only ask as I really need to speak to someone about the new television service they set up in my home.

Well, they sent me the equipment and we seem to have made a dog’s dinner out of attempting to put it all together. It freezes, playback doesn’t work half the time and the TV screen is in danger of being broken by a flying zapper.

The man who was so chatty and persuasive on the phone is nowhere to be found, and his colleague in the call centre at the other side of the world didn’t have much more of a clue than yours truly.

So please TalkTalk, come and SeeSee me before I have to give up and return to the dismal life that is Freeview, which I reckon is so named because no one would actually pay for the service it provides.