I had not heard of Delia Smith before moving to the UK. I Arrived in November and my thoughts immediately turned to cooking my first traditional British Christmas meal. As Mr A handed to me his battered copy of Delia Smith’s Christmas he said, “if you do what Delia says, it will always work”.

Now I am a confident cook when it comes to big feast meals but I turned to Delia that Christmas 8 years ago and it has come off the shelf every year since!

Delia Smith’s Christmas is not just a book of recipes. It has chapters like List and More Lists, Christmas on Ice, Talking Turkey and Geese and Hams, A Party Selection and The Last 36 Hours to help you get organised for the big day and get a beautiful homemade lunch on the table at 2:00pm Christmas day. But yes, you will also find tasty recipes that work in the other chapters: All Kinds of Christmas Cakes, Talking Turkey and Geese and Hams, Christmas Puddings and Mincemeat, Preserves, Pickles and Chutneys, Canapés and Nibbles, A Vegetarian Christmas, Ducks Geese and Game, Roasted Meats and Cold Cuts, Vegetable Dishes and Salads, Christmas Desserts and Sweet Dishes, Homemade Sweets and Chocolates and of course a chapter on what to do with the tasty left overs!

I have made so many recipes from Delia Smith’s Christmas that I could write a book about them myself, but I will just highlight two of them here.

If you are nervous about cooking a turkey, or have cooked a turkey and it was not perfect, try the Delia method. Her method is fool proof and I get a moist, golden turkey every time. What I love about it, is that it the turkey doesn’t need frequent basting! I have shared her method with my sister and mother and we all love it!

Here is a link to her turkey cooking method from her website but additional helpful information is in the cookbook.

Last year, I was chatting on Twitter to one of my knitting friends in London Rachel, @knittingtastic, about baking for Christmas. She recommended Delia’s Creole Christmas Cake as it is delicious and super easy to make. The recipe can be found on line here but it is also in the book.

This is similar to the fruit cakes made in the Bahamas but so much easier. It is moist and delicious but not cloyingly sweet as some fruitcakes are. If you don’t finish it up over the holidays, wrap it up well and store in a cake tin. Mr A and I just finished last year’s cake to make room in the tin for Creole Christmas Cake 2014.

Delia's Creole Christmas Cake

Undecorated Creole Christmas Cake – Rich, Moist and Fruity

You need to soak the fruit for at least 1 week before baking the cake but you can soak the fruits for longer if you like. The pre-soaking calls for a variety of liquors (rum, brandy, cherry brandy and port). I use the brandy and rum as I always have those to hand but, use whatever I have in the house if I don’t have any cherry brandy and port. This year I used Cointreau and my homemade blackberry wine.

The recipe also calls for a variety of dried fruit and nuts. What I love about this recipe is that you can mix and match the dried fruits; using up what you may have stored in your baking cupboard. Just make sure you use the correct total amount of dried fruit and nuts given in the recipe. For example, the recipe calls for 450g of raisins. I had 300g but I also had 150g dried cranberries needing to be used up; so this year I used 300g of raisins and 150g of dried cranberries instead of 450g of raisins. Last year, I had some dried figs knocking about so I used them by adjusting the quantity of currants.

Delia recommends decorating with a glazed nut topping. I, however, leave my plain as it is delicious as is and I find it easier to store for the year if we do not devour over the holidays.

I simply love this cookbook. I start to get the festive spirit as soon as I take it off the shelf. I recommend this book whether you are a confident or novice Christmas lunch cook.

Would love to hear what you will be cooking this year for the holidays! Happy holiday cooking and baking!

You can find this book at good local book stores and on Amazon by clicking the image below,

*If you want to know more about Carol’s adventure with food or even join her on one then check out Food Adventure Ltd.