‘The Christmas Chronicles: Notes, Stories and 100 Essential Recipes for Mid-Winter’ by Nigel Slater – Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

From the BBC1 presenter and bestselling author of Eat, The Kitchen Diaries and Toast comes a new book featuring everything you need for the winter solstice.

The Christmas Chronicles is the story of Nigel Slater’s love for winter, the scent of fir and spruce, ghost stories read with a glass of sloe gin, and beeswax candles with shadows dancing on the ceiling. With recipes, decorations, fables and quick fireside suppers, Nigel guides you through the essential preparations for Christmas and the New Year, with everything you need to enjoy the winter months.

Taking you from 1 November all the way to the end of January, The Christmas Chronicles covers everything from Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Year to Epiphany. Throughout the season, Nigel offers over 100 recipes to see you through the build-up, the celebrations and the aftermath. Here are much-loved classics such as goose and turkey (and making the most of the leftovers), mincemeat and the cake; recipes to make the cold months bearable, like ribsticker bread pudding with Comté and Taleggio, salt crust potatoes with blue cheese and goat’s curd, and hot-smoked salmon, potatoes and dill; as well as bright flavours to welcome the new year, including pink grapefruit marmalade, pear and pickled radish salad and rye, linseed and treacle bread.

Packed with feasts, folktales, myths and memoir and all told in Nigel’s warm and intimate signature style, The Christmas Chronicles is the only book you’ll ever need for winter.

My Review

Nigel Slater is my favourite food writer.

I always think of him as being a food writer rather than a TV chef because of his style of cooking.

To me he’s the type of cook that brings out the confidence with my own capabilities as over the years he has always written and talked about flavours and scents rather than more exacting recipes.

He encourages home cooks to develop their own taste-buds and to swap out ingredients for ones they prefer.

So now when I read one of his cookbooks I don’t really tend to cook his exact recipes. I use them as inspiration and guidelines to create dishes that suit my personal palate and my restricted diet (due to health reasons).

And this book was no different with how I read the recipes. I haven’t cooked any exact ones yet but I’ve twisted them for myself and have been incredibly pleased with the outcomes.

What Nigel Slater also does so well is create an atmosphere within his books. They’re more than just books of recipes. They’re stories, anecdotes, captured moments in time revolving around food. And in this collection it covers the northern hemisphere winter months of November through to the beginning of February and Candlemas and therefore Christmas and its festivities are very much to the fore.

The atmosphere in this book is beautiful. I have enjoyed curling up each evening reading a few pages over the course of a number of weeks. It truly feels as much of a wintry feast as the feasts created within its pages.

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5 thoughts on “‘The Christmas Chronicles: Notes, Stories and 100 Essential Recipes for Mid-Winter’ by Nigel Slater – Book Review

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