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Forgotten Skills of Cooking: The Time-Honored Ways are the Best - Over 700 Recipes Show You Why Hardcover – March 16, 2010

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Forgotten Skills of Cooking: The Time-Honored Ways are the Best - Over 700 Recipes Show You Why + The Lost Art of Real Cooking: Rediscovering the Pleasures of Traditional Food One Recipe at a Time + The Lost Arts of Hearth & Home: The Happy Luddite's Guide to Domestic Self-Sufficiency
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Kyle Books (March 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906868069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906868062
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Ms. Allen runs the great cookery school at Ballymaloe, Ireland, near Cork, and this whopper of a book includes foraging among its 'forgottens,' along with how to draw and pluck birds, make butter and cheese, and tend hens. It doesn't tell how to milk a cow, though." --Wall St. Journal (London), Best Food Books of 2009

This transporting book ... will delight anyone who wants to connect with such endangered domestic tasks as churning butter, foraging, and making homemade apple cider. Allen is an astounding teacher, and her enthusiasm for good things and old-fashioned thriftiness is impossible to resist. She shares stories, recipes, tips, and techniques that will inspire you to craft all sorts of staples that these days usually come in packages from the grocery store. Once you taste your own vinegar and bread and cheese, and get into the swing of making them, chances are, you won't go back to the modern way. --Fine Cooking, March 2010 issue

A 12-week course at Darina Allen's Ballymaloe Cookery School in East Cork, Ireland, costs more than $13,000. What a treat if you can swing it, but those who plunk down $40 for her beautiful new book will be treated to much of what's covered. Deserved praise has been heaped upon Allen, who founded the school 27 years ago, and on her many cookbooks. The dishes Allen makes at Ballymaloe might produce more smashing results because she works with ingredients from her 100-acre organic farm. Still, the book might inspire cooks elsewhere to use the freshest, most sustainable foodstuffs they can find. At the very least, she urges us to reconsider our disposable society: Scrape the mold from a piece of cheese or the surface of a pot of jam. We can eat what's underneath and survive. --The Washington Post, March 17, 2010

Forgotten Skills of Cooking is a 600-page treasure trove gleaned from Darina's experience working on the front lines... She knows that many of her students often lack skill simply because the knowledge hasn't been handed down to them.... The book is hefty and indeed Darina cracks the culinary code on every page. Of course, she includes carefully written and tested traditional recipes, but she expands on those recipes and clearly explains the hows and whys.... I believe that Darina's latest tome is bound to become a classic. As we reach for more local foods and strive to create more out of less, it's critically important to have books such as this one on hand and at the ready. Thank you, Darina! --Amazon's Al Dente Blog, March 16, 2010

A beautiful and substantial text, full of Irish charm.... This book condenses years of cooking wisdom, gleaned over Allen's lifetime. There are hundreds of recipes, but Allen's chief concern is to pass along knowledge one usually learns only at the hands of a grandparent or other trusted elder - and not from books.... Though based on ancient, from-the-land strategies, Allen's recipes are hardly old-fashioned, even those that are distinctly Irish, such as Mary Keane's Listowel Mutton Pies. --Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 16, 2010

Really, you just want to linger in Allen's homemade world for as long as possible, sipping black-currant-leaf lemonade before wandering from the 100-acre garden to the smokehouse to check on your mussels and hogget. --New York Times Book Review, Summer Roundup, June 6, 2010

From the Publisher

Winner of the Andre Simon Food Awards Best Food Book of 2009

More About the Author

Called "The Julia Child of Ireland" by the San Francisco Chornicle, Darina Allen runs the world-renowned cookery school at Ballymaloe in County Cork, Ireland, which she founded with her husband in 1983. She runs the highly regarded three-month diploma course as well as various short courses, including the Forgotten Skills series, upon which her book, Forgotten Skills of Cooking, was based. That book has been shortlisted for the 2009 Andre Simon Food and Drink Book Awards.

Darina is the award-winning author of Irish Traditional Cooking, Ballymaloe Cookery Course, A Year at Ballymaloe, Healthy Gluten-free Eating (with Rosemary Kearney), and Easy Entertaining, which won the 2006 Chefs and Restaurants Award from the IACP. She is Ireland's most famous TV cook, having presented nine series of her cooking program, "Simply Delicious," on television around the world.

Darina founded the first Farmers' Markets in Ireland and is a tireless campaigner for local produce. She was awarded the Cooking for Solutions Conservation Leadership Award - Chef of the Year 2008 by the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. She is also a natural teacher and was awarded the IACP's 2005 Cooking Teacher of the Year Award.

