Saturday, 20 October 2007

Editing Power

It's now commonly accepted that you can no longer trust what you see in the media. Whether it's Gordon Ramsay spearfishing in Cornwall, Culture Secretary James Purnell being photoshopped into a hospital photograph or the Mirror's hoaxed pictures of British soldiers abusing Iraqis, decisions are being made by editors on whether duping the public is an acceptable thing to do. Much of it comes back to money again.

The Gordon Ramsay brand is about machismo, and spear fishing certainly helps to make him look like "fucking action man" as he so eloquently described himself at the time. Sensationalist photos on the front of the Mirror are there to sell more copies of the paper and nothing more. When Purnell himself was caught out, it exposed his own hypocrisy on the matter, as he had only recently told broadcasters to "put your house in order" over the recent string of fakery rows and phone-in quiz scandals. Yet it seems nothing really changes. Piers Morgan is still free to make millions from his books and TV deals, Ramsay carries on building his empire, compensating for his fishing failure by swearing even more. Purnell keeps his job in the cabinet. We accept it and maybe even begin to expect it. Don't even get me started on advertising imagery.

So if you can't beat them, join them.

With a bandaged thumb and limited movement at the joint, I was potentially out of kitchen action for a few days. However I'd already bought the ingredients for some beef wellingtons I'd been planning, and not wanting to waste the fillet steaks I decided to soldier on anyway. The Wellingtons were pretty tricky to assemble, with the steaks being wrapped in parma ham, a mushroom duxelle, a chive pancake, and then a final layer of puff pastry which has been rolled and kneaded for 10 minutes to break down the layers. As I couldn't get my thumb dirty or wet, this was a hugely tricky procedure.

I served them with fondant potato "chips", sauteed brussel sprouts with garlic and bacon, and a madeira reduction.

See that? That's tough cooking that is. Not for wimps. I can hang with you, Gordon. Next time you want to spear some fish, call me on 0800 TOUGH NUTS. Want to know how I managed to keep my bandage dry? I removed it. In fact I removed the rest of my thumb too because it was getting in the way. Because I'm hard. I'm action man. Thumbs are for chimps and hitchhikers, and I'm no hitchiking chimp.

No comments: