To celebrate the release of Nadiya Hussain’s (winner of The Great British Bake Off 2015 and the popular Nadiya’s British Food Adventure series on BBC Two) brand new Nadiya’s Bake Me A Festive Story cookbook we caught up to talk all things cooking and Christmas of course! You can read more about Nadiya’s Bake Me A Festive Story here.
1. This is your second Children’s book, what inspired the Christmas theme?
I love autumn and winter and all the colours and flavours you get at that time of year. Ginger has to be one of my favourite spices. Christmas is all about coming together and sharing food and stories which is what the whole Bake Me a Story concept is so a book with a festive theme that families can enjoy together was such fun to do.
2. Bringing together stories and recipes is a wonderful idea, what was the concept behind the idea?
It was an epiphany moment! My kids are massive readers, they’ve always got a book in their hands and they love being read to. And they pester me in the kitchen while I’m cooking and that’s when the idea came to me – what if I wrote a book that stays in the kitchen with stories that are matched with recipes.
3. What is you and your family’s favourite recipe from Bake Me a Festive Story?
The book is coming out at a time when things are all about food (Halloween, Bonfire night, Christmas). I have sweet tooth so this book was such a treat for me to create recipes for. The kids help me with the testing and our favourite recipes from the book are – the cheesy feet biscuits from Where Do the Odd Socks Go? They’re such fun to make with kids. And we love the Lemon Shortcake Choux Buns from The Elves and the Choux Maker. The book is all about creating a little bit of magic at home. Some are harder recipes then others but families can pick and choose.
4. Who will be cooking this Christmas in your home?
Me and my sisters. My sisters are so helpful (they don’t just sit around like my lovely brothers do!!). I’m lucky with my family -even if I said to my sisters don’t bring anything they will. They’ll bring anything and they don’t care if it doesn’t go with anything else (like one sister will bring cauliflower cheese another pilau) but they’re just trying to helpful.
5. Preparation – What would you recommend to prepare in advance for the festive season?
Like everyone else Christmas in our house is about cooking for lots of people so it’s all about pre prep. When you’re hosting 28 people and you’re the cook it pays to plan ahead! I have to be really organised and plan at least 4 weeks in advance just to source halal meat. I parcool my sprouts and freeze and the roast potatoes too. Remember during Xmas it’s all about freeing up that oven space (turkey will take up a lot of room).
6. What is/will Christmas be like in the Hussain household?
It’s my sister’s birthday on Christmas Eve and mine on Christmas day so it’s a real celebration and her kids and mine plot and decorate the house together. So the fairy lights and balloons come out. We always have a traditional Christmas dinner and the best thing is I get all the presents because it’s my birthday!
It was wonderful to chat to Nadiya and what’s more to celebrate the launch of Bake Me A Festive Story we also have a special giveaway for you. Nadiya has kindly SIGNED a copy of her wonderful book to give away. To enter this competition click HERE.