Berries, bees and Pollan

posted on: Thursday, 15 August 2013


Popping corn at Ballymaloe Cookery School's farm


A bee getting into the raspberry I wanted to eat

What I'm reading right now: Cooked by Michael Pollan

Rows of kale, hothouse tomatoes, pumpkins gone wild and a field of berries. It's the plentiful produce from the 100-acre-farm that inspires the recipes at the Ballymaloe Cookery School.

Myrtle Allen, the doyenne of Irish home style cooking and the original founder of Ballymaloe House named her first restaurant The Yeats Room after her favourite poet and there is a great connection between Ballymaloe and writing. The current owner Darina Allen hosts the Food Litfest each year which is the ultimate meeting of minds including some of my favourite cooks and writers including Claire PtakMaggie Beer and Michael Pollan.

Throughout my travels I've made it my mission to read a book about each city I've been in. In London it was George Orwell's 1984 (a little grim but I love it). In Spain I read The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway for stories of the expat life and bullfighting. And I've read Marian Keyes' The Mystery of Mercy Close for Ireland.

Ballymaloe itself has a great selection of books. I have just picked up Cooked: New York Times writer Michael Pollan's latest. After a few days of cooking and eating food straight from the farm, I so strongly agree with him that farm produce, not supermarkets, are the compass for good health and good taste.

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