Sunday, 15 November 2009

Happy Christmas

A book review

For Delia's many, loyal disciples, (of which I am one) Christmas has come early in more ways than one.

Delia has come up trumps again with the publication of her new book, Delia's Happy Christmas.

I bought Delia's original Christmas recipe book in 1990 and since then have used it every Christmas without fail and definitely without disappointment. Her Christmas cakes and puddings have adorned my table (and the tables of the many people I have gifted them to) and her chutney cheered up many a leftover turkey and ham sandwich.

I really thought the original book couldn't be beaten. I now find out that it has been thoroughly thrashed by 'Delia's Happy Christmas' , which contains all the old favourites, (unchanged, thankfully) and many new recipes, (we may have to eat Christmas dinner 2 or 3 times a year now ,such is the cooking frenzy in our house)

The layout of the recipes and the beautiful pictures are really inspiring, there is even a list of suppliers to deliver your poultry, meat, fish etc, straight to your door.

It covers everything from planning, parties, drinks, leftovers, pickles and chutneys, alternatives to turkey, vegetarian and snacks and much much more, right up to new years day dinner.

The tips for making ahead, storing and freezing, are invaluable and the planning impeccable. Delia's lists for what to buy, and when to buy it, leaves no stone unturned.

Favourite recipes, of the ones I have tried so far,are:

Christmas Chutney Make 1 month ahead to let it mature but it lasts for years.

Arbroath Smokie Mousse. My Arbroath Smokies came all the way from Scotland and the mousse was delicious.

Irish Soda Bread. Got to be the easiest and one of the most scrumptious recipes.

Mini Tarts with 3 toppings. A drinks party must.

This book, like most of Delia's books, is a definite 'stayer' and, for those of us who like a very traditional Christmas, will be used for many years to come.

I was going to recommend that you put it on your Christmas list, but, what the hell! go and buy it now, start on your lists and planning and as Delia says:

"Have a very happy time preparing and cooking for Christmas, an even happier time enjoying the feast".

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