The Christmas Chronicles – Nigel Slater
This handsome book is subtitled “100 essential recipes for midwinter”. While the recipes are uniformly drool-worthy and inspiring, classing a recipe for “Papaya, persimmon and cardamom” as essential might be overstating the case.
Nigel’s writing is as engaging as ever and alongside the recipes and exquisite photographs of said dishes he writes about the season and the associated rituals; from carols (his favourite is Silent Night – he likes it so much that he wants it played at his funeral) to dressing the tree, wrapping presents and his thought on scented candle (he confesses to being an out and out scented candle snob).
This book is less a rundown of Christmas catering – in my childhood there was a torn out scrap of newspaper entitles “Nifty ways on the Turkey Trot” which surfaced every year – than a diary based collection of writing about food and winter. I can already recommend a fantastic recipe for ‘Marmalade pears with vanilla ice cream’ although I substituted creme fraiche for the ice cream and am looking forward to making banana cardomom cake and pickled quince. There are also recipes for Christmas cake and pudding advice on cooking a turkey on the day itself. I’m also someone who subscribes to his note on the post Christmas Day dinner or lunch.
“. . . I dig my heels in. I flatly refuse to get involved in games, playing charades or trying to figure out the rules of a recently unwrapped board game. I have never been a team player and I am not going to start now.”
Hardback. 456 pages.
Measurements: 15.5cm x 21.4cm x 4cm