If you ever want to see an example of mass hysteria, look no further than the food shops of Britain a few days before Christmas where you will see people mounding their shopping trolleys full of food. Either they're having a huge feast for Christmas or else they're worried about the end of the world deadline that came and went last week. For those who are feasting over the holidays, here is a little help from Bompas and Parr.
published by Pavilion Books, 2012, £25
Feasting is the latest cookbook from the famous jellymongers. These young men do interesting things with jelly and booze. Now they're looking into the art of feasting and all of its components.
Feasting isn't just about food; it's about the service, the presentation and the atmosphere. They are quite right to discuss these angles of feasting in detail. If you're going to indulge, you might as well do it right.
As for the recipes, most of them yield 8 servings, so a manageable size. But if you have a larger crowd to feed, the authors have included a recipe for Lanvin Meringues that will serve 33,000 people. It's probably not one you would use every day, but it's nice to know the recipe is there if the masses should descend on you.
The recipes are for food that's fairly familiar, but with a twist as in Glitter Ham, Caped Turkey, and Whisky Porridge. Where Bompass and Parr really excel is in their presentation. It's truly original and fun. You'll be wishing you had an excuse to serve your quail dripping in jewels.
Whatever you're doing for Christmas this year, I hope it's a happy one for you. Culinaria Libris is going to take its annual break for the holidays with a much needed rest and recharge of the batteries. We'll start up again in January and see what's going on in the world of cookbooks. So long for now and Merry Christmas!