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Forgotten Skills of Cooking: The Lost Art of Creating Delicious Home Produce, with Over 600 Recipes

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In this timely new book, Darina reconnects you with the cooking skills that missed a generation or two. The book is divided into chapters such as Dairy, Poultry and Eggs, Bread, and Preserving, and forgotten processes such as smoking mackerel, curing bacon, and making yogurt and butter are explained in the simplest terms. The delicious recipes show you how to use your home In this timely new book, Darina reconnects you with the cooking skills that missed a generation or two. The book is divided into chapters such as Dairy, Poultry and Eggs, Bread, and Preserving, and forgotten processes such as smoking mackerel, curing bacon, and making yogurt and butter are explained in the simplest terms. The delicious recipes show you how to use your homemade bounty to its best, and include ideas for using forgotten cuts of meat, baking bread and cakes, and even eating food from the wild. The Vegetables and Herbs chapter is stuffed with growing tips to satisfy even those with the smallest garden plot or window box, and there are plenty of suggestions for using gluts of vegetables. You'll even discover how to keep a few chickens in your backyard. With over 700 recipes, this is the definitive modern guide to traditional cooking skills.


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In this timely new book, Darina reconnects you with the cooking skills that missed a generation or two. The book is divided into chapters such as Dairy, Poultry and Eggs, Bread, and Preserving, and forgotten processes such as smoking mackerel, curing bacon, and making yogurt and butter are explained in the simplest terms. The delicious recipes show you how to use your home In this timely new book, Darina reconnects you with the cooking skills that missed a generation or two. The book is divided into chapters such as Dairy, Poultry and Eggs, Bread, and Preserving, and forgotten processes such as smoking mackerel, curing bacon, and making yogurt and butter are explained in the simplest terms. The delicious recipes show you how to use your homemade bounty to its best, and include ideas for using forgotten cuts of meat, baking bread and cakes, and even eating food from the wild. The Vegetables and Herbs chapter is stuffed with growing tips to satisfy even those with the smallest garden plot or window box, and there are plenty of suggestions for using gluts of vegetables. You'll even discover how to keep a few chickens in your backyard. With over 700 recipes, this is the definitive modern guide to traditional cooking skills.

30 review for Forgotten Skills of Cooking: The Lost Art of Creating Delicious Home Produce, with Over 600 Recipes

  1. 5 out of 5

    Redsteve

    This is an amazingly extensive book of traditional foodways, recipes and practical advice, including gathering, preserving and cooking with wild herbs, flowers, fruits, mushrooms, preparing and cooking fish, shellfish, seaweed, game animals, and wildfowl, as well as farm-raised meats, such as beef, pork and lamb - including sausage-making techniques. In addition to recipes, the author gives a wealth of practical advice on raising and butchering chickens. She covers all manner of preservation tec This is an amazingly extensive book of traditional foodways, recipes and practical advice, including gathering, preserving and cooking with wild herbs, flowers, fruits, mushrooms, preparing and cooking fish, shellfish, seaweed, game animals, and wildfowl, as well as farm-raised meats, such as beef, pork and lamb - including sausage-making techniques. In addition to recipes, the author gives a wealth of practical advice on raising and butchering chickens. She covers all manner of preservation techniques: air drying, corning, cold and hot smoking, wet and dry curing,, and pickling. She also goes into gardening and various storage techniques for herbs and vegetables, cheesemaking, baking, making flavored oils and vinegars, jam-making, bottling, home-made candies, flavored spirits, syrups and cordials, as well as home brewing ciders and ginger beer. Her advice is common-sensical and easy to understand. One aspect of this book that may be of concern is that it tends to be rather "Irish-centric", which is fine for the recipes (the majority, but hardly all, of them are from the British Isles), but does reduce the usefulness of the advice on gathering wild plants/mushrooms/etc. for readers outside that area, although she does make an effort to suggest some substitutes.

