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Elizabeth David's Christmas [Hardcover]

Elizabeth David , Jill Norman
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, 24 Nov 2005 --  
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Elizabeth David's Christmas Elizabeth David's Christmas 4.8 out of 5 stars (11)
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Book Description

24 Nov 2005

The ultimate Christmas food book from the best-loved and most respected cookery writer of recent times, including previously unpublished material.

Throughout her pioneering career Elizabeth David often talked about wanting to compile a short Christmas book. Over the years she collated recipes, articles and notes into a file and even went so far as to write an introduction for the book.

Beautifully written and illustrated, ELIZABETH DAVID'S CHRISTMAS contains the full file of around 150 recipes and is designed to take the strain out of providing festive food. All the classics are here: mincepies, stuffings and turkey, as well as simple first courses, party dishes and a range of desserts that make this book an irresistible festive fare.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph; 1st Edition edition (24 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718146700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718146702
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 16 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The celebrated food writer, who died in 1991, apparently always meant to write a book called Food for Christmas and had not only collected recipes and useful quotes but written the introduction, which makes clear her preference for smoked salmon and a glass of champagne without all the commercial fuss. She even regretted the failure of Cromwell's regime to suppress the whole thing, as clandestine festivities would have been much more fun than enforced jollifications. Her recipes vary between the deliberately old-fashioned, like spiced beef or suckling pig, and those intended to be innovative, such as the family recipe for chocolate ice cream instead of Christmas pud. A welcome revival that fills a gap for those who have thumbed too many times through Delia Smith's Christmas.

About the Author

Elizabeth David was acknowledged as the best and most scholarly food writer of her time, and even today is considered by most to be without peer. She died in 1992.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection 5 Dec 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I cannot praise this lovely book too highly. It has all the David magic - exquisite prose, trenchant opinions and luscious recipes: some are of academic interest but nonetheless fascinating; most are dishes of simplicity but also subtlety and finesse. The closing essay 'Para Navidad' is perhaps one of the most perfect writings about food I have ever read. Congratulations too, to the book designer and the photographer. The beautiful cover is a true indicator of the delights within and Elizabeth David, who had a keen visual sense, would have loved the photographs which are not so much of cooked dishes but of simple, pure, beautiful ingredients that make you want to dash off to the kitchen and set to. This is the second book that the editor, Jill Norman, has compiled since ED's death, using the author's notes and files, and a worthy successor to "Is there a nutmeg in the house?" Both show great skill and a light hand - ED's unique voice rings clear and true from every page. Brilliant!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Christmas covered..... 23 Jun 2013
....the typical Elizabeth David way.

'The celebrated food writer, who died in 1992, apparently always meant to write a book called 'Food for Christmas' and had not only collected recipes and useful quotes but written the introduction, which makes clear her preference for smoked salmon and a glass of champagne without all the commercial fuss.......'

Compiled by Jill Norman, the preface goes on to explain that the idea of the book was first hatched way back in the seventies......not just a book of recipes, but one which gathered all ED's Christmas material in one neat little volume.

Elizabeth David's Christmas has dark red board covers with gold lettering to the spine.
It measures in at 22 cm x 15.5 cm x 1.75 cm and is dressed in a simple dust-jacket.
Inside are 214 matt pages, split over chapters:

* Celebrating Christmas
- Christmas is a family occasion
- Untraditional Christmas food
- Cooking for a family
- Christmas preparations
- Life after Christmas
- A country Christmas (George Eliot)

* First courses and cold meats

* Soups

* Poultry and Game
- What to do with the bird

* Meat
- Traditional Christmas dishes
- Christmas in France

* Vegetables and Salads
- The magpie system

* Sauces, Pickles and Chutneys

* Desserts, Cakes and Drinks
- Plum pottage, porridge, broth and pudding
- The pudding
- Frumenty or fermity
- Christmas drinks
- Para Navidad

sandwiched between an introduction and a list of other books by Elizabeth David.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars David's style 25 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Although the book was compiled posthumously by Jill Norman David shines through, her enthusiasm for food and history can't be quenched by the grave.

I gained many ideas and was very surprised by some of the information, it seems that our beliefs about the past aren't always right, dishes were far more diverse than they are today.

Recommended for people who want to know more about our past, Christmas dishes, those who want to try to recreate them (not always possible because of the difficulty of obtaining some ingredients, those who enjoy spending time in the kitchen or even those who like to sit and read good words.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth David's Christmas 18 Dec 2010
By Marand TOP 500 REVIEWER
This book was put together after Elizabeth David's death by her long-time editor, Jill Norman, although they had first discussed the project back in the 1970's. The book collects together recipes drawn from Elizabeth David's books, themselves drawing on earlier books, & notes and her many years of journalism.

It is perhaps somewhat surprising to learn that Elizabeth would have preferred an omelette and cold ham with a glass of Alsace for lunch on Christmas Day and a smoked salmon sandwich with champagne for supper. I think she speaks for many of us when she writes: "The grisly orgy of spending and cooking and anxiety has to be faced."

This collection is presented in the usual Elizabeth David style so don't expect a list of ingredients followed by the method/recipe. Hers is a more narrative style, often with historical information about where the recipe derived from, remembrances of earlier Christmases (an amusing story of Christmas lunch in war-time Egypt). It is interesting too that in some recipes (for example for a white chicken cream, a kind of mousseline), the advent of modern kitchen equipment makes what were once very time consuming recipes much quicker and easier to prepare. As she says: "Pounding and sieving the chicken meat took so long that I made the dish only for very special occasions. Food choppers and processors have now changed all that, making it feasible to experiment often and with any amount of variations."

There are lots of traditional recipes not often seen these days, and ideas for using leftovers. For example, there is potted spiced beef, lots of pates & terrines, a small number of soups including potato, tomato & celery; mushroom cream; pumpkin & celery.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good book.
this is ful of good recipes, i would certainly buy this book for any foodie friends for a present.
I was certainly very pleased with my copy.
Published 11 months ago by jenna
5.0 out of 5 stars Postponed
I shall be able to write a review when I see the book. Due to copyright, I had to have it sent to a friend in England until I can pick it up in November. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Another beauty from Elizabeth David. They are all so easy to read and gain knowledge from. Like a visit from a friend.
Published 17 months ago by Twinkletoes
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!
I used this book this Christmas and it's everything I could have needed. There's no one better than Elizabeth David!
Published 19 months ago by AnnaS
5.0 out of 5 stars I learned to cook with Elizabeth David
I have been reading Elizabeth David's books since they started appearing in the 1950s. I have learnt to cook from them and still use her recipes. There are none better. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Anne Houghton
5.0 out of 5 stars Celebration
This book is a celebration of Christmas and a celebration in writing about food. It was an inspiration on the part of the publishers to gather together Elizabeth David's recipes... Read more
Published on 15 Feb 2012 by Bookworm11qs
4.0 out of 5 stars Christmas covered.....
....the typical Elizabeth David way.

'The celebrated food writer, who died in 1992, apparently always meant to write a book called 'Food for Christmas' and had not only... Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2003 by A Customer of AMAZON-UK
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