I don't think this book's title does it any favours - Christmas sounds far to specific when to my way of thinking it's a good all round winter cookbook with a few of things that would be welcome all year (we love pickled herring in my family), but the Christmas in the title is probably the reason it was half price in Waterstones and as that's more my budget I probably shouldn't complain. Indeed Waterstones have done me proud this year in their sale, I haven't bought a lot but I'm really pleased with what I've got - particularly this one; I'd been half interested in it beforehand but hadn't been able to find a copy to have a good look at and had assumed it would be to specific to be really useful or desirable. So far I've only looked through it but that's been enough to convince me that it's a little treasure.
The great thing about borrowing from other peoples traditions is that you're not bound by them. I love mince pies but it feels somehow transgressive to make them before December or long after New Year, never mind things like Christmas pudding... Part of the pleasure they bring is bound by there seasonality (disgusted of Leicester is not impressed that the first Easter eggs were being put out for sale on the 27th of December) but Lebkuchen or any other honey or spice biscuit I could see my way to eating any time and as far as I'm concerned if it's cold outside mulled wine in any form is quite acceptable so a recipe for a Glogg syrup is quite useful - especially because the sort of teabag arrangement that I normally favour doesn't scale down very well, but a syrup will so it can be used up on leftover cooking wine and the like, which is sensible rather than hangover inducing.
There are, as I would expect from a Scandinavian inspired book, plenty of recipes for pickled herring; something I've tried, and failed, to make well at home before, but am now encouraged to try again with. As I have a few days off I can engage in projects like this so mean to gather together all the pickling recipes I can find on my shelves, try and work out where I went wrong before, search out some good looking herrings and have another go - possibly a few goes involving different ingredients - and see if I can nail it.
This book also happens to be very reasonably priced on amazon - well worth checking out...
This does sound lovely, and as I'd given it for a present unseen, I'm really relieved to hear from you it bears up so well under inspection :) It's funny that cookbooks and crafts books (and I suppose in general all reference books though I don't generally buy too many heavy tomes nowadays) are about the only new books I buy now in non-Kindle form. I've realised that it's much cheaper to get them brand spanking new as I nearly always want hardcovers over paperbacks for those type of books, and they're generally cheapest within a short while of publication. It's quite nice to have something new to look for on Amazon/ Waterstones or at least that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it! Happy New Year Hayley and happy pickling!ReplyDelete
Happy New Year to you to Donna, I'm really pleased with this book - lots of good ideas, including salads and things which will see me through till spring, would have been delighted with it as a present. I like looking in The Works on the off chance of cooking/craft finds as well. Normally rubbish but sometimes brilliant which is kind of how book shopping ought to be I think.ReplyDelete
You must give the Hallon Cookies a try because as you say many of the recipes are not just for Christmas and I tried out a few of them for my review of Trine's book on my blog:-)ReplyDelete
It's a great little book with lots of inspiration in it, looking forward to a biscuit session soon and will try the Hallon cookies.ReplyDelete
Totally agree with you re the title. I've just reviewed this book on my blog too at http://www.shabbychick.me.uk/2013/01/10/orange-pickled-herrings-ruis-bread-and-kale-salad-celebrating-hygge-with-trine-hahnemann/ and lots of the recipes seem like exactly the sort of thing I feel like cooking post-Christmas. Very keen to try lots of them. Enjoyed this post and loving your blog generally. AndreaReplyDelete
Hi Andrea, thank you for commenting - what a lovely blog you have. I see you're also a fan of Diana Henry's book. I was delighted to find this particular book going cheap but still think it's a shame that it has such a Christmas specific title as I can't help but think it'll put people off now it's January and it's such a good book it deserves a much longer season.ReplyDelete