Radio review: Memorable food that is made with love

Nuala McCann
Nuala McCann

Sunday Miscellany RTÉ Radio 1

Pick of the Week Radio 4

It was far from literary lunches and arts festivals that she was raised says Anne Marie Kennedy.

So begins her tale of growing up on a small farm in north Galway.

Although she does not keep cattle, she has maintained the tradition of ass husbandry and keeps three or more ladies at a time.

She is, she confides with a certain sense of pride, an ass whisperer.

It’s the way she tells her story – tongue in cheek and laugh out loud. How the ass’s baby was born with a dark body and a great creamy head on him… sure there was only one name for an Irish ass like that and it had to Arthur.

Sunday Miscellany offers smiles and sighs, tears and laughter – beautiful music and quality writing that speaks of the familiar. It’s a Sunday morning ritual about here – an easy warm start to the day.

The last weeks of September have seen a new freshness in the air, a harvest moon and the winds of change.


Pick of the Week presenter Elizabeth Alker’s choices on Radio 4 provided sombre reflection and healthy scepticism for the death of a monarch and a new king.

But there was also another kind of food for thought.

What’s the one dish that holds a special place in your heart?

There are those with a soft spot for cold tripe with a sprinkling of salt … not me.

But via Pick of the Week, I came upon Andi Oliver and comedian Jessica Fostekew talking schnitzel.

It’s a programme called One Dish and in this case the passion for schnitzel shone through.

Presenter and guest even enjoy a slice of it cold with plenty of lemon.

Jessica had an Austrian grandmother and her father did a lot of the cooking when she was young… schnitzel was a staple.

Food was how her dad kept the connection with his father in his final years, she explained.

“My grandad started to lose his memory,” she said.

“So one of his (her father’s) last ways of caring for him was to bring a massive tupperware box full of schnitzel.”

There was always a supply in the fridge, she said.

Food and love… forever, hand in glove.