Friday, April 19, 2013

The O'Brien Press- The Mammy by Brendan O'Carroll, Winning a Losing Battle by Gary Kirwan and Food For Friends by Edward Hayden

O'Brien Press have some very nice books out at the moment. The first is an ole favourite. Brendan O'Carroll's The Mammy was first published in 1994 and has been in constant print ever since. In a new edition and reprinted four times in 2012 this book was the inspiration behind his TV series Mrs Brown's Boys.

The Mammy of the title is Agnes Brown, Moore Street trader, mother of seven and wife to Redser Browne in Dublin in the late 1960s. How she copes when Redser dies is told here in this ever popular book.

Gary Kirwan gained lots of attention in his battle to lose weight through the radio coverage on The Ray D'Arcy Show. From Limerick, Gary Kirwan had contacted the show because no scales would take his weight. Weighed live on air on Ray's 'Fix it Friday' he was 41 stone and 3 pounds. This was the start of his attempt to do something about it.
Book Cover     

His story and transformation has been followed on the show and has been an inspiration to others. In his determination to help others who have struggled like himself he has written about his experiences and tips on training and nutrition in Winning A Losing Battle: From 41 Stone to a New Life. His book tells of how he has managed to lose fifteen stone, as well as completing the Dublin City Marathon twice, triathlons and returning to college.

The final book is due out at the end of the month. Food for Friends is by Edward Hayden, who appears regularly on TV3's Ireland AM as well as in cookery columns in  Woman's Way. This book is about entertaining, in every way, with chapter titles: Brilliant Brunches, Home-Baking Essentials, Children's Birthday Party, Sizzling Summer Barbecues, Summer Salads, Informal Suppers, Food For Romance, Movie Night In, Dinner Party, Big Occasions and Here Comes Santa Claus.

It's a really nice looking book and well laid out. For anyone who entertains regularly or who puts together kids parties or casual barbecue meals, there are loads of great ideas and recipes here. None of them are too complicated because who wants to spend ages in the kitchen or fret over a tricky dish when they are entertaining but having all these suggestions in one book is always a great help. I regularly refer to Nigella Lawson's Feast for entertaining ideas and this book has a similar approach.

Particularly lovely photos that caught my eye were the Chocolate and hazelnut biscotti, Pesto and sundried tomato bread, Potato salad with pesto, pine nuts and smoked bacon, Moroccan couscous and the Mixed grill skewers.

With Edward Hayden's smiling face on the cover this is a book that would make a great present for the young cook starting out on the entertaining path or for anyone at all who likes cooking for friends.

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