- Hardcover: 214 pages
- Publisher: Michael Joseph; 1st Edition edition (24 Nov. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0718146700
- ISBN-13: 978-0718146702
- Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.2 x 21.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 365,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Elizabeth David's Christmas Hardcover – 24 Nov 2005
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
'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.
Measuring in around 22 cm x 15.5 cm x 1.75 cm, it has dark red board covers with gold lettering to the spine and is simply dressed in a 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
♦ Poultry and Game
- What to do with the bird
- 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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This little book is a gem. Any time of the year. I borrowed it from the library and resisted quite noticeably when it had to be returned. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Moose
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.
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 morePublished on 3 July 2013 by Amazon Customer
Another beauty from Elizabeth David. They are all so easy to read and gain knowledge from. Like a visit from a friend.Published on 1 April 2013 by Twinkletoes
I used this book this Christmas and it's everything I could have needed. There's no one better than Elizabeth David!Published on 15 Jan. 2013 by Anne Laf
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 morePublished on 5 Jan. 2013 by Anne Houghton