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on 27 October 2009
Joy to the World. I was really looking forward to my new Delia Happy Christmas book and it doesnt disappoint. I have the original Christmas book too so was probably wondering at first, like others, would this be much different? Well Delia has really managed to ring the changes with this one, and it has brought us right up to date. It looks very elegant, very cool, calm and collected. This is one book to have with you before, during and probably after Christmas too, so many excellent entertaining recipes and ideas. New and old recipes, classic favourites and new twists all in one place. Lots of hints and preparation tips which will be particularly handy for the generation that Delia refers to, who havent cooked Christmas dinner before (and still a good reminder to those of us who have, many times!). I love the armchair shopping section too - if like me, you like to shop online, lots of great sites for your Christmas essentials.
Christmas just isnt Christmas without some of Delia's mums sausage rolls, hot from the oven, so do yourself a favour and make up a batch soon, grab a pad and pen and relax and plan your festivities. Cheers!
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Delia Smith's first Christmas book (published 1990) is the King of Christmas Cookbooks. Now she has brought out a new cookbook, containing some recipes from the old, and a hundred new ones too. Does this short-change her readers?

I think this book is a great acquisition. Unlike some of the other humbug-ish reviewers here, I relish the chance to try some new Delia Christmas recipes, and I think they are totally characteristic of her excellent style. (One reviewer complains many of the recipes here appeared in a WHSmith Xmas special Delia did in 2003 and 2004 but for those of us who don't have copies handy, most of what's in this book will be new.)

Plenty of things have changed in the two decades since the first book was published and the hundred new recipes in this book reflect that. For example, people eat a lot less meat. Out of eleven recipes in the vegetarian section, only three come from the 1990 book. A new watercress soup, a vegetable pie, a different cheese terrine, a macadamia and pistachio nutroast. These are just one example.

The sections with the most duplication are the classic sections like Christmas cakes and puddings and the preserves, which is sort of understandable as it is difficult to think up innovation there. But even in cakes modern life has arrived - the Dundee cake recipe has disappeared, and there are two delicious sounding recipes using Panettone, the Italian Christmas cake now widely available in supermarkets.

Lists of suppliers have been updated, as have menu suggestions now stretching to every meal from Christmas Eve to New Year's Day. There's also a lot more party food, and more choices of main course for those whose palates are too posh for turkey - including a slow braised belly pork recipe which should also please credit crunchers. And for those Scots who had been feeling a bit neglected, a new Hogmanay section gives a Scots trifle, a crab soup and a Haggis pie recipe for Hogmanay.

If I have any criticisms of this book its that in such a lush book, with high production values, there isn't a picture of every dish! Which is especially mental when it comes to puddings, which you NEED to see pictures of! No photo of the Chocolate Chestnut log so you can work out how to create the bark effect?? Come on!

But apart from that, the more time I've spent flicking through the book the more I'm surprised at the negative reactions of some Amazon readers. I will not be able to get rid of the old Christmas book as how would I manage without its recipes, the ones not reprinted here, such as Roast Ham with mustard and demerara crust, and Port Wine Jelly?? But this new book is great, really inspiring, and makes me look forward to Christmas even more than I already was.
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on 27 October 2009
The origonal christmas book was great , the new one is fantastic.
It includes all the favourite recipes from the first book plus a whole load of new stuff to help us get through the cooks toughest time of the year.
Lots of helpful advice about what can and what cant be frozen plus details of companies who can deliver all those christmas essentials to your door.
Plus of course , many of the recipes are ideal for any family meal during the long winter months not just at Christmas.
Having used the origonal book for the last 18 years i shall look forward to Delia "holding my hand " through Christmas for many more years to come.
Dont take my word for it , buy the book and see for yourself just how incredibly useful this book is.
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on 27 October 2009
As a Delia fan, I have not been dissapointed by the book.

50 classic Christmas recipes, along with 100 new ones, plus some essential information to enable you to keep calm, and also enjoy yourself like everone else!

The thing I like best is that this is not a normal christmas cook book thet you only dig out once a year, there are plenty of recipes in the book that can be used at any time, and some lovely ideas for entertaining friends

Beautifully produced as always from Delia with stunning photography. I have already made several dishes with great success.

Far superior to the original Christmas book from Delia, now including sea food recipes too.

