Love it or hate it, it's most definitely that time of year again (and for the record I LOVE it!). So, it's chocolate for breakfast, mince pies for elevenses and mulled wine whenever I can get my mitts on it. Ace.
Along with all the eating and drinking I'll be trying to get my Christmas shopping done in plenty of time this year. There's always a few people who are difficult to buy for, so, being a generous sort of person, I thought I'd help you out with some pressie ideas.
And I'm starting you off with a cracker(!). Even if your loved one's bookcase is already groaning with cookbooks, I can guarantee they'll make room for this one. Shiny, spanking brand new: Hashi: A Japanese Cookery Course, by Reiko Hashimoto.
As you might remember, I've done Reiko's Beginners course and am currently doing the Gourmet course, so I'm familiar with a fair few of the recipes and I can reliably inform you that they're all delicious. In the book, they are throughly explained step-by-step, with useful cook's tips throughout.
This book does what Reiko does so well in person: it demystifies Japanese cookery and makes it accessible. A reference section at the front gives you all the information you need on equipment and utensils, as well as lots of interesting facts about the cuisine itself. Reiko's down-to-earth approach comes across well in the text and there's plenty to learn, without it being overfacing.
The book is beautifully styled and the photography is stunning. I bought my copy yesterday and I'm over the moon with it. I'm sure anyone you buy it for will be too.