Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in the Irish Examiner on 23rd June.
Beginner’s Pluck. Nessa Robins.
Brought up in Moate, Nessa trained as a nurse in Dublin. After graduating she married, and moved from Dublin to Mullingar, where she worked in the Mullingar Hospital. Then she moved to her current home, back in Westmeath. Always passionate about food, Nessa has been teaching cookery to children for five years; and she started food blogging three years ago.
“After I started blogging, I began to write columns for the Westmeath Independent, and Easy Parenting magazine.”
Already sharing recipes and photographs on her blog, Nessa was delighted when her publishers, New Island contacted her, suggesting the book.
Who is Nessa Robins?
Date of birth: 8th January 1978, In Moate
Education: Moate community School, then to La Santa Union in Banagher. Then trained as a nurse in St James Hospital; affiliated with Trinity College Dublin, where she took her degree.
Family: Diarmuid O’Donovan, and children Jack, 11, Tiarnán 8, Fionn 5, and Millie 3. “Then there’s Nick, a young man with cerebral palsy; he comes to our family for breaks and holidays.”
The Day Job: A food writer.
Interests: Photography; “I love heading up the fields with the kids, snapping away.” Gardening. Films.
Favourite Writers: Maeve Binchy; Roisin Meaney; and for research, Michael Pollan and Suzanne Campbell.
Second Novel: “I have lots of ideas for potential foodie books.”
Top Writing Tip: “Write from the heart. I found this essential when I was writing memories and stories to go with the recipes.”
Web: www.nessasfamilykitchen.blogspot.com Twitter: @nessa_robins
The Debut: Apron Strings. Recipes from a Family kitchen. New Island: €22.99
Much more than a recipe book, Apron strings is full of stories, and memories. There’s a section on home remedies; another on children’s parties, and there are recipes for the forager too; for example wild garlic pesto and stinging nettle soup. Nessa also gives tips on how to run a thrifty efficient household; she even gives tips on how to keep hens.
The Verdict: A charming and original cookbook. Beautifully produced, it’s full of stories and the yummiest recipes.
© Sue Leonard. 2013