Anna Browne is 97 years old. She was one of the compilers of the Cathal Brugha Street publication All In The Cooking for the college’s Domestic Science students almost 70 years ago. Anna writes the Foreword to the delightful reissue of the book by O’Brien Press. Could this be Ireland’s very first cookery book? And not a glossy photo in sight!
I didn’t get to the Rolling Sun Book Festival in Westport this week-end. Only heard about it late in the day and was intrigued by the title. It seems that at certain times of the year the sun appears to roll down the side of the mountain on the nearby Croagh Patrick.
I spent my childhood some twenty-five miles from Westport and Croagh Patrick. My memory is of the evening sun oozing around the mountain’s silhouette in a creamy light as we squinted through our kitchen window.
As for the Rolling Sun Book Festival, it looks like it was loosely literary but also about music and storytelling and chat and cooking. Yes, cooking, as Tamasin Day-Lewis, daughter of Cecil Day-Lewis, brother of Daniel and a regular visitor in the Westport hinterland, was one of the festival guests.
It’s a full dozen years since I bought Tamasin’s book, West of Ireland Summers Cookbook, based on recipes she remembered from her childhood days in Mayo. Apart from the braised lamb shanks, I’ve tried few of the recipes. But, many times, I’ve feasted on the wonderful photographs by Simon Wheeler and enjoyed Tamasin’s nostalgic narrative pieces that accompany the cooking tips.
She recalls the time as a child when she came second in a horse race on Carrownisky Strand, Louisburgh and her father wrote a poem, ‘Remembering Carrownisky’, about the moment: ‘an image that time may bury but not unmake’.
Maybe you were lucky enough to get to some of the Rolling Sun Festival events?
Image credit here.