  2. 4 out of 5

    April Sotomayor

    A good friend gave me this book for my birthday this year. Knowing the kind of cook I am - interested in food, all the steps taken to getting it, and its unique preparation were reasons she chose it for me. It was a spot-on, thoughtful gift. The book is focused on food that comes from or is found in the UK and Ireland. I was raised in the US, but I live in England now and have a growing fascination with the wild foods and traditional dishes that are found and made here. British food has had a ba A good friend gave me this book for my birthday this year. Knowing the kind of cook I am - interested in food, all the steps taken to getting it, and its unique preparation were reasons she chose it for me. It was a spot-on, thoughtful gift. The book is focused on food that comes from or is found in the UK and Ireland. I was raised in the US, but I live in England now and have a growing fascination with the wild foods and traditional dishes that are found and made here. British food has had a bad wrap, but I am quickly finding that much of that is unfounded. So far, this book has taught me how to find and prepare easily gathering foods (free food!), such as wild greens and fruits. It has also shown me how to make simple cheeses and prepare preserves/syrups/chutneys - all things I was once afraid to try. It may take me a while to get into the preparation of offal, but this book has already made me face up to some of my food hypocrisy and give the seemingly unappetizing ingredient a chance. I began with nettles, but by Christmas I may even attempt suet. It would have been more helpful with additional photos and details on how to ensure that the food you are finding is safe to eat. I would also add some kind of color coding to the margin for seasonality.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    Darina's voice and her story definitely comes through in this book, it's littered with references of her mentors, peppered with anecdotes of her first henraising experience. Her passion is admirable, but I find the Irish tales a little difficult to relate to. Still, a fun and insightful (and gorgeously laid out) book. Darina's voice and her story definitely comes through in this book, it's littered with references of her mentors, peppered with anecdotes of her first henraising experience. Her passion is admirable, but I find the Irish tales a little difficult to relate to. Still, a fun and insightful (and gorgeously laid out) book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Newman

    What a GREAT book this is! I borrowed it from the library but this is one book that I MUST have for myself. It has BEAUTIFUL photography within and so many recipes encouraging the old ways of putting food on the table: foraging, hunting, growing and ALWAYS using every part you can. So, so good.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    I think Dick Duvall would enjoy this one! But he might start keeping a flock of hens after reading it! OH, and if either of my 2 librarian friends has Librarian Status, the title is completely wrong -- which a simple click on the cover above reveals :)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    A more apropos title for this book might be forgotten foods cooking. If you have access to fields of weeds that are actually edible, this book may be for you. I don’t. And have no idea where I would even begin to locate cowslip, hawthorn or comfrey. Nor is it easy to locate a snipe or a woodcock. Some recipes do not require access to wild plants and animals like a lemon pound cake made with almond flour (though you are supposed to candy your violets. . . ). The meat recipes are head to tail incl A more apropos title for this book might be forgotten foods cooking. If you have access to fields of weeds that are actually edible, this book may be for you. I don’t. And have no idea where I would even begin to locate cowslip, hawthorn or comfrey. Nor is it easy to locate a snipe or a woodcock. Some recipes do not require access to wild plants and animals like a lemon pound cake made with almond flour (though you are supposed to candy your violets. . . ). The meat recipes are head to tail including a stuffed beef heart. And there is also a section on rearing your own chickens and slaughtering them. The cottage pie with garlic butter looks good and approachable. Many recipes are basics quiche, hamburgers, roast chicken, oven roasted tomatoes, chocolate buttermilk cake. And then there is how to make sausage, yogurt and butter and pigs ear with radish and cucumber and radish leaf soup.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cortney Westhoff-O'Farrell

