Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Coping with the Cradocks at Christmas + Vintage Book Giveaway!

Oh my Fanny Cradock, it's blooming December already - how on earth did that happen? Fanny would be thoroughly ashamed of me as I really haven't had time to prepare for Christmas yet. She always makes a very prompt start in, erm, January, so I can't even decide if I'm late or just a little bit ahead by thinking about it now. Perhaps I've missed a whole year somewhere? Fanny laid out her blueprint for a perfect Christmas first of all in her much-sought-after book Coping with Christmas in 1968 - the book that supposedly 'let's you relax at Christmas', but ironically sent the housewife of the sixties into a severe seasonal spin. Nigella references it in her Christmas book too. I am hoping to inspire some of you to follow in Fanny's rather imposing footsteps by giving away a copy of this essential reading - read on to find out how! It's my Christmas gift to you (wrinkles nose and smiles to camera).

Fanny Cradock Coping with Christmas

Firstly though, just incase I am not alone and we are all in a flap, we needn't worry too much - Fanny will soon be appearing on a TV near you thanks to the guys at Food Network UK (scheduled to begin on December 7th, set to record NOW) running through all her handy hints for festive fun. I've already had a head start in previous years as I cooked my way through the many 'Treats de Noël' that she shoehorned in to share on the show... Let's take a wee trip and skip back through the joys that are an Essential Cradock Christmas. Fanny was very fond of Choux Paste as we know, and it is her first 'must make' for guests this Christmas.

Fanny Cradock Coping with Christmas

Best to make plenty of those to keep your tupperware boxes full to keep your guests filled up, they may not be as keen on the Royal Mincemeat creations. In fairness Fanny's mincemeat is delicious, and it is put to good use making Mince Pies, Mincemeat Pancakes and even a Mincemeat Swiss Roll if you really fancy it. If you must. However I defy anyone to make and ENJOY the infamous Mincemeat Omelette. Served wet, of course, with a very thick dusting of icing sugar. It only makes it taste even worse, but you'll definitely want to hide it as best you can.

Fanny Cradock Coping with Christmas

Quickly grab a bottle of booze and take a swig after tasting that, that's the only advice I can possibly give. While it's in your hand, slosh some into a small pan, heat gently and fling it over your lovingly created Christmas Pudding and waggle it gently as you set fire to it. Keep wiggling as you take it through to wow your guests, and hope that they forget the wuggly omelette.

Fanny Cradock Coping with Christmas

If anyone still has room, and doesn't fancy another quickly prepared omelette (Poor Sarah is on hand if you've acquired a taste) the Christmas Cake is the perfect crowning glory... You really should've made it well before now of course, Fanny will be cross with you (and me), but perhaps we could make them together now ready for next year and just keep them 'lively' with the odd splash of booze, which by now we all understand, is constantly in hand.

Fanny Cradock Coping with Christmas

So that's how Fanny copes with Christmas. Easy. Except these are only the very basics you see. Tune in to her jolly Christmas shows to see more, and do enter my giveaway below to win your very own copy of Coping with Christmas, which contains many more ideas and recipes than she even managed to squeeze into the specially made-for-TV Booklet (this book is not that, just to be clear). If you win, we can start together in January and be so very prepared for Christmas 2016, and not shamefully caught out again, like this year. Go on, enter now*, you'll be surprised how much of a perfect Cradock Christmas you've coped without doing before.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fanny Cradock Coping with Christmas

* If you are the lucky winner chosen by Rafflecopter I will send you this lovely book, which is a duplicate from my own collection - it's a used, vintage paperback printed in 1968 but is in really great condition and is a HOOT to read!

54 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Well, let's hope you are lucky! Fingers crossed...

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  2. I think What Would Fanny Do and then I get half cut and shout at my husband :) Not really, I stay calm and just think of it as just a big roast dinner with a few extra trimmings. Fanny could help me use up the mincemeat that I always have left over from making mince pies.

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    1. Oh, I always do that - What Would Fanny Do, and also Would Fanny it Me If I... lots of mincemeat inspiration here! Fingers crossed!

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  3. never sure what to cook to appease everybody but the book may give me a few ideas!

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  4. Mincemeat omelette... I bet my husband would give that one a go, but then he loves eggy things.

    I'd love to be in with a chance to win some vintage Fanny!

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    1. Well, if you are lucky you can let me know if your husband likes it! Good luck!