Customer Reviews

The recipes are easy to make, and taste good too.
G. Perry
It's really a great book if you like old-school, slow cooking and self-sufficiency - beautifully illustrated, full of useful tips and gorgeous recipes.
June Molloy
Upshot is, this is a great book, highly to be recommended.
Brian Connors

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

91 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Alcee Arobin VINE VOICE on April 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is an amazing tome of culinary secrets that I've been in love with ever since it arrived. First of all, the quality of the book itself is top notch. It's a rough textured hardback sans paper flap cover. Darina Allen is drawing comparisons to Julia Child, and that marketing pitch seems to have translated into the layout of the pages. They are glossy and in the exact style of every cookbook of Julia's that I own. It reminds me in particular of The Way to Cook, Julia's master class, which was uncustomarily accompanied with ample photos.

Admittedly, there are things in Forgotten Skills that I'll never venture to try, such as the tripe on page 184, or the brawn on page 320. I'm not exactly tempted by the recipe for beef dripping on toast on page 177. But there are plenty of examples of recipes that are staples in many of our kitchens, reimagined from a fresh, farmy (to invent an adjective) perspective, such as beef stew (pp. 163), quiche Lorraine (pp. 250), and a delicious bacon and cheddar cheese strata that you absolutely must try (pp. 579). It seems like we've skipped spring altogether this year and headed straight into summer. In this current heat, I can't wait to try the recipe for Ballymaloe vanilla ice cream (no ice cream maker required!) on page 207. The simplicity reminds me of how my grandmother used to wait for a second snow, and then set out a large metal bowl to collect enough flakes to add in condensed milk, and, voila!, delicious ice cream.

Don't be discouraged by the opening chapter, which addresses various edible flowers, herbs, and weeds that you can scavenge and prepare in various dishes. Those recipes set the tone for the rest of the book, but in no way define it.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Corgi Lover on May 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've had a ball reading this book. I love the history. I love the simple cooking skills taught in it. I love the recipes. I love reading about the Irish culture. There are exotic ingredients from the shores of the sea that I would never think of as cooking ingredients. But there they are, as exotic as anything in a Japanese restaurant. There are techniques for using over the hill ingredients. There are recipes for all sorts of leftover things you might throw away. I've made all the quick breads now - they are simple and excellent. I've made a few of the desserts, simple and excellent. Seafood recipes teach you cooking techniques and how to treat fresh ingredients. You can make your butter from scratch! If you are interested in the world and traditions of cooking, not just the recipes, this is a valuable addition to your culinary library.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Furfloors on April 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book... great (as in it practically weighs a ton) and great ... (as in it has loads of interesting and entertaining information). My expert son-in-law chef discovered lots about preparing wild game (and he's a former forest ranger). I loved learning basic Irish cooking since my family hails from Connemara. Finally, because of "Forgotten Skills of Cooking," I can devour a perfect Spotted Dog (with no animal cruelty involved).
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By wildcrafted on January 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am still in shock that such a comprehensive, fantastic book exists. If I were to only have one cookbook on my shelf- this would be it.

Nourishing Traditions has been my favorite 'back to basics' cookbook up until now- and I still love it but this by far takes the cake. Like NT it contains several recipes involving herbs and foraged foods and fruits, and gives attention to foods like bone marrow that have long been left out of the modern cookbook. Not only does it contain a huge amount of recipes but it also has a nice aesthetic appeal with its hardcover, purple silk bookmark, glossy pages and beautiful photographs.

This book also gives homesteading tips without going into ridiculous detail- like how to care for chickens, how to smoke food, how to forage, how to clean a fish, diagrams of the cuts of meats of different animals, how to make beer.

And on top of it all- there are short entertaining stories about the author's childhood- mistakes made while cooking and the sometimes delicious surprises that resulted from those mistakes.

Any book that has recipes for dandelion wine and nettle soup has my vote but this goes above and beyond anything I could have dreamed up.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Grandma TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Darina Allen is perhaps not as well known on this side of the pond as Gordon Ramsey (pushing for the use of more fresh, local ingredients in restaurants), Jaime Oliver (great success in moving British schools towards a more healthful school lunch menu, now here in the US working towards the same goal) or Prince Charles (highly involved in the organic/slow food movement in the UK) but she should be.

Darina, called by some "The Irish Julia Child", has been running a cooking school in Ireland for some twenty five years. This book is the product of those lessons, imparting kitchen wisdom and food lore that our generation imbibed with our mother's milk along with the oft-repeated "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!" - wisdom that has disappeared under the onslaught of prepackaged, pre-prepared "food."

Darina and I are of an age. About the time that she started her cooking school I stood in my kitchen one day baking a cake. A young mother from the neighborhood dropped by as I mixed and asked what I was doing. "Baking a cake," I replied. My neighbor looked all around the kitchen, then asked again "What are you doing?" - and again I replied "Baking a cake." This time the young woman examined every nook and cranny, even looking into the trash bin, and then in great frustration practically shouted at me "Tell me what you are doing!" When I again replied that I was baking a cake this young woman said to me "You can't be baking a cake. There is no box!"

Darina's inspiration for her Forgotten Skills classes, which have resulted in this book, was a bit different. She recounts the time she caught a student preparing to dump overbeaten cream into the pig slops instead of simply turning it into butter.
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