    Cover-to-cover, this book has got just about anything and everything one could think to prepare in Irish cuisine. I did have to seek out a proper Irish Tart as the one in this book is not quite what I'm accustomed to. Furthermore, there's a recipe missing in the book and when I contacted the editor, the reply wasn't even a 'thank you' or 'here's the recipe' it was more of an 'oh well'. So, I've docked the book 1 star. That said, there are some good recipes for foraged foods and I did mock up a d Cover-to-cover, this book has got just about anything and everything one could think to prepare in Irish cuisine. I did have to seek out a proper Irish Tart as the one in this book is not quite what I'm accustomed to. Furthermore, there's a recipe missing in the book and when I contacted the editor, the reply wasn't even a 'thank you' or 'here's the recipe' it was more of an 'oh well'. So, I've docked the book 1 star. That said, there are some good recipes for foraged foods and I did mock up a darn good batch of Nettle Beer years ago - but I referenced the recipe in this book and a few too many other sources, didn't write it down properly, and used an ingredient I no longer have access to, so haven't had that one time success since. Everything else I've tried has worked well.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I absolutely love reading cookbooks, but this one was hard for me. The recipes, while interesting, were not ones that I would venture to make. However, with that being said, I did find it fascinating how different cultures view delicacies.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alisa Kester

    SUCH a fantastic read!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Geraldine Kelly

    This is so much more than a cookbook- I wish I could take the course!

  11. 5 out of 5

    MJ Saison

    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 t 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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joel

    Darina is a hero of mine in the food world. The cover of the book calls her "The Julia Child of Ireland" (on the American version), but I would say that she is much closer to Alice Waters than Child. This book is tremendously expansive, and details nearly any skill you could desire to attain in cooking, from smoking meats to making butter, and nearly everything in between. Darina is all about simplicity, getting to the essence of the flavors in the food. If you read the title carefully, you'll s Darina is a hero of mine in the food world. The cover of the book calls her "The Julia Child of Ireland" (on the American version), but I would say that she is much closer to Alice Waters than Child. This book is tremendously expansive, and details nearly any skill you could desire to attain in cooking, from smoking meats to making butter, and nearly everything in between. Darina is all about simplicity, getting to the essence of the flavors in the food. If you read the title carefully, you'll see that though this book does contain over 600 recipes, the title is actually about skills, not simply a collection of recipes. Darina's passion is for the current generation to re-capture techniques and skills that she saw in her mother's generation and before, but is seeing less and less as time passes. She is a natural teacher, and her conversational, warm tone makes the reading a pleasure instead of like a manual (though it is a fantastic reference). If you want to pick up and browse through the book, I would highly encourage you to not start in the first chapter of recipes, which is on Foraging. This section has a clear focus on foods very native to Ireland, and many of the ingredients are more scarce in America, which has made some think the book is more novelty than anything else. The second and third chapters are on Seafood and Game, respectively, and may continue to contribute to the thought of novelty (Ireland has wonderful cuisine for seafood). Start with the chapter on Beef, and move forward from there. While you're doing so, remember that though you skipped 3 chapters, you are working with 600 recipes, and likely have around 400 remaining which are perfectly simple, often very local to America as well as Ireland, and delicious. Once Darina's warm tone and teaching skill have captured you, you'll likely find yourself heading back to those chapters not with reluctance, but with enjoyent, as I have found myself doing. What a lovely cookbook this is.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    Scanned, honestly. Melissa Clark had it on a list of a few of her favorite cookbooks, and I can see why.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    Hillary recommended this book to me when we were traveling together in Philadelphia. I skimmed through it and found it largely impractical for me. Many recipes aren't long but can be very complicated and require ingredients I don't have or that are quite unhealthy (lots of butter and cream). I can appreciate sections like "How to fillet a fresh fish" but even then there aren't pictures to go along with each step, which I would have benefitted from. Overall this book could be useful to me, but I Hillary recommended this book to me when we were traveling together in Philadelphia. I skimmed through it and found it largely impractical for me. Many recipes aren't long but can be very complicated and require ingredients I don't have or that are quite unhealthy (lots of butter and cream). I can appreciate sections like "How to fillet a fresh fish" but even then there aren't pictures to go along with each step, which I would have benefitted from. Overall this book could be useful to me, but I would need to refer to other resources to use it properly - I couldn't use it on its own to do much. Pictures are beautiful and provides a great resource for identifying certain herbs, flowers, plants, etc. I'd rather take one of her courses than own this book. At the least, this book inspires me to want to learn the basics of what I take for granted living near large supermarkets, like how to gut and fillet a fresh fish or stretch my resources better, but I think I need a more explanatory book in order to actually do those things.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Raelene