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  5. Perhaps a donning ball gown or some gaudy eye shadow will help?! I'm sure this book would be a hoot to read. Love Fanny and will be tuning in on 7 December!

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  6. I don't have enough seventies food!

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    1. Well, this could be your answer! Good luck!

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  7. I cope with Christmas by shouting at everyone SHUT UP IT'S TOO EARLY TO WORRY ABOUT ALL THIS YET right up until December 23rd!

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    1. Well that's certainly one strategy... Perhaps you need Fanny's help?

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  8. Can't wait to watch the Fanny Christmas shows. That's definitely the best way to cope with Christmas. Plus Gin. Lots of Gin.

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  9. Reading about Fanny's incredibly elaborate Christmas would help me survive the Festive season. I can't imagine anything more joyous than reclining with a glass of something whlst studying the diktats of La Fanny.

    You are a complete & utter STAR for keeping this blog going & I am in awe of your devotion to Madame Cradock.
    Mwaaaa!

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    1. Well that sounds perfect... I may join you! Thanks, and good luck!

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  10. I cope with Christmas by having an early drink! I would love to know ways to time my cooking better.

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    1. Probably the answer is more drink, but Fanny has a WHOLE section on timings! Good luck!

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  11. I cope with Christmas by leaving everything to the last minute and doing things in a panic!!

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    1. Oh dear, Fanny would not be pleased to hear that... fingers crossed you win and mend your ways

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  12. Just bringing back so many memories!

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  13. Cope with Christmas by sorting "presents" out as soon as I can instead of leaving it until the last minute, buying cards in the January sales (just have to remember where they are) and letting someone else cook Christmas dinner. I do wash up afterwards, although they are usually subjected to my loud rock music while I do so. :)

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    1. Fanny would be so pleased to hear all this! Fingers crossed for you!

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  14. I would organise myself with lists and weighed out ingredients as I think Fanny would have done. I would also cook as if I was on camera, keeping calm and being superior.

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    1. Ah-ha, a perfect assistant for Fanny! Fingers crossed!

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  15. What would Fanny do? Colour everything a lurid bright green, hit the sherry and blame the hired help. Sounds like an average day in the kitchen for me ;-)

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    1. Star pupil! You'll advance up the culinary ladder easily with this book! Good luck!

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  16. Fanny has become a figure of fun for many reasons, most of them entirely correct. But her techniques, and in the Xmas series in particular, are perfect. I still follow her guidance every year

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    1. I enjoy that behind the fun is the skill, it makes it even more entertaining for me! I follow her guidance every DAY - where will it all end?!

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  17. I've set my Sky box to record series - have been searching the listings for ages - hurrah for The Food Network - I particularly like Fanny's trifle and her use of Mincemeat in an omelette - fingers crossed I win would LOVE her book @msgasometer

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    1. Me too, it doesn't matter how often I've watched them, I like to tune in and see them again! Fingers crossed you'll have this book to make even more Mincemeat omelettes with!

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  18. I love the cake with all the silver balls. Really reminds me of the Christmases of my childhood. So impressed you can still get the frills to go round them.

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  19. I cope by keeping things comparatively simple, and pre-preparing as much as possible! Fanny could help by coming round and doing the cooking for me ;)

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    1. Well, this is the next best thing! Good luck!

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  20. They could help by making everything simple for me

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  21. We Are working nights all of the Christmas holidays and need fast good food.

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    1. Fingers crossed Fanny has the shortcuts you are looking for!

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  22. Who wouldn't love a mincemeat omelette! And I could do with a bit of help with my 'christmas bird' - hopefully Fanny can help :-)

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    1. Well, as I've made one, maybe not me! But thankfully we are all different, so perhaps it's just the recipe for you! Good luck!

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  23. I have to do a vegetarian Xmas Day meal, any help required with that would be good haha

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    1. Well, at least you'll be saved from 'carving' the turkey with garden secateurs... There a lots of ideas for vegetarian foods, in the book and of course on this blog, which is all veggie, so you are bound to get some inspiration! Good luck!

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  24. I let other people worry about Christmas & go with the flow.

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    1. I like your style - Fanny had a somewhat similar attitude I think, but then again she had an army of assistants to hand!

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  25. I'd love to win this - Fanny definitely gave Christmas her all!

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    1. She certainly did - fingers crossed she brings good luck to your new home!

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  26. I've never had a fanny book!! Would love one though - I love watching her on Youtube x

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    1. This could be the perfect one to start you off! Good luck!

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