From my Goodreads.com review:
I marked this book as read, although I didn’t read the whole thing. It’s a cookbook more than anything, and I highly doubt very many of us actually read a cookbook in its entirety.
The thing is, you could make an exception for this one– if it wasn’t quite so massive. I forgive it’s size, though. How else could it contain the breadth of knowledge that it does otherwise?
Even in this age where every blog and cookbook insists on offering a long boring personal story about every dish. How important this recipe is, or how you grow the ingredients yourself, or how each complicated facet of every last technique used is absolutely essential to reach the exquisite potential of the recipe. And you’re like, “it’s a meat loaf, just tell me how you make meatloaf so I can make it for dinner.”– this book takes it up a notch.
But while this is not a cookbook for the impatient, its also not as long-winded and pointless as stories of personally meaningful meatloaf recipes.
I knew I would like it from the moment I turned to the introduction which had a section titled “Eating good food in season”. Followed by a first chapter called “Foraging”.
This is straight up gold. Recipes featuring comfrey, dandelion greens, elderflower, and wild mushrooms. My biggest complaint, and it’s selfish one, so I will dock no stars for it, is that it’s geographically centered on Ireland and the UK. A shame for this Southern Californian dwelling lover of foraging and traditional food skills.
Still, the wealth of information is useful no matter where you live. From preserving the bounty of your garden, to preparing game animals, to raising your own chickens. The recipes assume that we are not only involved in the production and gathering of our own ingredients on some level, but that we won’t settle for producing only the most basic dishes.
From pheasant braised with gin, to elderflower fritters. From Irish stew to homemade mayo and everything in between. The variety and number of recipes makes this worth every penny. The advice on technique is just icing on the “Irish Porter Cake” (page 537.)
One of my favorite recipe books of all time.
Seriously, if you have any appreciation for eating with the seasons, growing your own food, connecting with traditional kitchen skills, or just want to start cooking more stuff from scratch, this is an excellent book to have on your shelf. Especially if you have an adventurous palate.