    There can't possibly be enough good to say about this cookbook/tutorial tome. It's fantastic. Fan. Tas. Tic. She has a whole chapter on Foraging (yes, foraging! wild food. growing randomly. in the wild) and how to use what you've found. Each chapter covers one basic unit: Foraging, Breads, Lamb, Beef, Pork, Fish, Chicken (and how to keep your own hens), etc etc etc. Her advice and instructions are practical and down-to-earth: how to gut and fillet a fish, how to prepare a duck or pigeon for the There can't possibly be enough good to say about this cookbook/tutorial tome. It's fantastic. Fan. Tas. Tic. She has a whole chapter on Foraging (yes, foraging! wild food. growing randomly. in the wild) and how to use what you've found. Each chapter covers one basic unit: Foraging, Breads, Lamb, Beef, Pork, Fish, Chicken (and how to keep your own hens), etc etc etc. Her advice and instructions are practical and down-to-earth: how to gut and fillet a fish, how to prepare a duck or pigeon for the oven, how to cure your own ham, where to find the best wild blueberries - and on an on. I'm reading it page by page (unlike most cookbooks), because it's totally engrossing and totally fascinating. And - believe it or not, I think with her step-by-steps I can likely do most of all the things she mentions. Really - fabulous. A serious kitchen must-have-on-hand.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelly RAley

    This is a gorgeous, well-written cookbook. There are lots of photos and drawings included. I've tried just a few of the recipes, which were excellent, but the true joy comes from reading it. I love reading about what people eat in books. Well described high teas, savory stews or scones always delight me. This book is like a day in the Irish country-side where you feel the fire in the hearth and a glass of fresh cold milk at your side. A delicious offering. This is a gorgeous, well-written cookbook. There are lots of photos and drawings included. I've tried just a few of the recipes, which were excellent, but the true joy comes from reading it. I love reading about what people eat in books. Well described high teas, savory stews or scones always delight me. This book is like a day in the Irish country-side where you feel the fire in the hearth and a glass of fresh cold milk at your side. A delicious offering.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cade

    Some interesting recipes especially some old ones using cuts of meat that are not much used anymore. There are over 700 recipes but many are just slight variations on a base recipe. I thought the section on herbs and vegetables was quite good and the soda bread is something I will be trying soon. I was a little disappointed that the book doesn't go into much detail on any of the forgotten skills. This is not much of a how-to book. Some interesting recipes especially some old ones using cuts of meat that are not much used anymore. There are over 700 recipes but many are just slight variations on a base recipe. I thought the section on herbs and vegetables was quite good and the soda bread is something I will be trying soon. I was a little disappointed that the book doesn't go into much detail on any of the forgotten skills. This is not much of a how-to book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hope

    This book contains everything you might ever want or need to know about cooking, including how to make butter, keep chickens and other animals, and how to dress and butcher anything. Also a fascinating look into the life and business of Irish chef Darina Allen, who seems to make everything she eats. The shepherd's pie and lemon curd recipes are both amazing. I need to try more things from this book. This book contains everything you might ever want or need to know about cooking, including how to make butter, keep chickens and other animals, and how to dress and butcher anything. Also a fascinating look into the life and business of Irish chef Darina Allen, who seems to make everything she eats. The shepherd's pie and lemon curd recipes are both amazing. I need to try more things from this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Harkness

