I probably shouldn’t call her good ‘old’ Delia, but it’s my cookbook to which I am refering, not the good lady herself.
For this weekend heralded the annual hunt along the book shelf for Delia Smith’s Christmas followed by the careful separation of the pages welded together with Delia’s turkey giblet Christmas gravy and brandy sauce.
Put simply, this is my bible when it comes to Christmas. If Delia doesn’t do it, then neither do we.
I remember my mother was well schooled in Delia. Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course, the Good Housekeeping Cookbook and Corden Bleu Cookery Course were the stalwarts of my mothers cooking. We ate very well. I particularly remember a Cordon Bleu Cookery Book on gateaus, chocolate covered choux buns, pavalovas and brandy snap baskets that used to come out for dinner parties. I remember that one well!
The Delia Smith Christmas book was first published in 1990. I think it was one of the first recipe books purely dedicated to Christmas, before the term ‘celebrity chef’ was invented. I remember watching it with my mother on the television.
I bought my copy of Delia Smith’s Christmas about 14 years ago. It would have coincided with owning my first home with my soon to be husband, and cooking my first Christmas dinner.
I thought I was quite grown up.
It is definitely written for a time when the lady of the house might spend the whole of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day morning (and several days and weeks beforehand), on her own, preparing the Christmas feast with a list of what to do and when to do it. How much of that has changed? Hmmmm, not much here. Not if I want to eat all those things that remind me of the Christmases of my childhood.
This weekend I assembled the ingredients and made the mincemeat in preparation for the trays of mince pies I will eat, but mostly give away, over the festive season.
But for now, the book is going back on the bookcase.
I’m not hosting Christmas this year so will not need a cake. Nobody here likes it but me so I’ll just visit others and eat their’s.
Delia will remain on the shelf now until December.
But I might just need to make some rum truffles before then………
Love, Lucie x