A must have to your cook book collection.
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on 3 November 2009
I am really delighted with the new Delia Happy Christmas book. I love the fact that all the true, tried and trusted Delia ideas are still there e.g. the last 36 hours and how to get organised well ahead. But with lots of new ideas too. I Can't wait to try out the Chrismas crackers - yummy pastry too. I think its so good to have a new pudding ideas as well - looks quite easy to do.

I do think we all worry at Christmas and Delia is certainly our family's solution! Other people seem to have tried to do Christmas but this is up to date and easy to follow great advice.

I have 2 daughters and have bought the book for both of them so they can do it all for me soon! I think it is a lovely tradition that i have had my old book for 19 years and now we can still be using Delia in 2009.

Just loved the cover of the book - so striking. Really pretty and unusual,
but still festive.
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on 17 October 2009
Delia's original Christmas book is one of my most used cookery books. I use it every Christmas. Have made all the Christmas cake recipes and use the Christmas pudding recipe every year. Love the Parmesan-baked parsnips, traditional ham, ice-creams etc.Every recipe works well and deserves it's place in the book.This book is a worthy successor. It's full of exciting recipes which I can't wait to try. Have bought it in good time so I can plan ahead.
Delia's recipes WORK and are tasty and delicious.Just what we need as part of a busy life!
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on 27 October 2009
I, like another reviewer, was waiting for the release of this book with anticipation. Although it does have many recipes that are in the original book and some from the WH Smith specials, there are some new vegetarian recipes which are useful. ( I only wish she had included some vegan ones) New seafood and Hogmany dishes.

It is useful to have all of the recipes together in one book and for a generation new to Delia and perhaps cooking at Christmas for the first time it is an excellent book.

The book looks very appealling and although could have done with more photographs, it is still a good book for dipping into and reading in the run up and planning stages of Christmas.

I had perhaps expected more, but overall a nice and useful book to have at this time of year.
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on 27 October 2009
Delia's original Christmas book was one of the first cookbooks I owned: it was love at first sight, and I still use it every year and enjoy reading it. I was therefore curious to see the new book, wondering what the changes would be.

I think the new book is fantastic, and don't agree with complaints about repeat content. Let's face it, the original book is nearly twenty years old, probably not the first choice for the thousands of new younger buyers out there. The core recipes repeated in the new book would be difficult to improve upon, ditto her countdown for Christmas dinner, which is extremely well done, taking all the stress out of a highly multi-task operation: it's the backbone of the book, and it's good that it's in the new one.

I love the updated online supplier lists and make-ahead-and-freeze section (thank you, thank you!) and I'm slowly reading through the new recipes - and there are plenty of them.

It's a gorgeous book, and at half-price on Amazon, a great bargain. The (reduced) price label is still on my old book, which is a paper-back: 5.99, and that was in 1990, vs. 12.50 for the new hard-back.
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on 2 November 2009
As the weather changed at the weekend I was inspired to sit down with my Delia's Happy Christmas in front of a roaring fire and had an afternoon of indulgence. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I'm now in the mood for planning my Christmas menus. There are 150 excellent recipes, I've earmarked loads and I know I'm going to have difficulty deciding which to do.

I don't have Delia's other famous Christmas book and so I was particularly looking forward to receiving this one. I've not been disappointed. This book is such good value for money. Even if you have some of Delia's Christmas recipes, you won't have the 100 new ones !! Some cookery writers would have just published a book on the strength of those new ones alone... but Delia is so generous and has included some of her original Christmas recipes too. This is excellent, 150 recipes, like two books in one ! Now I don't feel that I've missed out by not having all the Delia classics that my sister in laws rave about. I've got them too. It even has a last minute section that I will make good use of as I'm inclined to be a last minute Johnnie so this will help me no end.

Well done Delia on another cracking book. I just know it will be yet another No.1.
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on 29 December 2009
As a newly single 70 year old, I had the daunting prospect of entertaining 2 adult sons and their wives + grandchildren for Christmas Lunch with daughter and her family joining for Boxing day. Delia was my "comfort blanket", and, although I say it myself, the major cooking event of the year went off without hitch.

The only useful trick I learned elsewhere was Jamie's idea of cooking the Turkey an hour + ahead of schedule and resting the cooked item under Foil & Tea towels, which released needed space in the oven for Roast Potatoes & other vegetables. Delia probably has a bigger cooker than I do.

Many thanks Delia for your help. You raised my position in the opinion of my family. I think they doubted I was capable of much more than beans on toast.
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