Currently Reading: The Christmas Chronicles

I'm not quite sure where I heard about this book, but it came highly recommended. I was curious, so I read up on it and discovered that NIgel Slater sounds like he might be the British equivalent to Ina Garten. It was described as part diary, part cookbook. That's intriguing! And then I read the reviews. I'm not sure I'd ever seen any book on Amazon get solely five-star reviews. Goodness, but they were glowing! So, I splurged and bought it. And I'm ever so glad I did.

Apparently, Nigel Slater, is as passionate about winter as I am. He's written the book in diary form, and that's how I'm reading entry a day on each day, from November 1st through February 2nd. He puts voice to all that is in my heart about winter, as he contemplates all its holidays and beauty and quietness.

"Turn the lights off on a winter's night and light a candle or two instead. Instantly, the smell of cordite, and soon the scent of beeswax. Shadows to feed the imagination, flickers of flame, perhaps the scent of woodsmoke by which to read a book.
None of this would I wish to be without." 

"There is...less to smell in the winter, because odour molecules, denser in the cold, move more slowly in the air in the the cool weather. So we actually smell fewer things. This may explain why the smells we do notice, the smoke from burning leaves or of roasting nuts, or a pot of marmalade bubbling on the hob or the Christmas tree being brought into the house, is more pronounced. Our nose is less confused with other smells."

I haven'e yet tried any of the recipes, but from liquor-soaked fruit for cordials to "Braised brisket with porcini and onion gravy", they all sound delicious.

I'm looking forward to slowly savoring this book for the next few months...just like I savor winter.


  1. It is going to be the first "Christmas book" I read this year. I bought it when it first came out (even before the American version was available) but I didn't get a chance to read more than a few chapters. I set it aside for this year to thoroughly enjoy it. A friend of mine introduced me to Nigel's books a few years ago and the three I own are enjoyable reads.

  2. I have also seen this and keep debating about buying it. Glad you like it!

    1. I do recommend it! But it wouldn't hurt to push it off for another year, if you want to read it an entry at a time, because you'd be a few weeks behind at this point. Not that that would bother everybody, but it would bother me. But I'm probably odd. ;-)


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