During the course of the busy season, there are not enough hours in the day for literary endeavors. In a way, this is an advantage as it allows one to stockpile all the books meant to be read for the long dark evenings.

This past summer we have been fortunate to have had the pleasure of being given first editions of published works by the authors as a note of thanks after they have passed a few days on the island. It is always a pleasure to have some personal intimate conversations with someone who has an ongoing interest in the continued survival of Aran.


Liam Blakes “The Edge of Light; Photographs of the Aran Islands” is a beautifully produced portable collection of images that are poetic in their simplicity.

Padraig O’tooles “Aran to Africa” imprints on ones memory the reality of life as it was on Aran and the unique voyage of a native son told with deep sincerity and honesty.

Cian O’Brien’s “pedalling with Paschal” a candid diary of one mans journey from Dublin to India is reminiscent of the tales of Dervla Murphy. It was great to hear of his many escapades and perhaps in his next volume he would tell of his experiences cycling the ‘Aran Way’.

Fabio Rosati’s “Misneach” is a tour de force diary/guide to the islands in Italian. A combination of straight prose and manga style illustrations, bringing to life a dream of his wanting to live in Ireland. A truly inspirational journey for all those seeking a simpler way of life.

Fabio’s visit made me long for some of that simplicity so off I went to find some wild boletus mushrooms and make a delicious Italio/Hibernian concoction that marries the best of natural ingredients for something simple and hearty.




Italio/Hibernian Concoction

Sea salt to taste, 40gms of country butter, 400gms of wild mushrooms halved, a teaspoon of fresh rosemary chopped, 3 sage leaves, 300gms of fresh buffalo mozzarella torn in pieces


Melt butter in a Teflon pan over a high flame, add mushrooms, rosemary, sage, salt and black pepper and saute for 5 minutes until brown.

Remove pan from the flame, add the mozzarella on top and place under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes until the mozzarella is melted.

Serve with slices of generously buttered Irish Soda bread.