Carla Blake is a well known gardener, food writer and journalist.
From 1970 onwards she was the weekly cookery columnist plus feature writer for both the Irish Press and the Kerryman newspapers, and she also wrote regular weekly columns on a variety of topics including children, gardening, health matters, pets and wild life in the Irish Farmers Journal, the Nursery World in London and the Examiner. When her late husband Valentine became gravely ill in 1991 she nursed him at home, so had to cut out all but her widely read column on country life in the Examiner. This is still going strong in the Farming section of what is now the Irish Examiner, and Carla and is featured in the UCC Dictionary of Munster Women Writers 1800-2000 which cites her journalism as "a unique record of the 1960s and 1970s Irish Social History."
Carla's much loved cottage garden which she and Val created together, has raised thousands for charity and is featured in the O 'Brien Guide to Irish Gardens. The acre is full of colour and scent and she grows soft fruit and most of her own vegetables; she is an advocate of fresh local produce. She also believes that anyone who enjoys good food and is able to read, can be a good cook.
"The Irish Cookbook" by Carla Blake was originally published by Mercier in 1971, and it has never been out of print since then. The latest edition, first printed in 2006, has been updated , rewritten and much enlarged and gives easy to follow delicious recipes for every taste and every occasion. It has been described by Myrtle Allen as "The first book you need, and a book you will always need, " and is available in bookshops countrywide.
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