    Did you know that freshly laid eggs can be preserved for 2 months by rubbing butter into the warm shells? Neither did I. Darina Allen's book makes you rethink what it means to live in a modern food culture that privileges convenience and ease over forgotten skills like foraging and preserving. And the recipes are delicious, too. Did you know that freshly laid eggs can be preserved for 2 months by rubbing butter into the warm shells? Neither did I. Darina Allen's book makes you rethink what it means to live in a modern food culture that privileges convenience and ease over forgotten skills like foraging and preserving. And the recipes are delicious, too.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

    I love this book. It's amazing, inspiring, practical, artistic. It makes me want to make candied violets and harvest wild greens. You don't normally see the practical and poetic so married in a single volume, but art can be a part of everyday life, down to growing and preparing a vegetable. Good to remember that. I love this book. It's amazing, inspiring, practical, artistic. It makes me want to make candied violets and harvest wild greens. You don't normally see the practical and poetic so married in a single volume, but art can be a part of everyday life, down to growing and preparing a vegetable. Good to remember that.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lucinda

    This book is full of beautiful photography and after reading through most of it (since it is a recipe book), I felt like I wanted to go to Ireland for 3 months for one of Darina Allen's cooking courses! Then this week Bobby Flay premiered a new show where he is exploring cuisine in Ireland and he had Darina as part of his show. It's a great book! This book is full of beautiful photography and after reading through most of it (since it is a recipe book), I felt like I wanted to go to Ireland for 3 months for one of Darina Allen's cooking courses! Then this week Bobby Flay premiered a new show where he is exploring cuisine in Ireland and he had Darina as part of his show. It's a great book!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sara W.

    This is so helpful! It is true that we usually forgotten cooking the basics since all of what we need is instant and ready-made. This book is an eye-opener to the reader since it includes here some recipes that are easy to cook and very safe to eat since it’s all homemade. We must realized that in this book we can save finances and can keep our health healthier. Thanks for this book!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Annette McIntyre

    An excellent book on how things in the kitchen used to be done and why they should be done again. Lots of areas covered from foraging, to butchery, to preserving and lots more besides. Divided into sections on various topics the author goes into the history of each, then follows up with recipes - some old fashioned and some very modern. I will be adding this book to my collection.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mrs.

    If you don't have an extensive cookbook collection, or books that already show you how to make cheese, butter, sausage, or English foods, this is a great reference book. If you have books like that, this will be a repetitive book to have on your shelf. If you don't have an extensive cookbook collection, or books that already show you how to make cheese, butter, sausage, or English foods, this is a great reference book. If you have books like that, this will be a repetitive book to have on your shelf.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Very interesting book, one with a great deal of information and background on gathering the ingredients as well as the actual cooking. Interesting read, and I'm sure I will try some of the recipes soon! Very interesting book, one with a great deal of information and background on gathering the ingredients as well as the actual cooking. Interesting read, and I'm sure I will try some of the recipes soon!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Val Durfee

    Oh my goodness...this is one of my three favorite cookbooks. My go-to for anything I need to make that is represented in its pages. Some of the cook times need adjustment for high altitude (duh), but I have yet to make anything from these recipes that we didn't love. Oh my goodness...this is one of my three favorite cookbooks. My go-to for anything I need to make that is represented in its pages. Some of the cook times need adjustment for high altitude (duh), but I have yet to make anything from these recipes that we didn't love.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    This is my favorite cookbook. With a nice mix of old-fashioned and fresh new recipes I have been able to explore a culinary legacy that is not often celebrated. The techniques are explained clearly and the tone is friendly and instructive. Really, get this cookbook.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Susie

    handy mate to my Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Kingston

    Foraging, cheesemaking, dressing a rabbit, it's all here. The writing it delicious and friendly, and the photos are beautiful. Foraging, cheesemaking, dressing a rabbit, it's all here. The writing it delicious and friendly, and the photos are beautiful.

  30. 5 out of 5

    VaughanPL

    Click to find it in the catalogue Click to find it in the catalogue

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