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4.7 out of 5 stars439
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 14 May 2004
This was bought for me when I moved into my first home and I couldn't manage without it. When I emigrated to the United States, this was the only book I brought with me. It is excellent for the basics - pancakes, yorkshire puds and perfect rice. The Christmas cake is the best recipe I have ever found... If I had only 1 book in my kitchen, this would definitley be it!
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on 27 October 2002
Having read the reviews on this page, I agree with most of the comments. I too have had problems with a few recipies in regards to timing and oven temp etc etc etc, but as you cook more and more, you kind of get a feeling for things such as temp and time and these problems lessen!
I consider this book to be the pride of my collection!!!
It was bought for my wife many moons ago when it was first released. Since then, my interest in cooking has increased, and I have to say that I use recipies from this book all the time. Despite a few wobbly moments (see previous comments), on the whole the recipies are clear and easy to follow, and there are some real good tips on preperation, on buying produce and on equipment.
I enjoy Delia's style of writing and her opinions regarding food and others recipies! She is a traditional cook and seems to encourage the use of Lard in just about everything (heart blockage on the way!), but the results are fantastic!!!
While I use many cookery books, this is by far my favorite as it has proved useful as a beginer and now as a slightly more experienced cook!!! I can only recommend that you people out there purchase this book!!!
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on 13 March 2004
This is the ultimate cookbook. Nothing it too overcomplicated, it's suitable for beginners and experts. I have lots of cookbooks but this is the one I come back to again and again.
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on 5 December 2006
I learnt to cook from this book and by God did it teach me to cook all proper and Delia. If there's an old favorite from your childhood you want to cook, it'll be in Delia. An absolute essential reference in any British kitchen. The intro to each recipe is great; you get the idea of what Delia thinks about the dish and you can decide whether to give it a go. The great thing about Delia, and this distinguishes her from all the Jamies and Gordons, is that you can find most of the ingredients (apart from offal, perhaps) in your average supermarket. The remarkable thing about her recipes are that she tells you what not to do as well as what to do. This is what makes her recipes almost fail-safe. Go buy it!
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on 11 March 2000
If I could only have access to one cookery book, then this would be my definitive choice. Tried and tested at many dinner parties, I love Delia's clear instructions and empathy with the novice cooks.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 22 February 2012
I'd muddled on for years cooking from recipe cards from Waitrose and Sainsburys or borrowing recipes from my mother - when I finally decided to learn to cook properly, at the age of 29, I bought this as a good all purpose guide. It's absolutely brilliant, and we've been well-fed at home on the recipes in it ever since. Delia teaches you all the basics: how to do a good Sunday roast, how to make gravy and other sauces, stuffing and pastry, things you can do with rice and pasta, different things you can do with fruit. She also provides lots of recipes, of varying stages of difficulty, which can serve either for standard evening meals or for dinner parties. I am now confident at making all sorts of pies, cooking roast dinners, making stuffing, bread sauce, a variety of gravies, and a whole set of puddings. The book is helpfully divided into fish, meat (first red meat, then poultry) and vegetarian food, and also examines dishes with pasta, dishes with rice, any dishes involving pastry, puddings, cakes, biscuits and picnic fayre. There are so many good dishes it's worth just browsing for fun! My favourites include:

Goulash - but add some dumplings for extra fun!
Simple stroganoff - maybe add some tomatoes
Chicken liver and bacon risotto
Plaice with mushrooms and creme fraiche
Mediterranean fish
Spicy chicken
Any of the roasts
Lemon meringue pie
Rhubarb fool/gooseberry fool
Fruit crumbles
Spiced apple pie

Just one tip - some of the meals use cream, and I'd use 1/2 fat creme fraiche instead (healthier and tastier) and a few of the meals need spicing up slightly with extra herbs and spices as they can be a tiny bit bland otherwise. A lot of the recipes can be slightly adapted. But all in all a wonderful book and as good and clear as one could hope for. A wonderful introduction to cookery.
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on 6 November 2003
This is my favourite recipe book, I have found some family favourites which I do again and again so it's been really good value, Christmas pudding, beef in beer, coq au vin, pastry, white sauce, cheescake. I really like the fact that at least some of the recipes use very ordinary ingredients which you have in your cupboard or local shop! There are also some really special recipes but I hate fiddly cooking - I cook like a mad woman and freeze everything so I like things simple enough so I can cook three meals at once, not many recipe books let you do that! It's also a really good reference book, how to do things and what ingredients you can swap about.
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on 3 January 2008
If I ever end up on that desert island with my eight records, I only hope and pray that this book makes it with me too!

I have just ordered a new (hardback) copy, my 20 year old paperback must needs be pensioned off - not thrown away, I haven't the heart to consign a faithful friend to the bin. I have used it so often, its loose pages even smell of the very recepies they describe! When I bought this book I could hardly boil an egg - twenty years on, I relish having a dozen or so friends round for dinner. Verily, this is The Gospel according to St Delia! An absolute must for any kitchen!
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on 8 March 2004
This book is an absolute gem, it provides you with all of the essential (and dare I say foolproof!) recipes, and is THE bible of the cooking world. It serves as a great reference tool for the experienced while providing the beginner with every recipe they will ever need, from traditional homecooked dishes, to the more exotic foreign meals, baking, barbecues, bread making, even what to do with your left overs! You name it, Delia's got it covered! You won't be dissappointed, trust me!!!!!!
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on 12 June 2007
This book is absolutely brilliant. If I could have only one cookery book on my kitchen shelf - this would be it. Fantastic value for money, the book is jam-packed with recipes that you'll really use, day-in, day-out. Delia assumes nothing, with clear and practical advice about everything you need to know, including equipment and little cooking techniques that other recipe books just skim over. From how to boil an egg and make perfect, fluffy rice, to tasty and nutritious mid-week meals, plus dishes for special occasions or entertaining, this book has everything! It is inspiring me to cook `proper' meals much more often, and gives me the confidence to try anything. Delia tells you what not to do, as well as what to do, and addresses common problems like cakes that won't rise. As a young woman who enjoys cooking but has quite a lot to learn, this book is like having your mum and your grandma in the kitchen with you, passing on their little tips and handing down the sort of recipes you have warm, fuzzy memories of. Not just for beginners - if you think you've got the hang of the basics already, Delia's simple suggestions will probably push your results from fine to perfect. Cooking is a pleasure with this book, and it is a joy to serve up such good food. Great for family cooking, or (like myself) for a couple. I can't praise this book highly enough. Buy it - you'll wonder how you ever managed without!
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