Alongside reams of information on the kind of old fashioned kitchen and housekeeping techniques that were in danger of being lost, Allen has crammed more than 700 recipes into 600 pages of close-packed text. If you’ve ever had a yearning to take up chicken rearing, cider making, fish smoking or foraging for seaweed, you’ll find all that here, and more. Much, much more.
From foraging to poultry, dairy to preserving, this is the kind of book that you pick up for one recipe and get lost for days. It’s particularly strong on baking with plenty of recipes for puddings (Summer Fruit Jelly, Figgy Toffee Pudding), cakes (Lemon Cornmeal Cake, Barmbrack) and biscuits (Gingernuts, Shortbread Biscuits) and a whole bread chapter that is no less than a call to arms in defence of our daily bread.
Forgotten Skills of Cooking is a book that just might change your life. And, even if it doesn’t go that far, it certainly will enhance it.
Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen is published by Kyle Cathie
Reviewed by Caroline Hennessy, journalist, broadcaster and author of
Bibliocook: All About Food
Musings and meanderings, rants, reviews and recipes on Bibliocook.com:
All About Food, a blog that started in Christchurch, New Zealand and is now living in North Cork, Ireland.