The Christmas Chronicles - Nigel Slater

Slater’s latest book - only just published and delivered today, so I’ve only had time for a quick skim through.

I’m a mega fan of his recipes and general writing. Yes, I know he comes over as a bit of a ponce on TV but the man can cook and the man can write. I have all his books and cook from them regularly - his sausage & bean casserole from “30 Minute Cook” is almost a staple at Harters Hall.

This one is slightly different - along the lines of the Kitchen Diaries series, so it bobbles along in date order with recipes interspersed with more chat than there is in KD. For instance, there’s a couple of pages about his boyhood enjoyment of pantomime and its importance in our Christmas culture, followed by a recipe for an aubergine and lentil dish.

This is not just yet another Christmas cookbook. He starts off in early November and runs through to mid January, subtitling the book “Notes, stories & 100 essential recipes for midwinter”. I think I’m going to enjoy the read . And I’m certainly going to enjoy making and eating the pigs cheek and prune terrine.

If there is 1 Slater book to own (I have none), which is your recommendation, the must have in a bookshelf?

I’d say “Eat”.

It’s a tricky question to ask a fan. His early books were very much “quick cook” ones, like the 30 Minute one I mentioned. Short recipes, written pretty much without much extra narrative. The later ones, like Kitchen Diaries and Tender, were much more chatty. But he returned to the short, quick style with “Eat” and I think it works. Opening the book, at random, on one page there’s a recipe for smoked haddock with lentils - and on the opposite page a recipe for the haddock with mushrooms & cream and another for kippers, butter beans and cream. And that’s very much a return to the early style of “what have I got in the fridge that I can use for dinner”. It’s very much the book I use most often when I’m trying to think of something a bit different to do with, say, lamb chops. If someone said to me that I could only keep five cookbooks, then this would be one of them.


I tried to have a look in amazon uk, unfortunately technical problem with the “look inside” function, and shows mainly blank pages. But £13.00 for a hard cover, 400+ pages with colour printing, it is a bargain!

On many recommendations (including from @Harters), I ordered this book through the New England Mobile Book Fair in Newton, MA. I highly recommend it. Lots of great recipes; I don’t cook from it as often as I should, but almost everything I’ve tried I’ve enjoyed.

If you want to see hundreds of his recipes, check out The Guardian - from 2017 back to 1999: