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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 14 September 2010
Given its title, the chosen recipes may raise an eyebrow or two, but it is neatly addressed in the introduction, including:-.

'...This may not all be 'traditional' British food, but it's what we ate as kids, and who could get more traditional than that?...'

which justifies the inclusion of the likes of:-

'Quick Chicken Tikka Masala', on page 71
'They say that this is Britain's favourite dish - which is exactly why it is here'!

James stresses that the selection is not aimed to be 'poncey', in fact, quite the opposite - this is cooking with simple aims from a young man reliving his own memories of food. As a result, a fair percentage of the recipes are inspired by family members.

Paperback covers open to 144 quality glossy pages, split over 8 chapters:-

* All Day Breakfasts (pg 8-25)
* Soups, Tarts & Terrines (pg 26-35)
* Roasts, Pies & Bakes (pg 36-57)
* Stews, Pots & Spicy Foods (pg 58-71)
* Fish & Seafood (pg 72-93)
* Vegetables & Extras (pg 94-105)
* Puddings (pg 106-127)
* Cakes (pg 128-142)

sandwiched between an introduction and a 2-page index.

Each chapter opens with a double page spread with the title on one side and a picture on the other. Each chapter has a different coloured theme which is carried through into the recipe titles, which is a nice extra touch.
Each recipe has the title at the top, an opening paragraph, the number of servings, the list/s of ingredients and a clear method. Some pages have more than one recipe. The pages are interspersed with appetising, full-colour photography from Jean Cazals, but it is on the light side, in my opinion, and could prove disappointing to some especially as a few pages look a little bare, (including that aforementioned 'CTM'!).
The notes which open the recipes include useful tips peppered with the typical JM banter, often laced with a bit of humour, e.g.:-

1. 'Shepherd's Pie - Why is it that people get confused about which meat goes in cottage pie and which goes in shepherd's pie? I will never know. Do you see many shepherds with a herd of cows in a field?'

2. 'Chocolate Cornflake Cakes - I don't care what all my cheffy mates think of me for putting this in a British book. Frosties, Cornflakes or Rice Krispies, whichever you choose, I bet these little cakes won't even be able to set in the fridge before they're eaten. I love them made either with a chocolate bar or a Mars Bar.'

Well, the latter would be a first for me - but I am happy to give it a go next time I need a batch of 12!

My favourite recipe, to date, is the 'Traditional Lancashire Hot Pot', from pages 60/61, but, tonight, I am going to have my very first attempt at a 'Pork Pie', from pages 48/49, (without the embellishment that JM had to have for 16 years!)

A taste of the other recipes included within:-

* Bacon Buttie
* My Dad's Cheese on Toast
* Omelette
* Crumpets
* Oatcakes
* Chunky Strawberry Jam
* Quiche Lorraine
* Roast Sirloin of Beef
* Spiced Pot-Roasted Chicken
* Steak and Kidney Pie
* Corned Beef Hash
* Beef Stew and Dumplings
* Goulash
* Macaroni Cheese
* Spaghetti Bolognese
* Grandad's Poached Haddock with Mustard
* Prawn Cocktail
* Jacket Potatoes
* Garlic Mushrooms
* Mushy Peas
* Béarnaise Sauce
* Mum's Gravy
* Apple Charlotte
* Baked Rice Pudding
* Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble
* Sherry Trifle with Raspberries
* Black Forest Gâteau
* Scones
* Shortbread
* Granny's Victoria Sponge
* Auntie's Sponge
* Chocolate Roulade

not forgetting:-

* Yorkshire Pudding under the recipe for 'Toad in the Hole', on pages 56/57.

'.....Well if I can't make Yorkshire Puddings I shouldn't be writing this book.......'
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on 19 September 2003
tHIS BOOK IS A DELIGHT TO READ FROM START TO FINISH. THE RECIPES ARE EASY TO FOLLOW & AS ALWAYS WITH JAMES'S BOOKS HAVE HANDY HINTS & TIPS. ALSO FROM PURCHASING THIS BOOK I NOW HAVE THE CONFIDENANCE TO COOK A FULL ROAST DINNER, WHICH IS SOMETHING I WOULDNT HAVE DONE BEFORE , IT REALLY IS AS EASY AS JAMES SAYS.
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on 24 January 2014
The content of the book may be okay but the book was bought used and it was described as 'as new'. I don't think so.

I've just opened it and there was a tear in the cover and damage to the spine. There is obvious wear to the corners. Inside some of the pages and on the back cover had some of the previous owners food stuck to it. Yes, it's a cook book but I have books years old in a better state than this. Not great.

However, it was cheap and I remain optimistic that the recipes within will make it a worthwhile addition to the kitchen library.
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on 14 October 2011
What a good book, James at his best. Well written as always and very well produced, one to keep on the shelf just to look through , or to fire you with inspiration. He gives a different slant to some of the "oldies" that we have been making for years.
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on 30 March 2013
JAMESD MARTIN HAS EXCELLED HIMSELF AGAIN WI8TH ANOTHER MARVELLOUS BOOK HE HAS SOME GOOD IDEAS NON HOW TO IMPROVE SUNDAY DINNERS WELL DONE WORTH BUYING
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I really like James Martin, he's down to earth, practical and his recipes are not full of ingredients that are hard to find or so expensive that it would be cheaper to just eat out!

This book is full of popular British recipes - things we all know and love, with his own little twists. I've just made the Chicken and Leek Pie - it was delicious. Oven roasting the shallots, rather than just frying them made all the difference to the finished product.

Great illustrations and easily followed step by step instructions.
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on 20 May 2011
bought this a couple of years ago, and realised this week, it has turned into my reference book. It has all the basics in it, plus some gems of cakes and as stated British Dinners. His Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble is now a regular on our table (when the rhubarb is growing in the garden) theres Syrup Sponge, even Artic Roll recipie in there....oh, did I mention I'm a pudding nut ? There are also plenty of meat and fish recipies that despite being somewhat upmarket, are so simple to create, with easy to follow recipies, and ingredients that are accessable all over the UK. great book. Well worth investing in, use this far more than my 3 Delia Books......
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on 12 February 2012
James Martins recipes are all so easy to follow and delicious to eat.A very talented chef with brilliant ideas and wow his desserts are to die for.A wonderful book with loads of ideas and fantastic recipes.
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on 29 January 2016
Very pleased with purchase, despite the the bargain price, the book is in immaculate condition, also dispatched quickly. Very impressed, will be buying from this seller again for sure.
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on 2 May 2013
Excellent!

Very good recipes and appetisingly illustrated..... Liked the *homely" comments by the author. Had seen it before at a freind's place,
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