Delia Smiths Christmas: 130 Recipes for Christmas by Delia SmithNewly married in the summer, I was tasked with cooking Christmas dinner by myself for the first time this year, and this book was invaluable.
The book starts with Christmas cakes and puddings that you ought to be making in November if youre doing things properly, though I bought this in late December by which point it was a bit too late. Maybe next year...
There are then all sorts of recipes for party food and nice meals to serve around Christmas time, from roast ham to mince pies to homemade sausage rolls to mulled wine.
The bit I really wanted the book for, however, was the chapter called, The Last Thirty Six Hours, which talks you minute by minute through cooking the Christmas Dinner, from early on Christmas Even, including breaks for watching a carol service, opening presents, having the neighbours round and having a glass of champagne! I followed this almost to the letter, making everything from scratch (cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing, bread sauce etc) and it didnt let me down. So, so useful.
I probably wont follow it quite so religiously next time, when Ill hopefully be feeling a bit more confident and willing to experiment, but I suspect it will still be a useful guide.
Finally, there were some good ideas for what to do with various leftovers.
Overall, theres nothing very radical in here - the book is from about 1990 - and if youve been cooking Christmas dinner and catering for Christmas parties for the last twenty years, this may not be for you (though youd probably still find one or two recipes that caught your eye). But if this is your first Christmas or youre not feeling wildly confident, I dont thing theres anyone better than Delia to guide you through it.
Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish
Spiced Cranberry Chutney
Subscribe to BBC Good Food magazine and get triple-tested recipes delivered to your door, every month. Tip the sugar and orange juice into a pan, then bring to the boil. Stir in the cranberries, then simmer until tender but still holding their shape — this will take about 5 mins if using frozen cranberries or mins if using fresh. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Will keep in the fridge for 1 week.
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