Lawson explains why she pronounced microwave "mee-cro-wah-vay" in a now-viral video

By Ana Calderone
April 16, 2021 02:50 PM
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Nigella Lawson recently learned the hard way that not everyone will always understand your humor.

In December, a clip of the British chef, 61, pronouncing the word microwave like mee-cro-wah-vay went viral. She was explaining the steps on how to make brown butter colcannon on her cooking show when the odd pronunciation slipped out.

The video quickly caused an uproar on Twitter and left people wondering if that is really the way Lawson says it.

"In our family we often mispronounce words. It's not that funny, but it amuses us," the mother of two tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "So when I said microwave, it was just meant to be a bit camp."

Lawson laughed it off at the time, but revealed that the joke now simply isn't the same. "I'm used to saying it at home, but now I can't say it anymore," she says. "Some people thought I really pronounced it like that. But I did it with a straight face, I suppose."

Lawson's latest cookbook, Cook, Eat, Repeat, will hit shelves on April 20. She wrote it while quarantining in her London home mostly alone.

"People think it's sad to cook for just yourself," she says. "But it's enormously enjoyable."

nigella lawson book

Cook, Eat, Repeat includes several recipes that make only one or two servings, like her Crab Mac 'n' Cheese, Short Rib Stew and Crème Caramel.

"It was the longest period of my life not feeding people," Lawson says of life during the pandemic. "I did occasionally feed that instinct by making food for friends and leaving it on my doorstep."

For more on Nigella Lawson, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.