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The news is filled with reports of retailers struggling to make ends meat after Christmas. I can say with remarkable assuredness that shops selling cooking-related produce should be fine in the opening period of 2012. Freesia and I have told a lot of people that we have a food related blog and as a result Santa came down the chimney to the tune of the clatter of pots, pans and rattle of cutlery… These are just some of the gifts we have gratefully received over Christmas🙂

The family meal, by Ferrán Adriá Freesia found this book in a little bookshop in Belsize Park and immediately fell in love with it. Having already ordered online Argentina Cooks! I was a little hesitant to get another cookery book for her. So I asked my parents to get it for her instead.. They kindly obliged🙂

Ferrán Adriá used to be the chef of El Bulli. A restaurant in Girona, Spain which was the best restaurant of the world 5 times. Nowadays it is a foundation (check out the website for more info). The book has the recipes of the meals that the staff used to eat while working in the restaurant, so it has some very nice Spanish meals in it. Freesia.

Gregg’s favourite puddings, by Gregg Wallace So possibly a dessert book may not be the best way to approach dieting. However, as Freesia says, ‘everything in moderation’ so hopefully we’ll get the chance to try some🙂 This was a present from my housemate as a result of watching the Masterchef UK TV programme. Greg Wallace is an odd little presenter, shoveling fork-fulls of chocolate sponge into his grin whilst making faces and noises of a Babestation UK model.

Argentina cooks! by Shirley Lomax Brooks Can you believe that this is the only Argentinian cookbook I could find? I don’t know whether there are no cameras in Argentina but it’s a black and white book full of words… Perhaps the food is rubbish and that’s why there are no pictures… Maybe. I find that hard to believe but we’ll try a few recipes and let you know if they are any good… Plus, we will show pictures🙂

The preserving book by Lynda Brown I borrowed some preserving books from the library a couple of weeks ago with the aim of putting myself into the Preserve world. Having a look to all of them, I decided this one was the best one, full of pictures as I like cook books and a very useful step by step explanation. So we decided to get it with some voucher we had for Christmas😉 Freesia.

A new knife set was a wonderful gift from my brother’s family for Christmas. I’ve tried all of the knives and they are sharp enough to cut a hole through time… taking me to an era in which I had no coordination and lacerate myself repeatedly.

Storage jars were a present for Freesia from my parents. This will tie in nicely with the The Preserving Book which is jam-packed with ideas.🙂 This book was a gift via a gift voucher from my aunt.

And the final gift to mention were the sauce bottles which are merely for food presentation. Allowing us to perform smears, wisps, lines and dots we can really attempt to make our dishes incorporate the 3 P’s of presentation… pretentiousness, pomposity, and er… phlamboyance.

Tim