About Bibliocook

Updated: 25 August 2007: Two-and-a-half years after I started Bibliocook, I think it is about time I updated the About section! I started this blog while living in New Zealand – see below for my first entry – with the Boyfriend, who recently became the Husband. After a year focusing on the flavours and tastes of New Zealand and cooking for my friends and family in Christchurch, I had a new perspective on food when I returned to Ireland in 2005. I resumed my day job at RTÉ.ie Entertainment but continued to write about baking and dinners, cafés and restaurants, cookbooks and products here on Bibliocook, making friends at Greatfood.ie, Slow Food Ireland and Intermezzo Ireland. And now, the next step for me, in both writing about and working with food is the 12-week certificate course at Ballymaloe Cookery School!

Original text 25 March 2005: I’ve been reading other people’s food blogs with great interest for a couple of years. I love how blog writers describe how they come up with their recipes, foods that they like, kitchen equipment that is essential to them, experiments they make and their favourite cookbooks. It’s a much more personal way of learning about food rather than just looking at the bare bones of a recipe. And for me, food is all about context. Like the blogs, the cookery writers that I adore – Nigel Slater, Nigella Lawson, Darina Allen – are good at evoking the events and feelings that surround particular dishes, Nigella Lawson in particular. So, with the help and encouragement of my Techie friend, I decided to explore doing that for myself.

At home in Ireland I had a busy life as an entertainment journalist on the RTÉ website but, since coming to my Boyfriend’s native New Zealand in December, I have much more time on my hands so it’s the perfect opportunity to write about food. Particularly since the food here in New Zealand is amazing – I’ve been constantly amazed at the quality of food available in restaurants and cafes, in local markets and side-of-road stalls.

Another thing that really impresses me is the New Zealander can-do attitude. They’ve taken a look hard look at European produce and determined that it can be done – and bettered – here, from spectacularly good olive oil, wine and verjuice to new products such as avocado oil and hazelnut paste. I am living in Christchurch on the South Island at the moment and have every intention of spending the next few months eating my way around the country – and writing all about it here.

There were several reasons why I picked the name Bibliocook. Firstly, I’m a long standing (if absent at the moment) member of an Irish bookclub called Bibliofemme and this website is designed by that club’s Techie who has been saying “and, of course, Bibliocook is your baby” to me for years. Also, it is a name that sums up two of my major loves in life – cooking, naturally, and reading. My Boyfriend says that I sometimes spend more time reading cookbooks than cooking from them. I don’t see a problem with that! So Bibliocook it is – I hope you enjoy it.

Contact details: cook[at]bibliocook[dot]com



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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13 Responses

  1. triona says:

    how’s it going, chicky.. not sure if this will work but if it does .. fantastic

  2. triona says:

    haha, think it works … love the web site. when i get a self-cooking cooker i’m gonna have to start cooking!!!!

  3. Tor and Charlie says:

    Great website – your boyfriend must be very fat and contented!

  4. Caroline says:

    Tor and Charlie: we’re working on it!

  5. Elaine says:

    Great website. Hope to see you end of August!

  6. Cloud says:

    Nice site – added you to both the Irish PlanetOfTheBlogs.com and the NZ http://www.gen.nz aggregators.

  7. Meryl says:

    How much Baking Powder is needed is I do not have Self Raising Flower, and a ups of Self Raising Flour is needed?

  8. Caroline says:

    Hi Meryl – normally I use one teaspoon of baking powder to every cup of plain flour and it works fine. Check your baking powder packet too.

  9. Jeremy says:

    Does anyone know where to find a comprehensive list of Australian seasonal food on the internet or in a book?

  10. Caroline says:

    I know that Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion does mention seasonal availability in each section but I don’t know if she puts it into a proper (and more useful!) list. You could make your own line-up of available produce from the tables on Sydney Postharvest Laboratory website here. Do let me know how you get on.

  11. glenda joy says:

    I have offered to do individual chocolate truffles in a box for each guest at my daughter’s wedding next year. How long in advance can I make them and should I avoid cream and raw egg? Do I need to use cake crumbs to stop it just spreading all over my hands after rolling the first few? Have you any hints or recipes you could share with me? Some recipes on the internet say use cupfuls of chocolate chips, but how do you convert that when using chocolate bars? Any advice would be appreciated.

  12. Caroline says:

    That’s a lovely thing to do, Glenda. Hope your daughter appreciates it! When in doubt, always trust Delia and – of course – she has a recipe for Home-made Chocolate Truffles with several variations. Best thing about making truffles in advance is that you can freeze them in a well-sealed container – but beware of keeping them in the freezer for too long. About two months would definitely be enough. When defrosting them, follow the great advice at the website for Richard Donnelly Chocolates (scroll down on this page until you get to the section on Refrigeration and Freezing of Perishable Chocolate Bonbons. I used to make and freeze chocolates a lot when I still lived at home (Darina Allen’s recipe for Mary Jo’s Chocolates was a particular favourite) and his advice for avoiding condensation is the most straightforward and logical that I’ve ever seen. Best of luck and enjoy the wedding!