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Sarah Raven's Complete Christmas Hardcover – 20 Oct 2008

32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (20 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747595100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747595106
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 3 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Mouth-watering pictures and prose -- The Times

Raven¹s recipes are simple, practical and enticing -- Spectator

There is no more functional or inspirational kitchen bible -- Daily Telegraph

A book that will certainly become a much-loved friend -- Country Life

A strong contender for food book of the year
-- Independent

`...a fantastic book that lives up to its title from start to finish.'
-- Crafts beautiful

Review

A book that will certainly become a much-loved friend

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 75 people found the following review helpful By emma who reads a lot TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover
A shiny silver and pink cover, with amazing photography of frosted seedheads: this is a gorgeous Christmas book with the unusual feature of always having one eye on the garden. Raven's timetable for Christmas means she tells us how to force hyacinths as well as make sloe gin, whilst thinking ahead to the Christmas cake and narcissi Paperwhite.

Beginning with the cake and the pudding (Constance Spry's recipe), mincemeat and fruit chutneys, the book takes an old-fashioned, very English approach to the Christmas mainstays. Making your own turkish delight, florentines and gingerbread house, seems so tempting. There's loads of advice about table bulbs including vital suggestions as to varieties; and brilliant ideas for front door wreaths including one laden with chillis and limes.

There are timetables for parties of fewer than, and more than 30 people, and amazing flower arrangements to do for those parties too (including an over-the-top hanging globe with eucalyptus, hdrangea, silver birch and huge bright chrysanthemums. This sounds weird, but it looks great.)

Pages of tasty canapes and unusual cocktails follow, and then finally the big event itself. A great sounding kedgeree recipe for Christmas Eve; or cook cheese fondue, beef carpaccio, or risotto.

And on Christmas Day? Raven is an evangelist for goose, offering a choice of five stuffings, plus a couple of deliciously healthy winter salads that will be making their way onto my table on the 25th. The big veggie option is Fennel and Gorgonzola soufflé tart... it looks as good as it sounds.

Her leftovers dishes have an oriental flavour - Nasi Goreng from Thailand and noodle soup. For Boxing day, terrines, an old-fashioned baked ham, a classic Cumberland sauce, a Mary Berry fish pie,...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mrs Moorhead on 30 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having been pointed in the direcion of this book after reading a review of Anthea Turners Christmas offering, I must say I am deeply indebtted to the person who suggested I spend my money on this. How right they were! A glorious silver and pink cover envelopes the most glorious photography and a wealth of ideas for food and decoration as I have ever seen. It is well written, the ideas and recipes look fabulous and I cant wait to get stuck in with a few trial runs from now to Christmas. Money being tight as it is at the moment I got this mint condition copy from an Amazon Marketplace seller for less than eight quid and I'm delighted. I'm hotly anticipating Delias new Christmas offering in October, however, this is now a firm favourite and I have no doubt I will refer to it again and again between now and December. Highly recommended.
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78 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Pompom VINE VOICE on 15 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Despite my 5 star rating I have to say that I was looking forward to a fatter book - more the size of Sarah's Garden coobook! I guess I was over hopeful; notwithstanding my greed, this is a gorgeous book. In common with the Garden cookbook it is crammed with beautiful photos - all part of the experience of a stunning cookbook for me.

The book is broken into the following chapters:

PLANNING AHEAD
The Christmas Larder: Puddings and cakes/Fruit chutneys, compotes and cheeses/Homemade sweets/Homemade biscuits/Drinks for the larder.
Forced bulbs for Christmas: Bulbs to flower at Christmas/Bulbs to give as presents.

DECORATIONS
The Christmas Tree: Tree decorations.
Flowers and Foliage: Wreaths and swags/Table decorations/Houseplants for Christmas.

A CHRISTMAS PARTY
A Party timetable/Party planning
Christmas Party Floweres: Instant party flowers/Showy Party Flowers
Christmas Party Food: Small party food (less than 30)/Substantial party food (more than 30)/Drinks for a Christmas party.

CHRISTMAS EVE
A festive breakfast/A light lunch for Christmas Eve/First courses/Main courses/Festive puddings

CHRISTMAS DAY
The bird, stuffing and gravy/Alternatives for vegetarians/Christmas Day vegetables/Christmas Day Puddings

BOXING DAY
Soups, risottos and other easy lunches/Some hearty winter salads/Pates, terrines and other meat dishes/Pies and tarts/Post Christmas Puddings/Post Christmas drinks.

NEW YEAR'S EVE
First courses/Main courses/Puddings for a New Year
success.

Sarah provides a comprehensive Christmas Timetable at the front of the book. This is useful - it gets you thinking ahead about what you can do in the months leading up to Christmas.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By RM/TM TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Nov. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I almost didn't bother writing this review, because the two already posted are so very thorough, but just a couple of my own observations, in case it helps anyone still teetering on the brink of a purchase:-

This book has a really great mixture of the traditional staples (roast turkey, mince pies) and some much more original, but nonetheless still very festive options (pork and chestnut terrine, blood orange granita). I nearly cried when I saw the recipe for 'Sussex Pond Pudding', one of my all time favourites, which hardly anyone knows about, much less publishes - and which my late mother used to cook as a special treat.

Aside from all the meal planning, there are suggestions for seasonal flower displays, table decorations and edible gifts.

Beautifully photographed and very well written, (as you'd expect from a broadsheet journalist). I don't think anybody would be disappointed with this book.
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