I love Christmas, and I particularly love the moment when the cookbooks come out, and the menu prep starts. I am particularly thrilled this year to have a new Nigel Slater book join the gang, so thought it was good to see what others might make the group as well as Nigel. First up, Nigel Slater.
I adore Nigel Slater. The first cookbook I ever bought myself was Nigel Slater’s Real Fast Food, in its first printing. I love his recipes, but I love his atmospheric writing as well. I think Nigel is a perfect winter time writer. Like many Brits, I don’t think of him or his food naturally inhabiting summer, but definitely comes into his own when it turns colder. I cannot wait for this one to arrive and to start reading, planning and cooking.
Other than being at home for Christmas, the next best place for me at Christmas is New York City. Best lights, best store windows, best ice skating location at Rockerfeller and quite often there’s snow. I love this combination of recipes and stories, from glazed hams to pumpkin pie. It would bring a different twist to the Christmas celebrations and make some good reading in the meantime.
This is possibly the complete opposite to a New York Christmas, but also quite appealing. The simplicity, the freshness of the flavours, the cosiness of it all. Trine is a fabulous writer and chef, and the recipes are incredibly appealing. There are things like decorated cookies and gingerbread houses to make together, and toasts to be drunk with gluwein. Beautiful photography completes what is a beautiful book.
If like me, you have a sweet tooth then this is probably right up your street. The writer, Ellen Stimson, is based in Vermont, so practically surrounded by all that maple syrup. This is a book about family recipes and family traditions, the perfect Christmas combination. This might just introduce some new and different things into your family Christmas, new traditions that your family can make their own.
I have to admit to having the original version of this, Delia Smith’s Christmas, and have used it for many years. I am sure this is just as good and will see you in good stead for all of Christmas. It still has my go-to recipe for bread sauce in it, along with good Christmas cake and pudding recipes if you want to do your own. Delia might not be cutting edge on the recipe front but is completely reliable, and I’ve never had any complaints when I’ve made one of her recipes. If you’ve got kids cooking Christmas dinner for the first time, or you want to get them prepared for the future, then I recommend giving them a copy of this.
So, here’s to getting Christmas organised, to family traditions and fabulous meals, fun times and happy memories. What traditions do you have in your family around Christmas food and drink? I’d love to know.
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