It's been some time since I've shown any cooking photos. The truth is, the cooking around here has been pretty boring lately. I've been cooking a lot of my house 'standards' over and over and let's face it, they aren't' very interesting. Last night I decided to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with an Irish themed meal.
Here is 'Irish' stew and colcannon.
The stew could have been more Irish had I used Guiness, instead I used an English nut brown ale. This was yummy! Now that I've found out how easy it is, I'm wondering why I never made stew before. I practically just threw everything into the pot, cooked it for 3 hours and voila! Dinner. Gotta love that. I used Jamie Oliver's super easy technique from his latest US release, Jamie's Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals. I think I've mentioned this book before, but I will again just because I think it is so good. I'm a pretty experienced cook and I like it, yet it's aim is people who are not used to cooking. Oh, and do you know what colcannon is? Cabbage combined with mashed potatoes. I sauteed the cabbage for a long time in butter, until it was soft and sweet. Want to guess what I'm having for lunch?
Here are a couple things I read recently:
Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth
The is the final book in Worth's trilogy about her experience as a midwife in the East End in the 1950s. I am sad there will not be any more installments. This book is very similar to the first in the series in that it focuses on specific experiences the midwives had. They are graphic birth stories, and the subject matter of many of them will surprise and shock you. There are also stories of Worth's life in the convent where she lived while working as a midwife. These stories I found not as compelling, but they do provide some comic relief from the intensity of the rest of the book. I recommend this series highly and while the first book is my favorite of the three, this is a close second.
The Spare Room: A Novelby Helen Garner
That's the main word that keeps coming to mind whenever I think about this book. The Spare Room is the story of two women who have been friends during their adult lives. One of them, Nicola, is ill, she had cancer, and she asks her friend Helen if she can stay with her for a few weeks while she undergoes therapy. I think I was expecting lots of heartfelt conversations and tears. Perhaps thoughts of end-of-life regrets and tender moments. That was not the shape this story took. These characters aren't any cookie-cutter depictions of people dealing with cancer. Cancer doesn't suddenly make everyone a saint. The story of Nicola and Helen is authentic. How difficult is it to care for someone with cancer? How does it affect the caregiver and the relationship? Recommended.
This book was provided by Librarything's Early Reviewers Program.