Personal and undiluted views
Myrtle Allen

1721 days ago

Photo Article: Four Christmas Puddings almost ready - thank you Darina & Myrtle Allen

You are meant to make your Christmas puddings six weeks before Christmas to allow them to age and mature and so, leaving it to the last possible moment I have now just done that. The recipe is from a cookbook from the Queen of Irish cooking the amazing Darina Allen although she says that it is from her mother in law Myrtle, the founder of Ballymaloe. I think that Myrtle is still with us though she must be 92 by now and I am lucky enough to have visited the famed cooking school near Cork several times.

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2459 days ago

Off to Ireland for the Weekend – Ballymaloe beckons

I have never hidden my admiration for Darina Allen, the High Queen of Irish cooking. As a cook and as a person she is pretty amazing and has borne certain domestic issues with a remarkable stoicism. It is perhaps her photogenic daughter in law Rachael who is better known but it is Darina who is the real deal as a cook and as a late birthday present for the Mrs we are off to see her this weekend in Cork, in the “The Old Country”, that is to say Eire.

It was Darina’s mother in law Myrtle Allen who started the phenomena that is Ballymaloe. It is a stunning country house – now containing an amazing restaurant – near Cork. Up the road is the cooking school which is surrounded by acres of organic gardens in the style of an old Country house. The fish comes in fresh from the sea at nearby Ballycotton and Darina is a champion of all things organic and locally produced. Natch that brings her into conflict with the regulation mad Evil Empire – Brussels edicts are the death of the small scale producers of foods such as cheese.

I’ve done a couple of courses there and one day shall shock you all

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