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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 14 December 2001
I was given this book as a present when I became interested in learning how to cook.
If you are a novice I can highly recommend it, it explains how to deal with all sorts of ingredients you may not of encountered before, I always refer to it when I'm cooking somthing new. Its also great for simple techniques such as white sauces and pastry.
My only complaint is that some of the recipes just don't work ! whether its the quantites or the wrong oven setting , however if you have some experience you can realise this before it goes horribly wrong.
Having said all that I couldn't do without my copy , thanks Delia !
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on 20 August 2000
I had never heard of Delia Smith before an English friend gave me this book. I enjoy reading it for pleasure and learning about all the different ingredients that I never tried before. When I try a new food which I don't know how to cook, I turn to Delia for instruction. I love the way she expresses her opinions on things - she's obviously full of common sense and has a great sense of humour.
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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 22 June 2007
time and time again i find myself coming back to delia smith's complete cookery course.

i have a collection of over 50 different cookery books. yet it is THIS one that i return to when i want to find something easy to make, with easy-to-find ingredients and that's delicious to eat. forget your jamie oliver (too fake), rick stein (too preachy), nigel slater (too pretentious), sophie grigson (too esoteric), darina allen (too odd!). believe me - this is the book that you will use, like me, time and time again. might i add that the boeuf bourguignon is absolutely awesome.
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on 12 November 2007
As a keen cook, I rate this as the best cookery book ever. Unless you yearn to make bacon & egg ice cream or snail porridge, it contains almost every recipe you are are likely to want.
As in all her books, Delia Smith manages to give useful tips without ever sounding patronising. Follow her instructions and the recipes always work!
The general advice sections on cooking and equipment are also really useful, while the introductions and anecdotes are a good read.
PS - When I wrote this review, I didn't realise the paperback edition doesn't have any illustrations. (The cheaper hardback apparently has a few - but not as many as the original.) It may not bother a lot of people, but I think the pictures are quite useful - and sometimes inspiring. Personally, I'd go for the Complete Illustrated edition. It'll last 20 years so it's well worth the extra few pounds.
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on 3 January 2010
I bought this book for my daughter because her original copy had disintegrated, and assumed - once again,alas,confirming the unwisdom of making assumptions - that because it was entitled "Classic Edition" it would be an exact replica. OK, the recipes are the same, but a whole section on pots, pans and basic information, which was invaluable advice for a novice cook, has been omitted. I think this is a great shame, particularly since it appears that these days so little home cooking takes place.
OTHERWISE of course the book is just as good as it ever was.
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on 17 August 2007
Delia may have fallen out of favour compared to more modern chefs/ cooks, but as a single reference book for the kitchen, this book has no competition. Why does it work so well when it has few pictures and must be some twenty years old? The index is clear, the book covers recipes as well as basic cooking methodology and most importantly the recipes always work. The absence of pictures and the extensive use of cream/ butter are probably the reasons for its decline. Nevertheless, a good book for everyone.
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on 28 December 2016
When I was a child, my mother had a copy of this cookery book. When I left home, her copy of the book left home with me. It was so well used that the book would fall open in places where I'd used the same recipe so many times. I decided the time had come to purchase a new, slightly less worn copy of the book - and it is still as amazing as ever!
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on 23 May 2015
I have this book but it was falling to pieces so decided to replace it. This edition is nowhere near the quality of my old book, the print is not as good and it just looks cheaper. Really disappointed as I use this all the time, I have a new one but I am still using the old and tatty one.
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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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