4 Fat Ladies watch the 2 Fat Ladies. (Marathon)

Maggie Ruggiero’s homemade wine

In the late 90’s, the wonderful Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson hosted a very unique, off-the-cuff, and highly original cooking program. It was called the 2 Fat Ladies. These two, admittedly large women rode around on a motorbike (with a sidecar), cooked with plenty of lard, and could sometimes be seen taking to the fields with rifles, skirts hiked up, to hunt for wild animals. Jennifer was known also to chain smoke. (Sometimes in the middle of cooking).

To celebrate their marathon of episodes on New Year’s Day, I invited my own very special ‘fat ladies’ over to eat, drink and be merry, fat ladies style. We cooked up an inspired menu (laden with pork) while we sat glued to the tele watching the programs, back to back.

(aka. Maggie’s homemade wine)

It’s best if you make it a couple of days ahead to let flavors bloom. This recipe makes 5 bottles… the hardest thing is getting the labels off the bottles…. you’ll need 1 extra empty bottle.

4 bottles Rosé 
(bottles with corks are a nice touch but screw tops are fine)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/3 cups Lillet Blanc

1 ¼ cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries

Zest of 2 grapefruits, removed in long strips

Zest of 4 oranges, removed in long strips

METHOD: Remove labels from bottles. Stir together the winesugar, and Lillet in a pot. Divide zests and cranberries between 5 bottles. There’s a cool trick with getting the zest in… just feed it in while turning the bottle… Bring wine mixture just to a simmer making sure sugar is dissolved. Funnel hot wine into the 5 bottles. Cool 1 hour then cork and chill at least 2 days.

Kept chilled, the wine will last a month.


Maggie Ruggiero is a NY based food stylist. Her fabulous work can be seen at http://www.maggieruggiero.com/
She was Food Editor/Stylist at the now defunct Gourmet magazine and she is not at all fat.

Photograph by Andrew Purcell


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