The Greasy Spoon's Book of the Month for April is A Life With Food by Peter Langan, annotated and with a memoir by none other than Brian Sewell. I love this book. It's an idiosyncratic account of the life of the late, eccentric restauranteur, Peter Langan, his restaurants and his art collections.
Odin's has some fabulous Modern and Edwardian British paintings, which is not surprising as many of them were chosen by the great Mr Sewell himself. There's a terrific Laura Knight to the right of the main entrance, a fabulous Harold Gilman in the main dining room and a naughty drawing by Ron Kitaj displayed at table level.
Here's a very Irish recipe from the book for Boiled Bacon and Cabbage with Parsley Sauce:
"There are two dishes that are Irish to the core- this is one of them. If it is smoked gammon, soak it overnight in water, and then put it into fresh cold water and bring it to the boil. Remove, skim and simmer for 30 minutes per lb.
The old Irish way is to add the cut up cabbage to the pot for half an hour toward the end. I do not like this. I prefer to boil the cabbage separately for 3-5 minutes. It is a crisp foil to the slowly cooked bacon.
The parsley sauce is simple. Melt 1oz of butter, add 1 oz of flour and cook until the flour is well blended. Add 1/2 pint of the cooking liquid slowly to begin with then the 1/2 pint of milk, stir, bring to the boil and simmer. Add a bunch of freshly chopped parsley- do not cook it in as most idiot restaurants do.
The bacon, crisp cabbage, and fresh parsley sauce could be the country's greatest dish. Serve it with floury boiled potatoes in their skins."