To many, Imen McDonnell’s life reads as a modern fairytale. Happily going about her business as a young American woman embarking upon a successful career in broadcast production, she was introduced to a dashing Irish farmer and fell instantly in love. In short order, Imen found herself leaving behind her work, her country, and her family and friends to start a life from scratch on a centuries-old family dairy farm in County Limerick.
The Farmette Cookbook is more than just a cookbook, it’s a chronicle of Imen’s journey, embracing her new identity as a farmer’s wife, discovering new tastes, feeding her family, and finding her way around the Irish kitchen, where traditional cooking trumps quick and convenient. Here, Imen shares her tried-and-true classic Irish recipes, infused with a contemporary American twist: from her Best Brown Bread, Fish-’n’-Chip Pie, and Richard’s “Proper” Irish Coffee to Farmhouse Buttermilk Beignets, Hot-Smoked Burren Salmon Tacos, and an Irish Hedgerow Shandy. Highlighting farmhouse skills (such as butter and cheese making) and the use of local, wholesome ingredients, Imen invites us into her kitchen and her world, through stories and recipes, for a taste of the Irish countryside.
“A joyful celebration of life on an Irish farm. A super, chic book written with the appreciative eye of an outsider who reminds us of the sheer pleasure of living on a dairy farm—rearing a few table fowl, planting a vegetable garden and an orchard, rediscovering the satisfaction of using homegrown Irish produce to make truly delicious and creative food for family and friends.”—Darina Allen, founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School and award-winning cookbook author
“There is magic in Imen McDonnell’s new book and in her story. Her dedication to uncovering Ireland’s rich food culture and cultivating her own shines through. You’ll want to dive right in, start cooking, and build your own fairy tale.”—Sarah Copeland, author of Feast and Food Director, Real Simple magazine
“The Farmette Cookbook is a lovely combination of personal tale and transportive recipes, and it makes me want to go to Ireland tomorrow. In a world full of culinary flimflammery, Imen McDonnell is the real thing: wonderful storyteller and creator of delicious recipes with a traditional edge, all mouthwateringly evocative of this magical place she now calls home.”—Elissa Altman, author of Poor Man’s Feast
“It was Imen’s endearing and touching personal writing on all things Irish that first drew me to her beautiful blog. Her personal journey into the history of traditional Irish recipes is celebrated throughout this carefully considered cookbook. Filled with stories of old and inspirations from Ireland’s exciting new cooking scene, Imen is putting Irish farmhouse cooking firmly back on the map.”—Donal Skehan, Irish food personality and author of Kitchen Hero and Fresh
“Imen has beautifully captured the rich heritage of Irish farmhouse cooking and cast a twenty-first-century spell on it!”—Catherine Fulvio, author and award-winning proprietor of Ballyknocken House & Cookery School
“Imen takes traditional Irish cooking to the next level with her American curiosity and ingenuity. She weaves big-city cravings, like potstickers, tacos, banh mi, harissa, pizza, and more, with traditional comfort food made from scratch. Imen’s brave leap of faith and love is a boon for the rest of us: we now have this charming book full of stories and recipes I can’t wait to make.”—Susan Spungen, founding food editor of Martha Stewart Living