Friday, October 19, 2012

Review-The Irish Countrywomen's Association Cookbook

I will admit here that the previous post on this book originated from the publishers, Gill & Macmillan posting a delicious looking photograph of carrot and pineapple squares and me going hunting to find out about the book

Imagine my delight when a copy came through my door for a full perusal. This is a beautifully produced book with its wholesome cover image of eggs in an attractive holder and milk in a glass pint bottle. Edited by Aoife Carigy, it has some beautiful photography by Joanne Murphy of country houses and shabby chic kitchen agas as well of course of delicious looking food.

The ICA was established in 1910 and is an Irish institution. Despite having produced local cookbooks over the years, this is the first national one to have been compiled. Liz Wall, the National President of the ICA tells us in the introduction that up until the late 1920s, potatoes, cabbages and onions were the only vegetables grown throughout Ireland (imagine!) but that in 1929 the ICA bought and distributed seeds of new vegetables and taught its members how to grow and cook them. The network of country markets set up from 1947 helped home producers find a way to market and sell them.
           Early ICA photo

Today we have the ICA Boot camp on television so the ladies truly still move with the times  as well as having been creators of change in the past.

The book covers recipes of;
Soups, Salads & Starters
Main Meals (with the most delicious photo of Dublin Coddle you'll ever rest your eyes upon!)
On The Side- Veg, Salad, Dips and Preserves
Baking & Sweet Things (don't miss the pretty strawberry sables and the coffee mud cake)

As well as the recipes there are intermittent tip pages; how to cook for a crowd, how to cook within a budget, how to cook potatoes (10 tips!), how to make preserves and how to bake.

With an appendix of historic members of the ICA and what they achieved this book is truly a dedication to the pioneering work that the ICA has done and continues to do today. Well done ladies- we salute you! Publishers:

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