I’ve just opened the first window on my first advent calendar since I was at school – I saw the Montezuma’s Advent Calendar on sale on Ocado and went for it! (although I see it is out of stock at the time of writing, it is available on Montezuma’s website at 25% off). I am definitely in favour of calendars with quality chocolate in them – I don’t see the point in wasting calories on chocolate which is lower in quality!
The Lindt Milk Calendar looked interesting – but I prefer dark chocolate if at all possible, so the entirely milk chocolate selection didn’t quite tempt me enough. The Lindt Dark Calendar tempted me a lot until I saw the price! It is cheaper on the Lindt website, but you then have to add nearly £4 shipping and having to be in for the postal delivery (as opposed to being able to pick a slot with online shopping).
I very much like the idea (next year) of getting a reusable advent calendar and filling it myself with Dark Lindor Truffles or Dark Ferrero Rocher (I am still in mourning that these don’t come in their own box anymore, and you have to get the milk and white ones too).
I bought this book (the second edition in blue) over a decade ago, and it has proven it deserves the prime place in my tiny bookcase in the kitchen. It is one of those reference books which answers all the basic questions you might have, from cooking times for joints of meat to how to boil an egg, as well as being packed full of all the classic recipes you might ever want to make. I see this as the one cookery basics book that is a must for every kitchen – and when comparing it to the other similar books (Delia Smith’s cookery course for example) it wins as the recipes are that much more reliable so that you don’t need to practise them (and then tweak them!) before a dinner party.
I refer to it all the time, and it is quite battered and mucky now! I used it this morning to check cooking times for soft boiling eggs from the fridge. My absolute favourite recipe from it happens to be one that is freely available on Leith’s website – the gingerbread recipe that I make every single christmas season
. If you are after a fail safe book to give to someone who has just set up their own house, or are just getting into cooking properly, this is definitely a must buy.