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Four Seasons Cookery Book [Hardcover]

Margaret Costa , Delia Smith
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: 16.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 Jun 2008
First published in 1970 and re-issued by Grub Street in 1999, the hardback edition hit the bestseller lists and went on to sell over 15,000 copies and its reappearance was praised by contemporary cookery stars like Nigel Slater, Delia Smith and Simon Hopkinson. Also in that year Margaret Costa was honoured at the prestigious Glenfiddich Awards. The following year theFours Seasons Cookery Book was published in paperback and likewise went on to clock up record sales. Grub Street is now proud to issue a new colour edition redesigned to suit the contemporary market. Margaret Costa's book has stood the test of time and indeed many of those writers who praise her also admit that they have taken their inspiration from her wonderful writing. The book is organized according to the seasons, and within each one there are also themed chapters such as Olives, Comforting Breakfasts or Proper Puddings. This is a modern classic which no cookery collection should be without.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Grub Street (5 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906502056
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906502058
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 19 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 469,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The recipes stand the test of time and her writing is clear, concise and elegant. --Foodie magazine

Every enthusiastic cook should own a copy of Margaret Costa's classic --Telegraph Magazine

There are certain cookbooks I could never live without, and one of them is The Four Seasons Cookery Book. The Proper Puddings chapter is worth the price alone. If these classic steamed puddings don't warm you up in this weather, nothing will. --Mark Taylor, Bristol Evening Post

If you don't already own Margaret Costa's Four Seasons, I urge you to buy it. I put her on a par with the great Jane Grigson and the mighty Elizabeth David: her book is simple, seasonal, wonderfully old-school recipes. --Thomasina Miers

About the Author

Margaret Costa came to prominence by replacing Robert Carrier as the Sunday Times cookery writer, and although this was her only significant book, it's hugely influential and was named by Observer Food Monthly as recently as 2010 as one of the Top 50 Cookbooks of All Time. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic... 25 Aug 2008
This is an excellent book, full of sound advice. Ostensibly divided into seasons, it contains several essays on different subjects - game, cake, cold soups, baking, pancakes etc, each with a number of recipes and tips. It was published nearly 40 years ago, but remains extraordinarily relevant to the way we try to cook now. I found it reminiscent of Simon Hopkinson (indeed, it's recommended in his 'Roast Chicken...'), so if you enjoyed his books, you'll like this.

The recipes are the book's heart though. This is how British food should be - interesting, satisfying, unfussy - and not substituting novelty for taste.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four Seasons Cookery 6 Dec 2005
This book brings us back to the sound principles of good seasonal cookery. Her recipes remind me of the food from when I was young and we were ate what there was in the vegetable patch. I have yet to find one I don't like and would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fine food.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old school cooking for today 2 April 2011
By Marand TOP 500 REVIEWER
I first heard about this book through the bibliographies in many of my favourite cookery books. It comes recommended by the likes of Nigel Slater, Simon Hopkinson & Nigella Lawson among others. Although in one sense the book, first written in 1970, is old-fashioned, it also chimes with current thinking about seasonal cookery. There are a few recipes that take me back to my parents' 1970's dinner parties and buffets - vichyssoise, borscht, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, crepes suzette, green eggs, mushrooms a la grecque, chicken & pineapple salad, orange snow cake, a recipe for liver with Dubonnet - but the recipes are still fresh today.

Preparation is generally straightforward with excellent instructions, and very useful variations, so much so that this would be a good book for an inexperienced cook. The one thing that is noticeable is that it doesn't involve some of the appliances that many of us take for granted now - things like ice-creams makers, food processors, etc..

The book is organised on a seasonal basis, so spring includes, for example, scallops; salmon in various permutations; a lovely dish of cod steaks with a herb stuffing topped with mustard & cheese; asparagus; new potatoes. Summer offers a variety of chilled soups (including an especially lovely summer tomato soup), salads, crab dishes, chicken (for example honeyed chicken, parmesan oven-fried chicken), peaches (peach cream pie, baked stuffed peaches, peaches in wine), lots of jams. Autumn brings mushrooms - risotto, stuffed, fritters; a selection of tarts & flans; a section on offal; then game (grouse, pheasant, partridge, hare, rabbit, duck); lots of things to do with apples (including a delicious caramel apple pudding & Swedish apple tart), plums & damsons.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sensational book 14 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This book was out of print for many years and second hand copies were like gold dust. Read the recipes and you will see that the late Margaret Costa was 30 years ahead of her time . The recipe for scallop and artichoke soup is worth the price of the book alone.
Shame about the rather lurid green cover but one of the core classics of any kitchen library
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome Home...... 28 Aug 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a truly delightful and warm cookbook. It doesn't have glossy pictures but it has everything else - excellent seasonal menus, a variety of recipes for each season, a sensible approach to home cookery and above all a deep sense of intimacy. It's an odd thing I know to say about a cook book but this is like sitting down with a friend who is sharing a series of discoveries with you, it is a deeply personal experience. The book is broken into seasonal sections and allows you both to dip into individual recipes or explore, whether looking" awful offal"or " winter warmers" it is a true reflection of good wholesome cooking.

This is everything that some modern cookbooks ( compare it to Janny De Moors Dutch Cooking and some of the so called national cuisine series) are not. It is a book that you will keep with you, that will grow old with you and you want to let it go. It's the best cookbook in a long time. Thanks Margaret and thanks to those who managed to get re-issued some of us have been searching for this for a while
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars all time classic 18 May 2010
By meow
This book taught me to cook back in the 70's and I still use the receipes ... so much so my original paperback has fallen apart at last so time for a new version. The hardback is excellent and I recommend it to anyone. Margaret Costa much ahead of her time and reflects the themes many of the new chefs today follow - fresh local food in season is best.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By JennyB
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I purchased this item - after briefly reviewing the preview of the kindle product details.

This book IS NOT BY DELIA SMITH it is by Margaret Costas. [I admit to being surprised that a Delia Book had slipped by me - but so often newer titles aren't available on Kindle - so I assumed I had missed it!]

The Preview is misleading as it opens at Delia's Forward and you have to backtrack to review the content. It is only when you open it up that you realise that it is written by someone else!

However - it is a fantastic book published on kindle apparently after decades of being out of print.

A really great read - and published years ago - when Margaret Costas refers to seasonal produce - she means it! No plastic packs in supermarkets imported from the other side of the world - without really tasting of anything much.

Many of the recipes are now my 'old favourites' although I had incorrectly attributed them to other chef author/TV presenters - others I am looking forward to testing out myself.

I'd advise you to give it a go - but don't mark the book down when you open it and it isn't the new Delia classic you expected. Instead hold Amazon to account for misleading it's customers!
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