AN IRISH COUNTRY COOKBOOK by Patrick Taylor. Forge (www.tor-forge.com), 2017, 368 pp., $21.99. ISBN 978-0-7653-8279-5. Click here to purchase.
In years past, English and Irish cooking has taken lots of knocks. It often does not resemble what we have come to think of as healthy, low-calorie food, as it often incorporates items such as heavy cream, alcohol and the like in its recipes.
But any dish in moderation won’t kill you, so an occasional rich diversion is OK in my book. And given the IRISH COUNTRY COOKBOOK contains recipes from one of my favorites, the IRISH COUNTRY DOCTOR books by Patrick Taylor, it only makes sense to give it a go.
The book has more than 100 recipes from Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly’s feisty and devoted housekeeper and cook, Maureen “Kinky” Auchinleck. Kinky’s recipes have featured prominently in the book series, not only because they make the reader salivate but because Dr. O‘Reilly loves to eat. I’ve been tempted to chew on a page or two!
It’s a well-done book, filled with not only the recipes but also 10 new short stories from the series and Kinky’s notes and suggestions. Ingredients are listed in both U.S. and European measurements. But unlike a book where you could possibly get away with just scanning the pages, to really judge it, you have to actually make something.
Given that we’re a vegetarian-leaning household, I would not be inclined to make the meat dishes. But there are plenty of other items to choose from: vegetables, desserts, breads and soups -- you name it. I tried the Carmelized Armagh Apple and Cinnamon Brulee and the Potato Soup. Yum!
If you enjoy the series, why not pair it with a new gastronomical experience? AN IRISH COUNTRY COOKBOOK is the perfect way to eat and read your way to happiness.